Hello Everyone! Magnus the CEO here again!

Have you tried the MEGATROID Open Beta yet? It will be up until Monday, February 27!

Two weeks ago Casual Connect was held in Hamburg, Germany so Malte, Lead Designer on MEGATROID, and I went there! The reason for going there was for me to meet a few companies in the mobile business and Malte mainly went to learn new things about analytics and monetization. We were staying at the Radison Blu Hotel that is attached to the conference center.

During the conference we met a lot of interesting companies and people, we had meetings with both Flurry and W3i and some other companies. We also met Caitlin Bigham and Kevin Chiao from GREE/Openfeint. We spent quite some time with Kevin as we went to some of the parties together. Kevin was great to get to know and he also introduced us to two lovely women from two other mobile game companies: Karina from Ling Play and Nadia from Tatem Games.

The lectures I went to were mostly about what the industry looks like at the moment when it comes to investing and also how to market your games. So here is what I learned from this:

I went to talks about how the state of the global game investment is like and how investments in game companies work. Thanks to companies such as Zynga and Rovio the gaming industry is very hot at the moment. There is a bit of interest from both angels and VCs who do micro funding, but to be of interest you can’t be a “Me 2” company. A “Me 2” company is basically a company that goes out saying that they “want to be like Rovio and do what they do, only much better”. You have to do something unique to be of interest to a VC. You also have to think big, VERY big. You should aim for your company to be worth at least $100million in 5 to 10 years if you want a VC to invest 3-5 million USD in your company. Some of the best answers to why you need this VC and his money would be:

  • To build the most profitable game company

  • To grow my company faster

  • Want an investor whom can bring money and add value

  • To disrupt the game sector with our new technology or games; change the world!

  • To build the best game publishing platform

  • To be the biggest game company globally

As I said, you need to think BIG and you should have the mindset that you want to change and enchant the world; a good example would be Apple and their products.

He also mentioned that a lot of the bigger VC firms have gotten so big that they can’t invest in smaller startups any longer. They have so much money in their portfolios that they need to invest so the smallest investments they can do is 10 million USD which is too much for a smaller games company. This has on the other hand produced smaller investment firms that work like a VC firm but invest smaller sums. There is however still a gap that needs to be filled.

When you ask for money from a VC they will of course want to know why you need them.  And these are the good uses:

  • Recruit the best talent

  • Accelerate growth with marketing campaigns & customer acquisition

  • Build a diversified game portfolio and more content for future games

  • Take some risks without worrying about the cash flow constantly

The bad uses would be:

  • Pay of mortgage of debt

  • Tired of low salary

The investment and state of the industry part was really good and I learnt a lot from that those talks. I also agree with them especially that you need to aim high if you want to go anywhere. Or you could play the lottery and hope for the best, this however is not an optimal strategy.

Most fun on day two was Julia Lebedeva’s talk about “Sex and the App store: Finding love for your mobile game” Her talk compared how you get your customers to buy your game with dating and sex which I think was quite true. I won’t go into details as that will take too long, but all talks from Casual Connect will be on YouTube later on.

Day three was about games as a service and online games. This day was the big analytics and design day. Lessons from this day is that data driven design and analytics is a must today and is becoming bigger and bigger. I also attended a talk by Zynga with a major feeling that this is going to suck big time, but it was quite the contrary! Cara Ely actually had a very motivating talk. However, after it ended she hastily left the podium and we were told no Q&A, which I felt was a little disappointing.

Sitting at the bar at Casual Connect in Hamburg

Malte, together with Ola Holmdahl and Sara Casén (Junebud), Irene Hjorth (Ubisoft)

Well that was about it. We had a real great time there. Next event is Nordic Game Conference in Malmö, Sweden!

- Magnus