Going cross platform is an opportunity to increase your potential audience. It can please your current userbase and it can grow your lifetime revenue. Such a leap needs to be considered carefully. As Melinda Montano, Business Development Manager at Kongregate explained during their presentation at Casual Connect Europe, “Before you decide to go cross-platform, understand why you’re doing it. Figure out the opportunity – do you want more revenue, users, prestige?” The complications developers often encounter when going from mobile to PC and vice-versa. These include perceived game value, freemium/premium, to the specifics of UX/UI changes. Melinda’s talk, PC and Mobile: Going Cross Platform Post-Launch provides actionable insights for your cross-platform PC and mobile plans. One simple tip Melinda offered was: “In UI, the biggest thing to remember when going from PC to mobile is that we have hands. They cover the screen.” For more, see the full lecture below.
When GiGse 2017 touches down in San Diego later this April, it will be with an unflinching eye toward the future. While there will be a variety of topics discussed at the conference – virtual reality, social casino, skill-based games, esports, mobile integration, and more – all of it will focus around the next generation of casino gaming: The good, the bad, and the ugly.
The three elements which comprise an esport are: competition, organized tournaments and spectatorship. In 1972, esports began with a Spacewar tournament. About 50 years later, esports has evolved into its own entity within the games industry. Join Bill Mooney, CPO of Skillz, at Casual Connect Europe at his talk entitled Esports 101: The Past, Present and Future of an Industry on the Rise as he explores the history behind esports and talks about the future as well. Esports has a projected audience of 180 million by 2019 and over $5 billion in revenue by 2020. Bill described, “Esports drives the committed audience.” To hear more insights into this exciting part of the games industry, tune in to Bill’s full session below.
So you’ve made it! Your game is a success, and now you’re thinking of taking that success farther. Could licensing the game for consumer products be a good move? What are the advantages? What pitfalls do you need to watch for?
Clark Stacey is a person you might want to ask. Clark is Co-Founder and CEO of Wildworks, a developer of games for children, based in the US and Amsterdam. WildWorks IP Animal Jam has grown to become the world’s largest online social network for children. In 2016 they extended Animal Jam to include toys, consumer products and other media.
At Casual Connect Europe, Clark discussed what they learned from this process and how to position your game and your development teams to succeed with licensing. One important takeaway from his presentation is that connections back to your game can be more valuable that the product royalties. But equally important, “Don’t assume that because a company is big they know what they are doing.”
For more insights into the licensing process watch the video of Clark’s full session at Casual Connect.
To read more about Clark Stacey including a lecture from Casual Connect Europe 2016, see this exclusive article.
Matthew Paxman is a developer at Wizard Games, maker of Cowbots and Aliens. The VR game won the IGDA Victoria contest, meaning Wizard Games will able to show the title off at Indie Prize Seattle and Casual Connect USA.
“We were super excited to see people enjoying Cowbots and Aliens so much at the IDGA Victoria contest,” said Matthew. “Being able to show the game off at Casual Connect Indie Prize will be a great opportunity to gather feedback, gain exposure, meet other indie game makers and just have a ton of fun.”
This might not of been possible without releasing Cowbots and Aliens on Steam Early Access. Matthew confirmed that doing so has allowed Wizard Games to have some great community feedback that has helped with the direction of how to develop the game.
“Our vision of what Cowbots and Aliens will be when we release the final version out of Early Access has changed dramatically and we think for the better due to the community’s feedback,” Matthew detailed. “It’s helped us understand what fans really care about and want to see more of.”
Rujul Patel, Fyber’s SVP of Global Developer Relations, is on a mission to help mobile game developers make money. The key to mission success: balancing IAP monetization with ad monetization. ““We need to see how to have ads work better in mobile games,” said Rujul during their session at Casual Connect Europe. Many game developers, however, believe that ads hurt the game experience and could cannibalize IAP revenue. At their session, Rujul dispels these concerns with a few examples of developers who successfully added rewarded video ads to their monetization strategies.
