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USA 2018Video Coverage

Jeroen Bouwman: Using the Power of Social in Your Game | Casual Connect Video

February 12, 2018 — by Catherine Quinton

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I want anyone in my team to feel comfortable telling me I'm wrong. - Jeroen BouwmanClick To Tweet

At Casual Connect USA 2018, Jeroen spoke about designing and managing the viral funnel for your game. He discussed how to set up and optimize the social features for optimum results. Jeroen explained, “If you just set a high score, if you just unlocked a new level, unlocked a new character or found an epic piece of loot, those are all moments when your player is high on your game. He is having a great time. That is the moment when they want to share it with friends. So make sure that when you have those moments, present your player with the opportunity to share.” To learn more, be sure to watch the video of the full presentation below.

Asia 2017Video Coverage

Leonard Frankel: How to Bring Clan Systems Into Your Game

September 17, 2017 — by Catherine Quinton

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What is it about clan systems that is so intriguing? They are becoming more and more popular and have now been introduced in nontraditional genres. The racing genre has becoming especially engaging as this opportunity for social interaction has become a part of the experience. Leonard Frankel, as Co-Founder and CEO of ClanPlay, a messaging app that sychronizes with the chat inside games, is in a unique position to understand why and how clan systems really matter.

Prior to Clanplay Leonard was Vice President of Business Development at Plarium, a leading mobile strategy game developer. At Casual Connect Asia, Leonard used the clan systems in CSR 2 and Real Racing to demonstrate the key aspects of setting up a strong clan system in any game. Then he used these principles to set up an imaginary system for the arcade racing game Asphalt. To learn more about this exciting way to incorporate social interaction into a game, be sure to watch the video of Leonard’s session at Casual Connect.

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To see more about Leonard’s career and views, including his presentation from Casual Connect Europe 2017, see this article.

Europe 2017Video Coverage

Leonard Frankel: The Future of Game Clans | Casual Connect Video

June 2, 2017 — by David Radd

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A clan system really is a 'turbo button' for game design. - Leonard FrankelClick To Tweet

In a talk at Casual Connect Europe entitled Guide to Clans: Setting Up a Strong Clan System in Simulation Games, co-founder and CEO of ClanPlay Leonard Frankel highlighted how to design a clan system for simulation games like celebrity life, farming and city builders. In this session, Leonard reviewed existing systems as a way to understand the adaptations developers need to make to give casual players significant social interaction. Clan system design begins with, “The five pillars of clanship (which) are: communication, collaboration, rewards, benefits and competition”, explained Leonard. To learn more, be sure to tune in to the full session below.

BusinessDevelopmentExclusive InterviewsPR & Marketing

Matthieu Burleraux: PlayLab in His Pocket

May 14, 2017 — by David Radd

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Matthieu Burleraux is the Business Development Director at Pocket PlayLab. The company is helping to provide mentorship on different matters to developer Cupcake, which the company invested $1 million into.

“We are helping them understand how to work around game KPIs, including in user acquisition, using these KPIs to optimize the game as well as their marketing campaign,” said Matthieu. “For example, we are focusing a lot on the daily cohorts, the LTV45 associated to them, the CPI, retention numbers, etc. We are also starting to help them on producing visual assets for UA and provide mentorship regarding developing the game on new platforms.”

 

“Before making the decision to work with Cupcake, we looked at the basic KPIs (ARPU, ARPPU, retention, virality, DAU, etc.) and their evolution over time, but we also looking into UA KPIs such as the CPI they had, ROI on UA, etc.” Matthieu continued. “The goal was for you to see if the game was sustainable and if we could grow it.”

ContributionsIndustry

Let’s Play: What it Means for the Gaming Industry

May 5, 2017 — by Industry Contributions

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By Sara Parker, Writer and Editor

Gaming has become much more social and communal in recent years. Instead of being limited by your physical location and the number of controllers you have for a gaming console, you can connect and play with other gamers around the world. With this type of connection, new gaming platforms and types of interactions have emerged, such as Let’s Play. But what does this mean for the gaming industry?

What is Let’s Play?

Let’s Play is a style of videos that gamers make of themselves playing video, computer and mobile games. You can watch these videos on platforms like YouTube and Twitch. There also are different styles of Let’s Play. For example, Rooster Teeth has a whole series devoted to them playing video games badly. Twitch, on the other hand, usually shows off some of the most skilled players you can learn from and admire. Let’s Play videos are easy to watch from your computer at home or while you’re on the go with streaming options for smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S8 plus. If you pre-ordered the device from T-Mobile, you can get the Gear VR, controller and Oculus bonus content for free. Plus, with VR becoming more popular for smartphones, you may also be able to watch Let’s Play videos on VR headsets in the near future.

It’s Entertaining

Gamers love watching Let’s Play videos because they are a good source of entertainment. There are brands, podcasters and YouTube stars, such as PewDiePie, that put out these videos as part of their media and entertainment series. Many of these people became popular because they are funny, witty or sarcastic.

You also may be interested in these videos because many of the players are truly amazing. This is how Twitch exploded onto the scene. You can learn tips and tricks from these players, or you can just see how professionals play some of your favorite games.

