Exclusive Interviews

From 58 to 81 on Metacritic: David Brevik Discusses the Marvel Heroes 2015 Rebrand

July 28, 2015 — by Steve Kent

Reviewers have yet to adapt to the games as a service model, says Gazillion CEO David BrevikTweet Me

This is part one of a two-part interview with David Brevik. David is CEO of Gazillion Entertainment, the company behind the massive online ARPG Marvel Heroes. If you’ve noticed a similarity between the gameplay in Marvel Heroes and Diablo, that’s because David co-founded Condor (later Blizzard North) and helped design Diablo and Diablo II.

Last year, Gazillion rebranded the game as Marvel Heroes 2015. Recently, we asked David about the strategy, about the company’s open approach to PR and about how the company continues to rapidly crank out new content for the game.

DevelopmentExclusive Interviews

No-Coding-Required Glue Engine Will Revolutionize Game Dev, Makers Say

July 16, 2015 — by Steve Kent


Developers of a game engine currently in beta say their product will allow people to make games without coding, but that it will still appeal to more knowledgeable developers who just want to speed things up. Glue Engine, headquartered in Bucharest, was founded with the goal to let users “create games very quick with no programming skills.” GameSauce interviewed Glue Engine CEO Catalin Biga and CTO Alexandru Matei to lock down a few more specifics regarding the product and the company’s vision for the future of development.

Exclusive Interviews

Watch Your Step: Alan Crane Explains Escape From The Pyramid

July 6, 2015 — by Steve Kent


Tama GamesTama Games’ recently released iOS game Escape from the Pyramid brings some of the world’s oldest designs to modern gameplay, challenging players to avoid the afterlife in an ancient tomb. Graphically, the game goes for a simplified, silhouette style that draws inspiration from ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. The gameplay mashes up platformer and runner styles to lend a little excitement to a casual puzzle game. Breaking with the free-to-play trend, the studio decided to skip in-game purchases, offering the entire experience for $1.99 in the U.S. App Store. Read on for an interview with Tama Games Director Alan Crane on the game’s retro roots, its struggles as an indie title, and Tama’s solution to an argument as old as touchscreen games: If we have buttons, where should they go?

Exclusive Interviews

Erin Robinson: From Neuroscience To Games

April 3, 2015 — by Nicholas Yanes


The explosion of indie gaming in the past decade has not only allowed for smaller companies to enter the gaming market, it has allowed for people from various background and unique games to have a place. One such person and game is Erin Robinson and her game, Gravity Ghost. To learn more about Gravity Ghost, Gamesauce has talked to Erin Robinson about her background and developing games.

From Researcher to Game Developer – Leaving the Academy for Games

Exclusive InterviewsIndustry

Vladimir Funtikov: Pushing Through the Hard Times

November 6, 2014 — by Catherine Quinton

Vladimir Funtikov, Co-Founder, Creative Mobile
Vladimir Funtikov, Co-Founder, Creative Mobile

Driven by a desire to create games that come alive and resonate with players, Vladimir Funtikov co-founded Tallinn-based Creative Mobile, and after only four years, it became one of the largest mobile gaming companies in Northern Europe. His passion for games began with his first PC, and almost immediately, he started creating games, beginning with basic Warcraft and SimCity scenarios, then moving to single-player levels for Duke Nukem 3D, and eventually making multi-player maps for Counter-Strike.

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Mark Robinson: “Look Deeper” at Your Data

October 22, 2014 — by Casey Rock

Mark Robinson
Mark Robinson, CEO, deltaDNA

Mark Robinson likens the experience of data-mining to exploring a new city, noting “I have always liked being lost … and then uncovering something surprising and thought-provoking.”

Robinson has been tackling data analytics and helping bring companies closer to their customers for over 15 years. But one sector has been lagging in connecting with their user base. “The (gaming) industry lives with retention rates that are too low,” Robinson says. “And it’s our fault, not the players. By getting closer to the players, we can understand their frustrations and deliver fun more consistently.”

