10th May 2013 by Thomas
I haven’t had much time to follow-up on the past events – apologies for this. Quo Vadis was great again this year, very interesting discussions there and a LOT of discussions on crowdfunding… That intrigued me, so I looked at the statistics for video game projects and where they are coming from on Kickstarter (the most discussed platform then).
Here are some figures I pulled on the repartition of projects for the year 2012 – they tell quite a telling story: Read the rest of this entry »
26th February 2013 by Thomas
I will be talking at 2 events in the near future, in both occasions, it will be about crowd funding and Kickstarter. While this probably comprises less than 2% of my time, I think it makes feel event organizers that much more comfortable in inviting me talk about the topic.
I am not selling anything to the audience and I have no agenda when I come as a speaker. It makes me scratch the itch, so we are all winning in the end.
So, what’s cooking?
27th November 2012 by Thomas
The year is not just over yet and I will be attending a couple of events before the holiday break. You are very welcome to join and say hi if you are at the events.
Game Connection Europe
The event starts tomorrow, in Paris, and I will be contributing to two panels there:
- I will be moderating a panel on marketing entitled New vs Old – What does Video Game Marketing Look Like Now? where we will discuss what has changed in today’s marketing, and what didn’t change. It’s on Thursday at 3pm. Link
- On Thursday as well, at 5pm, I am one the two panelists invited to talk about… big surprise… Kickstarter! The panel, creatively named Funding Your Game with Kickstarter, is moderated by Kickstarter’s Cindy Au and my co-panelist is Stainless’ Matt Edmund. I suppose he will be talking about Carmaggeddon and I will be sharing my experience from the Strike Suit Zero campaign. Link
On the 11th of December in London, I will be on the Kickstarter panel taking place at 5pm. This should be a very different discussion, more focused on the potential of that platform as well as its risks and shortcomings, as the title implies: Kickstarter : Industry Game Changer or Flash in the Pan? Surprisingly, I think I am the “pro-Kickstarter” component of that panel. Link
25th October 2012 by Thomas
If you find yourself in the neighbourhood, you should definitely give us a shout and come say hi to Diane and myself (Thomas).
See you there!
10th August 2012 by Jen
Unsurprising fact of the week (month? year?): the whole team is headed to Cologne next week for GDC Europe and gamescom. Here’s where we’ll be:
Thomas and Diane arrive on Sunday, and will be at GDC on Mon 13th and Tue 14th. They’ll be taking meetings in our B2B booth, located in Hall 4.1, A012, until Fri 17th.
The PR team will be with clients in the business centre, from Wed 15th to Fri 17th:
Jen will be with Riot Games (Hall 4.1, C051) managing press meetings for League of Legends
Nora will be with Hi-Rez Studios (Hall 4.1, B022) managing Tribes: Ascend demo attendance and SMITE match bookings
Kat will be managing the press schedule for Born Ready Games (co-exhibiting with us in Hall 4.1, A012) supporting Strike Suit Zero
Anne-Julie will be a superhero, flying in to assist where she’s needed.
If you’d like to book a meeting or meet up in the evening, please get in touch. See you on the other side…
30th July 2012 by Thomas
I have to warn you, this might end up being a rather long post. I am on my way home, coming back from Seattle where I was attending the IGDA Summit and Casual Connect Seattle and I have seen and heard a number of things I really feel like I should share around.
23rd May 2012 by Diane
Just a quick post to let everyone know that Thomas and me are attending Nordic Game up North in Malmo this week. Thomas will be speaking on Thursday 24th May at 2pm in a panel about game financing. Hope to see many of you there!
26th March 2012 by Thomas
We all managed to avoid the GDC flu but are still pretty quiet for now, waiting for a time when the workload eases up and we can blog more frequently again. TO hold you over a bit until then, here are the presentations from the lectures Diane and I delivered during the week of the GDC.
