Bryan Mashinter is Game Director for DragonVale at Backflip Studios, with a major focus on the creative direction. At the time Bryan joined the company, they consisted of 14 people and were just beginning to focus on more than one project at a time, so it was essential to have someone who could keep things from falling through the cracks. Bryan filled this role at the production level, organizing projects, setting schedules and, in general, assisting the company in moving towards executing their creative vision goals. One of which, as for any company, is to keep users and encourage them to pay. The Backflip Studios team has discovered: lapsed users want to know elements of the game have changed but still feel familiar. “Don’t be afraid to make your players work harder in events but make it worth their efforts and watch out for fatigue”, Bryan advices. They explained in detail how to make the most out of events in their Casual Connect Europe 2017 lecture.
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.
By Simon Sundén, head of Esports at Gumbler
With over 31 million downloads, Mad Skills Motocross 2 has continued to be a success for developer Turborilla since its launch in 2014. This is primarily due to a loyal player base, many of which are involved in real-life Motocross, as well as partnerships with the likes of RedBull for exclusive events. Looking to drive more community engagement, Turborilla decided to up the ante in October 2015 by introducing real-money challenges via Swedish skills-based esports platform, Gumbler.
Based purely on a player’s skill, Gumbler brings esports to mobile games by enabling players to win real cash through placing money on their abilities. After integrating Gumbler, Mad Skills Motocross 2 saw players win upward of $900,000 in 2016 – with some individual players earning as much as $6,000 per month.
Having seen the high levels of engagement from the Mad Skills Motocross 2 community, Gumbler worked with Turborilla to host its first World Championship at the beginning of 2017 with a prize pot of $20,000.
For Gumbler, the goal was simple as its Head of Esports, Simon Sunden explains:
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.
Max Clark is Chief Revenue Officer at mParticle, overseeing the company’s sales and growth efforts. Along with the rest of their team, Max works to support leading multi-screen brands in connecting their customer data with the leading marketing, analytics and warehousing tools. Until now, both marketers and engineers have struggled to connect all their data and use it in real, meaningful ways. Max recognized that mobile and the new multi-screen experiences have changed the way businesses approach their data and wanted to be a part of a larger solution for them. mParticle is a company that solves this problem in a way no other company can. This is why, Max asserts, that it is so easy to do his job as CRO, talking to the world’s largest brands about where and how mParticle fits into their business.
By Hiro Taylor, Founder of HeroPay
Take it from me, starting a business can be hard. There are hundreds of things to think about and while you’re thinking about those hundreds of things, another thousand or so will come to mind. Being an entrepreneur is really a 24/7 job and it can be a total roller coaster ride. You’ve secured funding: yay! You’ve missed your target client acquisition number: **tears**.
At HeroPay, we’ve created a platform that gives business owners the ability to compare different credit card processors. We’ve experienced many of the ups and downs, the flips and dips of starting a business, so now is the time for a road map of the awesome tools available to all types of entrepreneurs!
Andrew Sheppard has had a productive career – playing key roles at companies like Kabam, hi5, Electronic Arts and Outspark. Now, as the newly appointed CEO of GREE International Entertainment, Inc., he will share his expertise and insights with the audience at Casual Connect Europe in Berlin, Germany, as its keynote speaker on February 7.
So what type of experience does Andrew bring to the conference and what can developers and other games industry professionals hope to learn? Here is a quick look back at Andrew’s career and what to look forward to at Casual Connect Europe.
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.
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.”
At Casual Connect Tel Aviv, Product Madness UA Director Patrick Witham provided insights on how the Top-15 social casino company tackles user acquisition. “At Product Madness, we think of user acquisition as an investment.” Patrick broke down where the lifetime value (LTV) of a customer goes in this investment, noting that up to 30 percent may go toward platform fees, 15 percent may go toward operating expenses, the actual investment in UA and CPI could make up to 25 percent of a user’s LTV, and the remaining amount – up to 30 percent – is actual profit. Patrick noted that the return on investment does not come until farther down the road – sometimes anywhere from 3 months to 12 months or more. For more UA insights and tips, check out the video below.