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Reko Ukko – Taking Games Seriously

October 7, 2014 — by Catherine Quinton

Reko Ukko, Co-founder/ VP Game Design, Seriously

Reko Ukko, co-founder and vice-president of game design at Seriously, admits that the company’s name is a great conversation starter. It denotes that they are serious about the work they do: games for mobile and for whatever will come next, such as wearables. They are also serious about free-to-play, a business model they are certain is here to stay.

BusinessContributionsExclusive InterviewsIndustryOnline

Gamblit Brings Gaming and Gambling Together

September 18, 2014 — by Industry Contributions


Gamblit Gaming’s CMO David Chang spoke about how Gamblit connects gaming and gambling, as well as the trends in both the gaming and gambling industries that he’s witnessed over the last few years, with TechnologyAdvice host Clark Buckner. provides coverage content on teaching and training games, strategic employee engagement software, and customer loyalty programs and much more. Also be sure to check out their gamification tech conference calendar.

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DeltaDNA CEO Mark Robinson on Current F2P Challenges

August 27, 2014 — by Industry Contributions


DeltaDNA was an early adopter, so to speak, of the Casual Connect conference, knowing that it would become a great environment to build relationships, grow their network, and both give and receive value from the innumerable conversations that occur before, during, and after the conference. In 2014, they were a proud Gold Sponsor of Casual Connect USA 2014. While there, DeltaDNA CEO Mark Robinson spoke about the concept of Player Relationship Management, how the industry has evolved in the free-to-play (F2P) space, and techniques DeltaDNA uses to increase engagement and create better gaming experiences with Clark Buckner from (they provide coverage content on enterprise employee engagement, customer loyalty and rewards, and gamification trends and much more).

Responsive Games in the Free-to-Play Market

Developers can interact with players within the game, collect rich data based on player experience, and use that data to craft a version of the game that’s more responsive to the player.

Launched in 2010, DeltaDNA uses a Player Relationship Management platform to maximize player engagement in free-to-play games. Using this platform, developers can interact with players within the game, collect rich data based on player experience, and use that data to craft a version of the game that’s more responsive to the player.

Through his work, Robinson identified three areas in which the F2P gaming industry has trouble:

A lack of rich data on player behavior: By balancing game dynamics to satisfy average players, developers end up satisfying no one.
A lack of retention: Less than 40 percent of F2P gamers typically come back to a game after an initial session.
– A lack of great, creative ideas: Game developers and publishers are always on the lookout for well-executed games.

So how does DeltaDNA address these challenges in the F2P space? First, they work to understand player behavior. Developers can interact with a specific player in their game so they are able to customize game mechanics according to a player’s style or competence, using a platform such as DeltaDNA‘s. Then, they make games more responsive. Better gaming experiences stem from responsive, user-driven, tailor-made game situations. And lastly, they use analytics in an effective manner. When designers or publishers work closely with an analytics team, they’re able to obtain rich data, such as direct feedback on retention rates or why some players leave a game sooner than others. They can then devise solutions to increase retention levels as well as to create player segments for better engagement and possible monetization strategies.

When designers or publishers work closely with an analytics team, they’re able to obtain rich data, such as direct feedback on retention rates or why some players leave a game sooner than others.

By leveraging real-time data and understanding player behaviors, DeltaDNA can design and create games that are more customized and responsive, thereby establishing long-term value, increased engagement, and a better end-user experience. Robinson added that they work to ensure that players have a great experience regardless of their competency or playing style. They don’t want the free-to-play model to be seen as an inferior gaming experience simply because it’s free.

Robinson also noted the necessity for a messaging strategy. Developers and publishers need to be consistent and intelligent in terms of their messaging without inundating users with too many messages. This can be done by fully understanding the different player characteristics in one’s game, as well as by considering how to manage player experiences in a way that their players will want to respond to messaging.

Developers and publishers need to be consistent and intelligent in terms of their messaging without inundating users with too many messages.

The Future of the Casual Gaming Industry

According to Robinson, the most exciting and successful companies in the gaming industry are starting to adopt new skill sets in order to get closer to their respective playing communities. Developers and publishers now have multi-scaled teams with new skills and a reliance on analytics. Additionally, marketing is now a more important part of the process alongside development, design, and creative.

