Mention 'mobile gaming' to somebody and chances are they won't start talking about India.
They'll mention big western markets like the USA. Some of them might talk about the huge domestic scenes in Japan and China. People in the know will start and probably end the discussion with Finland - home of Rovio, Supercell, Seriously and many more.
How do you describe Games2Win?
We are a mobile gaming company which is in the business of making fun!
We began as a casual online game company and then made the move to mobile back in 2010. Since then we’ve delivered over 100 million downloads without any advertising spend.
Even from looking at your publishing portfolio, it's very clear that you aren't a company that focuses on the domestic market. How do you decide which markets to target?
We always have an eye on western markets: USA, UK, Canada, Australia. Those are huge, lucrative markets. But we also create localized versions of games for other markets. For instance we have Parking Frenzy India and Friends Forever - Indian Stories, both versions of popular apps in other regions.
What we're looking for is a genre that has traction in a market - other games with downloads and users - that we can bring something new too. We're not trying to copy existing games without bringing anything new to the user. We give it a twist. That can be from giving it a local setting or by adding new gameplay elements.
How do you decide on those twists that bolster user acquisition for mobile games?
We've found that giving users some real-life hook is very effective.
Whenever users see something they can relate to, something that resonates with their day to day life, that creates traction.
That can be the educational angle - for example, Driving Academy, which really teaches people how to pass their driving tests - or from situating games in normal, everyday settings like schools.
There must be a lot of options for potential apps after that.
Of course, we also need to have an idea of earning potential for any new app. Earning potential is very important! First we look at the data to see what's working and investigate trends to see if there is consistent popularity with certain genres. You have to know if the success you're seeing is a one-off or something that has lots of consistently highly ranked apps. Is this a one hit wonder or a sustainable business model?
We know what we are good at so we know how we can add extra value to games. Once we find a popular trend that we can add to, we then check the market data to ensure there is sufficient return on investment - that's where tools like Priori come into it.
When did Games2Win decide to look for a market analysis tool like Priori Data? And how did you choose us?
We had been on a lookout for a tool which can help us understand the potential of markets and genres since the start of 2015. The existing solutions were too costly and Priori's partner program was the perfect way to collaborate together to be able to work closely with Priori.
On a day to day basis, how do you use the platform?
We use the platform majorly for understanding the download potential and revenue potential of top games in premium markets like US & UK along with upcoming markets like India and South East Asia.
There is still a lot that we haven't uncovered in the platform, for example, the ASO functionality that has been added recently is something that we've not even started exploring yet .
I noticed that a lot of your games have a current affairs angle. You have a game that relates to the last US Presidential election as well games around sporting events for the Indian market. Is that another way of creating those real-life hooks you were talking about?
While these aren't our biggest titles, the current affairs angle definitely works. Choosing a working genre and matching it with something in the news - people can relate to that. They're interested in it anyway.
It's important to mention that getting people's attention with a real-life, relatable hook isn't enough. After you get the attention, the game has to be fun and interesting to keep users coming back.
Talking about having a hook for players reminds me of Live Ops - Wilhelm Taht told me he thought of them as a “pulse for the players.” Do you run Live Ops?
Not yet. We don’t have any in-game events at the moment. But it’s a useful thing to think about in terms of keeping the gameplay fresh for users. We track usage data, engagement levels, when people get frustrated and stop playing, all that sort of thing. We don’t want users to get frustrated. The game shouldn’t be too easy or too hard and the only real way to know that is by monitoring user behaviour.
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