USA 2014Video Coverage

Teut Weidemann : “I Teut You So”| Casual Connect Video

August 14, 2014 — by Catherine Quinton


While at Casual Connect USA 2014, Teut Weidemann analyzed the monetization of League of Legends. “Riot’s conversion rate is less than 5 percent,” he said. “That’s not good. If you’re looking to copy League of Legends‘ monetization, don’t. It won’t work for you.”

Teut Weidemann is the senior online supervisor at Blue Byte Ubisoft, ensuring games in development have good online game mechanics and monetization practices. While the complexity of online game mechanics is something many teams underestimate, ensuring success requires constant iteration of both the monetization and game mechanics systems. Weidemann is passionate about educating the industry about online games, their systems, how F2P works and what they need to make good online games.

Teut Weidemann, Senior Online Supervisor, Blue Byte Ubisoft

Getting In

I was the least nerdy

Weidemann became involved in gaming while growing up on Airbase Ramstein in Germany. The officers club had all the arcade games from the US, something that was a rarity in Germany at the time, and he quickly became hooked on Defender, Lunar Lander, Space Invaders, and Battlezone.

It all began when “Our group of coders was bored and started programming our own games, selling them to small publishers for 2500 DM (DM 1.95583 = €1 when the Deutsche Mark was converted to Euro). As I was the least nerdy, I was the one who would talk to the publishers.” Weidemann’s interest in the games industry became a career by a stroke of good luck when a friend asked him to sell his game for 5000 DM and offered Weidemann 20 percent for his contribution to the graphic and level design. The publisher was so impressed, Weidemann fetched 25,000 DM and quickly began supplying the publisher with more games, one of which was a hit: Katakis on Amiga. This success enabled Weidemann to parley university and jump headfirst into the games industry.

Katakis enabled Weidemann to parley university and jump headfirst into the games industry.

The Future is Online

Personally, I think Al Bots, QTEs, etc. are boring

Weidemann was drawn to online games because he loves interacting with other gamers. Ultima Online represented a turning point for Weidemann where the future of online was clear: Sooner or later, all games will go to online. Ultima Online, World of Warcraft, and Eve Online form the basis for all other online games. “Personally, I think Al Bots, QTEs, etc. are boring; humans write the most interesting stories. Everyone needs to play Eve Online to fully understand the potential of fully immersive online games.”

Weidemann’s Eve Online Character. He is able to fly the largest ship in Eve.

The best part of making games is sharing the enjoyment with others, when someone he knows picks up one of his games, and likes it, he insists, “You can’t beat that!”

Mistakes are to be Cherished

The Ubisoft philosophy is that mistakes are opportunities we should share proudly and learn from. One mistake to proudly share is Weidemann insisting that a team do what he felt was right, rather than letting them learn from their own experiences. He admits he had a hard time and the situation made him angry, making him so unpleasant, there is a meme to this day uttered frequently in the Blue Byte office, “I Teut you so”. While the story will live on, Weidemann is a new man; after sharing his opinion, each team is free to follow their own path, analyzing how their decisions performed and the result afterward.


Europe 2014Video Coverage

Teut Weidemann: Understanding Why Equals Win | Casual Connect Video

February 25, 2014 — by Catherine Quinton


Teut Weidemann believe he has proof that the future of the game industry will show an even larger trend toward tablets and mobile. “Tablet will eat into notebook, PC and console market share while Smartphones eat into handheld market share. The game industry needs to adapt fast.”


Teut Weidemann

25 years ago Teut Weidemann decided to turn his gaming hobby into a career. He insists he’s still having fun with his work, saying, “That’s not too bad, is it?” When thinking back , the time in Weidemann’s career that brought him the most satisfaction was in 2000 when a publisher wanted to buy not just his product development, but the entire company. At the time, they had proven they could develop high-end PC games, and they pitched only online games, the right track to be fit for the future. This was before Facebook or free-to-play. The company’s gleaming potential led to the buyout offer.