For Robinson and DeltaDNA, the next step in the industry is realizing that a game developer/customer relationship won’t be limited to a one-game environment. Rather, they see multi-game relationships forming between publishers and gamers, thus creating more engagement for a publisher and more value for consumers.

For more information on DeltaDNA’s features, solutions, and resources, visit To listen to the full interview, click the play button below:

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Millennial Media’s Lewis Rothkopf on Better Games through Big Data

August 26, 2014 — by Industry Contributions


Lewis Rothkopf, the senior vice president of global monetization solutions at Millennial Media, moderated a panel discussion on Leveraging Data to Build Better Games and Enhance Monetization at Casual Connect USA 2014. While there, he spoke about that panel, Millennial’s ongoing projects, and the current and possible future trends at the intersection of big data and gaming with Clark Buckner from (they provide coverage content on enterprise employee engagement, customer loyalty and rewards, and gamification trends and much more).

Millennial Media is an independent audience platform in the digital advertising space that connects brands and consumers by leveraging data through a mobile-first approach and cross-screen targeting solutions. Rothkopf oversees the company’s publisher and developer relationships. Consequently, he has a unique understanding of the opportunities and difficulties facing today’s gaming industry.

Rothkopf moderating the panel on leveraging data at Casual Connect USA 2014.

Better Games through Data-driven Decisions

Part of his panel discussion at Casual Connect concerned itself with one of the gaming industry’s major challenges: developers and marketers need to tap into ways of leveraging data so they can make smarter, more efficient, data-driven decisions in order to reach the right consumers in the right place at the right time on the right device with the right mindset and within the right context.

Additionally, Rothkopf pointed out three other critical areas that need to be addressed:

Actionable Intelligence: Developers need to gather deeper and less obvious insights based upon in-app behaviors. Such insights are observed alongside third-party data based on offline behaviors so that developers can make faster, smarter decisions in regards to monetization and user acquisition.
– Hyperlocal Targeting: Developers are tying everything back to local, both to monetize and acquire users. Such hyperlocal targeting that reaches consumers in the right place, mindset, and time can be a challenge.
– Individual SKU-ing: Developers are realizing that creating hits is very much a numbers game. Consequently, they’re releasing a much greater volume of individual SKUs and iterating on them once they’ve taken a foothold instead of hoping to release one monolithic, tent-pole title. Many casual titles are also being released in the hopes that one or more of them will hit it big (see Flappy Bird).

The Millennial Media booth at Casual Connect USA 2014

Acquiring Users and Monetizing

Rothkopf found that the Casual Connect audience wanted to know more about data conversion in terms of giving developers an edge in user acquisition and monetization—two areas that Rothkopf and his team at Millennial Media understand. He cited two specific areas that Millennial Media currently focuses on in order to help devs acquire users and work toward monetization: location and cross-device and cross-screen.

When focusing on location, Millennial Media marries location and context. In partnership with Esri, they’re re-launching Point: Audience Location Advertising, where their clients can target traditional location dimensions (country, date, etc.), time dimensions, and hyperlocal dimensions like household income, environment, propensity for shopping, etc. To deal with cross-device and cross-screen, Millennial Media also offers PATH, a mobile-first, cross-screen advertising suite that helps advertisers reach consumers anonymously. PATH provides access to tens of millions of cross-screen profiles in a seamless manner.

During the panel at Casual Connect USA 2014, they discussed using big data to build better, smarter and more monetizable products.

Successful Gaming Marketing

Finally, Rothkopf stressed that success comes from having a fair exchange of value, achieving relevant advertising, seeking the right targeting, and leveraging both first- and third-party data to make smarter decisions to drive monetization and deliver a better gaming experience.

To hear more from Lewis Rothkopf on big data, gaming, and his insights from Casual Connect USA 2014, listen to the podcast interview below. For more information on Millennial Media, visit, or if you’re a developer seeking to acquire users or working toward monetization, visit