Mobile game developers were out in droves last week during Casual Connect Asia, and there was a palatable buzz in Singapore surrounding mobile monetization.
As part of the conference, Lichi Wu, the head of Millennial Media’s Global Monetization Solutions team in Southeast Asia, had the opportunity to lead a fireside chat with Gonzague de Vallois, Senior Vice President of Publishing, Gameloft.
De Vallois is a 12-year veteran at Gameloft and is someone who has had a firsthand look at the seismic shifts that have occurred in the gaming industry over the last decade. During the chat, Lichi and Gonzague covered a range of topics, and of note, there were a couple of key themes that seemed to resonate with the audience:
- There is an exciting opportunity in Southeast Asia. Southeast Asia represents less than 20% of Gameloft’s business today, yet the company has recognized the tremendous opportunity in the region and is officially opening a local office. In particular, de Vallois said that the diversity of the Southeast Asia market has made establishing a physical presence a crucial step to success.
- Developers should test and learn. Gameloft is continuously testing and learning, and they hear from their fans when they don’t execute well. They believe that game developers have a responsibility when offering free-to-play apps, and the experience must be top notch from the beginning. This includes monetization—ensure you are building a good advertising experience for your users from the beginning.
- Understand consumer behavior. Watching TV is a passive experience, while playing a game is active. As such, advertising has to be handled with care so it does not deteriorate from the experience. Additionally, although Gameloft is not building specifically for tablets today, de Vallois specifically called out the category as an emerging family gaming device, and said developers should take notice.
- Strategically think about user acquisition. When creating a free-to-play game, generating scale and driving user acquisition can be a big challenge. Developers need to find the right model for their particular business and game. Through mobile advertising, social media, cross promotion in other apps, etc, developers have multiple options and they need to find the model that works for their specific game.
In conclusion, if there was one big takeaway from the conference, it was the remarkable opportunity that exists in the App Ecosystem. Reflecting the global nature of the mobile business, Gonzague’s observations and tips weren’t just relevant for Southeast Asia developers, but for developers around the world.