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Big Fish, small pond - strategies for surviving in a maturing market - Ed Biden

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Quo Vadis Conference Berlin 2015

Mobile games have never been more competitive. Production values and marketing costs are ever increasing and the top grossing charts look strangely similar to the year before. So how can developers maximize their chances of success in such a tough market? Is it better to clone a hit or innovative wildly? Should they focus on one genre, or dabble in many? Ed draws on extensive market analysis and experience developing games to explain why selective innovation is the key to success.

Published in: Technology

Big Fish, small pond - strategies for surviving in a maturing market - Ed Biden

  1. 1.   Big  fish,  small  pond:  Strategies  for  surviving  in  a  maturing  market Ed Biden Wooga
  2. 2. 5 hits to date Bubble Island Monster World Diamond Dash Pearl’s Peril Jelly Splash
  3. 3. Transitioned from Facebook to mobile
  4. 4. Aim for 2 hits a year
  5. 5. We stop 95% of our games
  6. 6. 1.  Stopping projects 2.  Why is this so difficult? 3.  How can we succeed?
  7. 7. 1.  Stopping projects 2.  Why is this so difficult? 3.  How can we succeed?
  8. 8. Fun prototype
  9. 9. Skilled team
  10. 10. Progress was slow 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 NovJan How far through production are we? 2014
  11. 11. 14 Very different from Prototype
  12. 12. Production wasn’t a straight line... Production starts Prototyping starts Core gameplay rebooted Nov ‘13May ‘13 May ‘14 Nov ‘14 Meta game redesigned Move to synchronous PvP iPhone first
  13. 13. Multiple risks Session length Brand compatibility Critical mass CPI < LTV Novel gameplay Synchronous PvP Market size Community Building Session intensity
  14. 14. Eventually stopped project
  15. 15. Extensive post mortem
  16. 16. 1.  Stopping projects 2.  Why is this so difficult? 3.  How can we succeed?
  17. 17. •  Project specific issues •  Market context 2.  Why is this so difficult?
  18. 18. We started with a great idea
  19. 19. Did not build on Wooga strengths
  20. 20. Let vision evolve Tablet first Linear upgrades Building based Asynchronous Phone first CCG meta Unit based Synchronous
  21. 21. Biggest risks not tested until launch Session length Brand compatibility Critical mass CPI < LTV Novel gameplay Synchronous PvP Market size Community Building Session intensity Soft Launch Launch Launch Launch Prototyping Soft Launch Prototyping Soft launch Soft Launch
  22. 22. •  Project specific issues •  Market context 2.  Why is this so difficult?
  23. 23. Number of apps has increased hugely
  24. 24. The top grossing charts are static
  25. 25. Production values are rising
  26. 26. Advertising budgets are increasing
  27. 27. More games build on existing IPs
  28. 28. Biggest companies extending their leads
  29. 29. SUPERCELL KING Game FAIL Companies invest in their assets Audience Game design expertise Marketing expertise
  30. 30. Genres get locked down
  31. 31. Looks like console market…
  32. 32. Where games can dominate for a decade
  33. 33. 1.  How do we fail? 2.  Why is this so difficult? 3.  How can we succeed?
  34. 34. Back in 2011…
  35. 35. Female audience on Facebook
  36. 36. Hidden Object a natural extension
  37. 37. Build on genre in meaningful ways
  38. 38. Developed new expertise
  39. 39. 32 million players Launch: March 2013 Still growing revenue Impressive Results
  40. 40. Main take aways
  41. 41. Smart constraints
  42. 42. Identify your strengths •  Fanbase / audience? •  Previous game? •  Technical expertise? •  Low cost base? •  Niche interests?
  43. 43. Find your pond •  Browser based •  2D graphics •  Permadeath
  44. 44. Manage the risks What: Critical Mass Proof point: Waiting times are acceptable in Divinity Hours Theoretical numbers needed low Timing: Soft Launch References: World of Tanks, Hearthstone, Super Battle Tactics Size: Large
  45. 45. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Stick to the plan NovJan
  46. 46. It’s still going to be tough
  47. 47. Smart constraints
  48. 48. •  Know your strengths •  Find your pond •  Manage the risks •  Stick to the plan
  49. 49. Thank  You!   ed.biden@wooga.com mobilefreetoplay.com

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