The gaming industry is dominated by several well-known giants who get the biggest piece of the pie. The most important question for the rest of the industry is: How large is the remainder? This informative talk by Tal Jacobson, Cheif Revenue Officer at Similar Web, dove deep into the mobile app economy, looking past download rankings to truly understand usage, engagement and retention trends. During his talk at Casual Connect Tel Aviv, Tal expressed, “Getting featured has nothing to do with luck. You really need to build a relationship with the guys that choose the games that get featured. Ask them, ‘What do I need to do to get featured?’. There are companies that are built on this.”
Traditionally, game studios don’t fit the same profile and growth horizon as other technology companies seeking external funding such as venture capital. In a talk given at Casual Connect USA, Shelley Lau, managing partner of IPC Ventures, covered the nuts and bolts of building the next “ventures” in the mobile gaming space that, in turn, will be on par with other tech startups to take advantage of the ecosystem of venture capital and startups and hit the critical mass. “Think from the perspective of your investor. It’s not easy to be in the business. It’s not easy for them and it’s not easy for you. Just try to be collaborative. Try to think of a win win situation for both of you.”
So, you’ve just finished your casual game. Spent 6 months of development, setup social media channels, and gathered contacts. It’s going to be awesome! Your head is buzzing: acquisition, discoverability, monetization, retention rates. Yet, you’re stuck with a limited budget and the challenge to find and attract players. You need this to be a hit! Yup. I’ve been there. What if you could get valuable insight from players after only one day of development? Bart van den Berg, Co-founder and CEO of Blue Giraffe presented a postmortem at Casual Connect USA on how they use focus testing, play testing and bonded with players over prototypes. He advised,”Start playtesting from concept. Players love the connection, give great feedback and evangelize your game!”
App Store Monetization is a must but it is not always approached in the right way. In this talk from Casual Connect Tel Aviv, given by Yonatan Dotan, he covered the many things a company may be doing wrong and how to overcome them. “For those who aren’t believers yet, 63% all of users find applications through search. Despite that, 83% of apps are virtually invisible in search.” One way to address this is to eliminate keywords that no one would actually use to search for your game.” Get a qualified overview of the channel and process, hear best practices, and get answers to questions about optimization of the app store. Tune in to the talk below to get some worthwhile tips from the Vice President of inbound marketing at yellowHEAD.
During a joint session Shemer Katz, General Manager of SafeCharge Israel discussed and gave insight into trends in payment strategies. Shemer was joined by client Leopold Maurel, cofounder and Head of Marketing for GGCorp. When seeking a payment solution, Shemer advises, “One of the things you have to consider is the global coverage, the proper risk management solution in order to minimize fraud . . . There are plenty of considerations from the game itself, what your targets are, what your target markets are and so on.”
With 5 multi-million user titles already, MegaZebra CEO Henning Kosmack shared what they learned about choosing the next titles, setting up teams and creating ever-green franchises. During his presentation at Casual Connect Tel Aviv, Henning advised,”Go for evergreen potential because the long tail of the game can be very profitable.”
During at Casual Connect USA, art director for XMG Studio Lyndsey Gallant shared her role in the studio transforming from an unfocused and financially inefficient company to the innovative and sustainable studio that it is today. In fact, “concentrating on art as the main component of our games completely changed our company strategy”, confirmed Lyndsey. XMG Studio has transformed from a large licensing-focused studio with 50 employees to a much smaller six people team that now makes original IPs and art-driven projects. Join Lyndsey as she describes the best practices and insights on this transition.
In a continuation of his talk from Casual Connect’s conference in Asia earlier this year, Dr. Serkan Toto, Founder and CEO of Kantan Games spoke at Casual Connect USA about the possibilities the world’s largest mobile gaming market offers to foreign developers. He highlighted the size and structure of the Japanese game landscape, key differences to the West, efficient modes of entry for foreign game makers, and successful case studies from the past. “If you are a foreign game developer, the first thing you need to understand is that it’s an extremely mature and sophisticated market already”, he said.
As the CEO and founder of Pollen VC, Martin Macmillan is working to give indie developers a way to get off the ground and into the market. There is “hope and the naive belief that you are going to launch and it is just going to take and the rest is going to be history. It does happen but it happens so infrequently that you wouldn’t want to bet the farm on it”, Martin expressed during his talk at Casual Connect USA. The App Economy has exploded, being predicted to be worth $143 billion by 2016. But there is a serious credit bottleneck for Indie developers, which prevents them accessing credit or the high levels of funding needed to adequately support paid advertising. Without being promoted effectively, many apps and games never make it off the starting blocks. But there is a solution. If developers could access their app store revenues faster, they could reinvest into user acquisition earlier, which would both accelerate and sustain growth earlier. Revenue recycling doesn’t just benefit the developer; everyone in the App Economy benefits from additional revenue streams.
In his talk delivered at Casual Connect Tel Aviv, join Gil Dudkiewicz, CEO of StartApp, as he explained what the future holds for us in terms of mobile advertising. He remarked that at StartApp, “We do believe that you need to take into account all the mobile capabilities in terms of data as well as take into account the look and feel and user experience. We call it Brains and Beauty . . . Combining the look and feel with the data makes a big difference in both conversion and user experience.”