In chronological order, here are the slides from my presentation during the Social and Online Game summit of the GDC:
I ran out of time and couldn’t cover the case studies in the end, so even if you attended you should find a few extra details in here.
Diane lectured on Business Models: current trends and perspective for the future. She didn’t run out of time, and some of the slides don’t speak for themselves very well, but you may still find the presentation useful:
29th February 2012 by Thomas
I am very late in relaying the information but, like every year, we will be in San Francisco for GDC next week. Team GDC will be comprised of Diane, Jen and myself, and if you want to meet with us we still have room to fit a few more meetings. Just contact us.
You are also very welcomed come by my lecture during the Social and Online Games Summit where I will talk about the “Keys to the European Market” – this is a 25mn lecture, I will need to go straight to the point and won’t have much time for question afterwards but you are more than welcome to grab me after the session.
Diane also has lecture at the Game Connection America held in parallel where she will discuss “Business models in games – trends and prediction“.
We are all very much looking forward to being there and inhaling a large dose of inspiration about the industry’s future.
18th November 2011 by Diane
Here are the slides from my presentation today at Browser Games Forum:
8th November 2011 by Thomas
Diane and I are in Korea this week, attending the KGC 2011 in Daegu at the moment and in Busan for the Gstar from Thursday.
This morning I gave a lecture entitled “Past, present and future of online games in Europe” and, as usual, I am sharing the slides over here and on slideshare:
26th September 2011 by Thomas
27th of September, Frankfurt – Gameplaces
Diane will be speaking there, specifically on games and investments.
10th to 13th of October, Austin – GDC Online
This is an usual rendez-vous for us as we will be meeting with partners as well as sitting in sessions, checking for the trends of the online space.
7th to 9th of November, Daegu – KGC 2011
I (Thomas) will be speaking at KGC 2011, ahead of the Gstar. I present a general overview of the European market for online games. And (hopefully), it should the opportunity for us to update the aging presentations we have on slideshare on that topic.
10th to 13th of November, Busan – Gstar
We will have a booth in the B2B area of the Gstar. More details on this when we are closer to the date, but you can expect that if you want to meet us, it will be easy.
6th to 8th of december, Paris – Game Connection Europe
Another of our regular haunts, we have just confirmed that we will be there again. The event has moved to Paris (an excellent move in my opinion) and now also has a conference component. If you are not familiar with the event format, just think speed dating between publishers, developers and service providers of the games industry.
15th August 2011 by Jen
Time has zoomed past so quickly in the run-up to gamescom this year that we only just remembered to mention that we’re going. But hey, you already knew we’d be there!
Our booth is in Hall 4.2, Aisle G, No. 041. If you’re around, come on by. It’s quite likely you’ll find Thomas there, and we’re also hosting Doublesix as they demo their upcoming game Strike Suit Zero. As for everyone else, we’ll be spread out a bit from Weds to Fri:
• Diane will be in Hall 4.1, Aisle D, No. 014 with NHN Corporation (ASTA, Trinity 2, Born to Fire, Fishing Hero)
• Julien will be with Hi-Rez in Hall 4.1, Aisle C, No. 019, managing press meetings for Tribes: Ascend and SMITE
• I (Jen) will be managing the press schedule for Riot Games (League of Legends) in Hall 4.1, Aisle G, No. 032
Normal service (whatever that is!) will resume on the 22nd. See you on the other side…
28th July 2011 by Thomas
Last week in Seattle, the IGDA put together its first Summits. The event was organised parallel to (and in partnership with) Casual Connect. I was drafted to help put together the content for the Monetisation summit, and sat in a few sessions that were particularly interesting to me (one perk of having a say on what the topics will be!).
If you missed some of my comments on twitter, or more likely if you just unfollowed me after the spam (you can follow me again, the event is over, I will behave in the coming weeks), I have put together here some of my notes on the Fighting Fraud panel and the Kickstarter panel.