The Casual Connect game development conferences are about to get even more accessible for professional developers everywhere. The conference’s parent organization, Casual Games Association (CGA), recently announced that they will begin rotating where their conferences take place in order to provide people in different regions with new opportunities to participate in the no.1 casual games development conference in the world.
“Beginning in 2017, Casual Connect will be rotating events between regional cities regularly. We are open to suggestions for which cities our attendees would like to visit. Please email us at email@example.com if you would like your city to be considered in our rotation schedule,” said CGA Managing Director Jessica Tams.
The first major change occurred with Casual Connect Europe in February – which took place in Berlin instead of Amsterdam. This August the switch-ups will continue, with Casual Connect USA taking place in Seattle instead of San Francisco before moving to Disneyland Resort in California for January 2018. Additionally, instead of a Tel Aviv event in 2017, Casual Connect will host a conference in Kyiv during October – returning to Tel Aviv in 2018.
Jessica notes that while Casual Connect events will be rotating, CGA’s commitment to moving the games industry forward and providing developers, publishers and others with indispensable insights will remain the same. “We will continue to provide thoughtful, cutting-edge coverage on mobile and next generation games, social casino gaming, design innovation, industry insights, market navigation, and more.”
Here is a look at all the Casual Connect conferences lined up through 2018.
Casual Connect Asia, Indie Prize Singapore
16-18 May in Singapore
Casual Connect USA, Indie Prize Seattle
1-3 August in Seattle, Washington, USA
Casual Connect Kyiv, Indie Prize Kyiv
October in Kyiv, Ukraine
Casual Connect USA, Indie Prize California
16-18 January at Disneyland® Hotel, Disneyland® Resort, California
Casual Connect Europe, Indie Prize London
29-31 May in London, United Kingdom
Casual Connect Tel Aviv, Indie Prize Tel Aviv
September in Tel Aviv, Israel
Casual Connect Asia, Indie Prize Hong Kong
Hong Kong SAR, China
Bundling is a concept which is becoming a useful tool when it comes to games industry innovations. During the recent Casual Connect Europe conference, Andrew Sheppard, CEO of GREE Interactive Entertainment, discussed the upcoming innovations we can expect to see in 2017. In a talk entitled Bundling – Mobile & Social Innovation for 2017, Andrew described the importance of developers staying ahead of the curve, “One to two years on mobile is an entire generation of hardware turning over so you can’t aim at what’s in the market place today and hope to have a good product in the future.” Join Andrew in an in depth explanation of what is coming up next in the full session below.
Hatch could be the most revolutionary mobile platform to release in 2017. While that might sound like marketing hype, the set up for Hatch is as ambitious as it is intriguing. First and foremost, it lets users stream any mobile game to their phone or tablet with low latency. The low latency streaming allows for easy and quick access to all games. This means no downloads, no waiting. On top of this, players can easily share gameplay videos of what they’ve been playing to their friends.
At Casual Connect Europe 2017, Juhani Honkala, Founder & CEO, Hatch Entertainment and Vesa Jutila, Co-Founder and VP Content & Commercial Partnerships at Hatch Entertainment were interviewed by Dean Takahashi, Lead Writer, GamesBeat at VentureBeat. During this session, Vesa reflected, “From the very get-go, Hatch is built around the social elements of gameplay. We really wanted to bring people together over the games that they love and let them play games in very new ways that you haven’t been able to do in mobile before.”
In-app ads and amazing user experience don’t have to be mutually exclusive. At Casual Connect Europe 2017, Natalie Portier, COO of Appodeal, treated the attendees with how to generate a positive, customized experience for your users and top ad revenue. This included expert tips and detailed case studies from successful publishers. Natalie advised, “Good user experience is essential to monetize a F2P game, like minimize ad loading time and deploy them in natural rooting periods.” To learn more about this, see the full lecture below.