Games Beat 2013 Panel on Mobile Development - Are You Hot or Not?
"Who are the top game app developers working with to drive their game's success?"
Working with mobile apps is a tricky business that consists of many factors. Piecing together these key factors leads to a wonderfully chart-topping game.
How to get discovered and market your game
Featured within the Games Beat 2013 panel was Kristian Segerstrale, Zach Phillips, Jude Gomila, and Maria Alegre. They discussed how app developers gain popularity while also making unique games that speak volumes. There are many ideas that come to mind when making an app game, and they revolve around marketing, advertisements, and the product. With these in mind, app developers have soared to top the charts in their genres.
Investing with app games
Among the panel was an investor named Kristian Segerstrale, who discussed how he finds products to invest in. Within his discussion he said that he looks for unique games that are different from others. Not only does he look for good games, but he also looks for talent when investing.
Reaching to users and into their wallets
Another member of the insightful panel was Maria Alegre, CEO of Chartboost, which is essentially a company that helps promote games in a publisher way. Maria spoke about the difficulty when trying to get people to buy in-app promotions on mobile games. Candy crush, for example, is a game that is not only socially available through Facebook, but also has in-app purchases for people who don't like waiting. Maria stated that the game has to be "hard enough to want to keep playing, but easy enough to keep winning." This is a great example of finding a good medium for app games that reaches many users intellectually.
Zach Phillips, VP of Publisher Development, PlayHaven, divulged in to the mind of cross-promoting and how it can make and even break some games. When you're cross promoting your game, you let other games advertise there's while users are playing your game. This can be a double-edged sword when it comes to promoting, because you could be sending the user to a secondary game, which could mean a loss with in-app purchases on yours.
This mentality also goes together with advertisements within free-to-play games. Advertisements are known to bring in revenue, but can sometimes cause headaches to the many users that play the game. There develops a question about whether or not to include these advertisements, and if so, when. The placement of the advertisements is key when you don't want your users getting to overwhelmed. If you overwhelm the users, you might start losing your popularity and any revenue expected.
Developer and Publisher relationship
With the technology of today, the relationship between the developer and publisher has changed exponentially. There are many social tools that we have at our fingertips, such as Facebook and Twitter, that allow developers to promote their game without the need of a publisher.
In the earlier days of gaming, the publishers were looked upon as a 'gatekeeper' that would distribute the product among the consumers. This would have been found at a game store when you would buy a game. In the mobile world, publishers aren't looked upon as gatekeepers, but more as a core member of the developing team, and not as an outsider.
"Publishers" being part of the developing team
With app games, there are usually small groups that are developing the game, and it's best to have a member of the team that's very oriented upon making money. Many developers get carried away with making a top-notch game, they forget that they also need to have a revenue to support the game in long-term aspects. Finding a member of the team to devote time and energy to finding ways to get money with a game is essential, otherwise the game may never make money.
This doesn't necessarily mean going out and getting a publisher. Many small groups should look into publishers before even getting one. Publishers get a percentage of revenue gained, so this could potentially harm an up-and-coming developer.
The GameBeat 2013 panel was very insightful to anyone who plans on developing the next big Candy Crush game, or hopes to make money by marketing video games. The panelists gave wonderful examples and guidance on how to find investors as well as game developers to aid in production.