It Encourages New Game Play

One of the main benefits for Let’s Play videos is that it gives you a way to find new games you want to play. Many Let’s Play streamers try to hit a wide variety of games that fall under different genres and styles of game play. For example, they may upload videos for several horror games one week and then focus on fantasy games the next week.

If you’re looking for something new to play, this is a great way to preview games. If you like the look of the video game world or the game-play style, then you’re more likely to feel confident about spending money on the game.

It Could Affect Sales

Many people within the gaming industry are against Let’s Play videos, though. Their argument is that you may get your fill of the game by watching someone else play it, or you may see how the story line plays out and not want to play it yourself. This would then mean that you wouldn’t spend money to buy the game, which affects game developers’ bottom lines. The result in the industry could be that developers produce fewer games.

Let’s Play videos have been around in various forms for some time and don’t look like they’ll be going away any time soon. The gaming industry needs to keep this trend in mind when they’re developing games and find ways to use them to their advantage. In the meantime, enjoy watching your favorite personalities show off their skills (or lack thereof)!


Sara started her writing and editing career in the world of technology and gaming. She has written numerous articles about the tech world and knows more about the cloud than she ever thought she would. She’s an Android enthusiast and is always looking to learn about the next big thing in tech. She is an experienced writer and editor who’s always up for a good Oxford comma debate.

ContributionsIndustry

Monetising Social – How Free Games Can Mean Big Business

February 25, 2017 — by Industry Contributions

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By Ian Jones

Social gaming has been one of many fundamental shifts in online gambling in the last few years. Online casino operators in particular were quick to move on opportunities in social gaming, and the result was a new, pseudo-gambling form of gaming, where players could compete against friends within their online social networks, or just against other players more broadly in the style of arcade gaming. These games traditionally differed from gambling insofar as they didn’t pay any monetary return, leading some to question whether these games could really be described as gambling at all.

Game developers found workarounds, allowing players to pay for in-game advantage, or for extra chances to compete against their peers. But now, some operators are taking the business model to a whole new level, with alternative streams of revenue being generated in the process. But to what extent could this shape the social gaming environment in the months and years ahead?

Tel Aviv 2016Video Coverage

Raf Keustermans: Jackpot with Mirrorball Slots | Casual Connect Video

January 10, 2017 — by David Radd

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Land-based casinos understand better that it’s all about entertainment. - Raf KeustermansClick To Tweet

Plumbee Studios VP and GM Raf Keustermans first got to know who plays social casino and why they play it at Unibet and then learned about free-to-play social titles and game design and marketing at EA Pogo/Playfish. This helped them in their current role at Plumbee that has been recently acquired by GSN Games. So, what is life like after acquisition? What draws one company to acquire another, what changes an acquisition brings to the studio being bought, and how the transition can be navigated, as well as what to expect once the dust settles? At Casual Connect Tel Aviv Raf discussed these topics in a fireside chat with Vicenc Marti of Tangelo Games (formerly Imperus, which acquired Akamon and Diwip) and iGaming Capital’s Melissa Blau. 


ContributionsIndustry

Keep Your Friends Close, and Your Enemies Away From the Nice China

January 3, 2017 — by Industry Contributions

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By Nicole Canovas, Creative Content Intern at Mega Cat Studios

I’m about to relay to you the story of one of the most vivid gaming memories I have. It’s a tale of suspense. It’s a take of betrayal. It’s a tale of teens. I can’t remember the year, but the game was Mario Party and the system was Nintendo64. I was maybe 18 at the time, my younger sister and our mutual best friend maybe 16. It’s our friend’s turn, and he lands on the coveted Star Space. Toad jumps up and down, asking if he would like to purchase a star for 20 coins. The rest seems to happen in slow motion.

My sister’s hand snaps out and hits the joystick on our friend’s controller down- right as he’s pressing “A”. I had never been so proud and terrified of my little sister at the same time. Our friend looks at her, slack jawed, as his character declines the star. It was completely silent for about a minute before all hell broke loose.

BusinessExclusive Interviews

How FlowPlay Built a Social Sports Wagering Dynasty

December 31, 2016 — by David Radd

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FlowPlay has launched Dynasty Football, an online fantasy football strategy card game. Designed to appeal to both fans of collectible card games and fantasy football enthusiasts, this unique game blends the real-world player stats of fantasy football with the excitement of head-to-head card battles.

“Collectible card games have become increasingly popular over the last two years, and we saw an opportunity to bring our expertise in casual fantasy sports games to this growing market,” said Derrick Morton, CEO of FlowPlay. “We’re one of the first to introduce sports elements into the digital card games genre, allowing us to expand the appeal of Dynasty Football to the broader audience of 60 percent of the U.S. population that considers themselves sports fans, according to Gallup.”

Tel Aviv 2016Video Coverage

Guy Hasson: The Gamification Edge in Social Slots | Casual Connect Video

December 25, 2016 — by David Radd

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There are markets that no one has thought to tap yet. They’re thinking inside the box. - Guy HassonClick To Tweet

At Casual Connect Tel Aviv, Guy Hasson offered tried and tested strategies on how to improve your monetization through economy. “Suppose you have the greatest content, great games, great graphics, great themes, great math. You can waste it all by having a bad economy,” Guy explained. Learn more specific tips on how to have a good economy and ways to dodge monumental mistakes in the video below.

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