Currently, he is consulting for Ubisoft‘s online games. He enjoys the philosophy of Ubisoft, where mistakes are seen as an opportunity to learn rather than a reason to be fired, something he found a pleasant surprise. “When mistakes and the learning process are a natural part of the company, you can be much bolder, more daring, and gutsy with what you do,” Weidemann said. “And, as direct as I am, I do this day by day.”

Free-to-Play: A Double-Edged Sword

Weidemann consults on all free-to-play Ubisoft games. He has extensive input during the creation process in the areas of online mechanics and monetization. His focus on online games since 1997 and his previous experiences with Bigpoint and Nadirim (Kabam) have assisted his present role. A deep understanding of why online games work so well, as well as playing them daily himself, is key to succeeding in his work.

Teut Presenting
A deep understanding of why online games work so well, as well as playing them daily himself, is key to succeeding in his work.

Free-to-play is something Weidemann has strong opinions about. He loves that it allows players to enjoy a game and deeply test it before committing to it. On the other hand, he hates companies who use the F2P business model, but put monetization over game play. He insists, “Those companies will fail in the long run and vanish, luckily!”

Gaming is Required

Weidemann tell us that in his career, it is essential to own all game platforms and to learn from their games and systems, emphasizing that he cannot afford to miss one. He owns both the PS4 and Xbox One, and so far prefers the PS4 because he likes their simple interface, digital store, and the Japanese games such as Japanese Role Playing Games (JRPGs) that Sony always publishes. His favorite platforms to play on are PC and iPad: the PC because it offers the largest variety of online games, and iPad because he can play in locations other than his desk. These days he is playing World of Tanks and Ni No Kuni, saying it is a wonderful JRPG with tactical combat and art by the Ghibli Studio.

Europe 2014Video Coverage

Scott Foe’s Evil Hilarity | Casual Connect Video

February 13, 2014 — by Catherine Quinton


As Scott Foe reminds us, the Evil Game Design Challenge was the most watched session at Casual Connect USA. He hopes to top those numbers in Amsterdam, claiming, “With industry hitters like Ben Cousins, Teut Weidemann, and Laralyn McWilliams, we should be in for a hilariously evil time.”

Scott Foe

Scott Foe is one of the few people in the games industry who admits to having any free time. He co-founded Big Head Mode with Tipatat Chennavasin and Richard Au and became its Chief Creative Officer. Recently, they sold the studio to PlayFirst, leaving him with ample time to play golf and watch When not fully immersed in these activities, he enjoys watching basketball and shooting hoops, making use of his amazing 2 ½-inch vertical.

A Pack-a-Day Habit

Foe became a part of the games industry directly out of college when Sega recruited him to be a part of the team that created and launched Sega DreamCast. He has remained in the industry simply because he feels he is making a positive contribution. He says, “Bringing joy to people is a big part of my drive,” so if he were not involved with games, he would choose to be a part of the entertainment industry in some other way.

Called "The most important simulation of human drama ever made"  by Giant Bomb), "Douche Defender" was Scott's project while executive producer
Called “The most important simulation of human drama ever made” by Giant Bomb, “Douche Defender” was Scott’s project while Chief Creative Officer

As for the games he personally enjoys, Foe admits, “I do suffer from a pack-a-day League of Legends habit, and Chantix can’t even put a dent in that.” However, he claims to have no particular platform preference. And, although he has nothing against Android, he feels, “iOS can’t be topped for unflappable joy of user experience.”

Laughing at the Future

Foe is someone who is constantly looking forward, claiming that his proudest moment always comes from whatever game he is working on next. But he doesn’t envision any particular trend as the next important phenomenon in the industry, saying, “Anyone who tells you they can see the future should see you laughing at them ten seconds later.” Wearables are what he sees others in his area emphasizing for the future, but he has not yet felt inspired to do anything with wearable computing. But he admits, “Who knows what tomorrow will bring?”