These are my rough notes of what was discussed. If I got anything wrong, please let me know.
Fighting Fraud Panel
Moderator Sanjay SARATHI (Vindicia)
Panelists Robin WALKER (Valve), Arthur CHU (Nexon), Michael LIBERTY (Paypal)
The panel objective was to educate on what you can do to fight fraud, and it was aimed an audience with limited knowledge on the subject. Here are the key take aways for me:
Fraud is painful. Fraud is difficult to fight. Fraudsters will always be very creative in bypassing your system, and you will always have to play catch up. But you really can’t ignore it. Before anything else, the first thing to do is to make sure you can measure fraud and understand that it is happening. The moment you reach about 2% of chargebacks on your transactions (stolen credit cards were used and the money is taken back), Arthur CHU estimated you have about 2 months before it becomes a LOT more painful. However, before you reach that stage, investing heavily in fraud fighting might not be necessary.
One fight at a time. Michael LIBERTY made a very good point on the fact that if you are not a big company and you are starting to charge online, it is best to go through a payment management system like Paypal (Michael’s company, to be fair). Until you reach a certain scale, micro-managing the payment processors and the related fraud is too time consuming.
Game features influence fraud. Robin WALKER pointed out that a game with a trading system was more likely to attract fraudsters. While he has a fair point, this won’t remove all fraud and it does take a serious chunk of the social features (Arthur CHU made this point in the panel very eloquently). What it emphasized was the fact that the game design can help control fraud to a certain level: limited trial accounts, high level items “soulbound”, Gold lock systems (as in Rift). Convincing the developers to develop them is the hardest part.
Measure, measure, measure. Beyond measuring the fraud itself, it is also important to measure the game features that fraudsters use and abuse. To be able to fight fraud requires understanding what they do and how they do it. Leading to:
A tool is only as useful as the person holding it. All panelists agreed that going out and buying fraud fighting tools is useless unless you already know how you want to use them. These tools can be very efficient (for Nexon, it led to a reduction of fraud by a factor of 10), but they need to be used properly in your context. There are two kind of tools specifically that were mentioned: geo-location and device reputation tools.
Understand friendly fraud from criminal fraud. All games have a number of “friendly fraud”, the typical case being kids using their parents’ credit cards without their approval. The panel recommended to, again, check the users’ activity, in order to identify friendly fraud and also to have a clear policy in place to manage it. Valve is calling really big spenders, for instance, to make sure they are aware and intended to make large purchases. Michael LIBERTY recommended kids’ games specifically to have a “generous” policy, as they were more likely to see kid-driven friendly fraud.
Current trends. Arthur CHU was very vocal about the increase of the number of account takeovers, and how fraudsters are getting more and more sophisticated in their attacks. Where they once launched blanket attacks to get as many accounts as possible, they now target accounts that they know are very valuable.
Moderator Cindy AU (Kickstarter)
Kickstarter is the most prominent crowd funding website at the moment, and has been used by a number of game studios. The panel highlighted three case studies from companies that have successfully raised money through the service. Cindy AU provided very interesting information as well. I have linked the project for each panelist above, with their company name. So, some takeaways:
Kickstarter data. The website has successfully raised $70m across 20,000 projects to date. IIRC, the biggest project they had was a movie that raised about $500K. After submission, Kickstarter takes about 24h to greenlight a project. Once greenlit, the company can publish the project on the site when they want.
Best practices. Cindy AU gave 3 core rules to maximize your chances with your project.
Rule #1 – Make a video. The web is very much about videos nowadays, and projects with good videos are the ones that are the most successful. It doesn’t need to be super professional, but it certainly needs to clearly describe the project.
Rule #2 – Rewards are very important. Each project offers unique rewards based on the size of your pledge, and it is up to the project owner to define them. Unique, tangible rewards with a strong cool factor help their projects significantly.
Rule #3 – Leverage your existing community. If your project already has an existing community you can leverage to contribute to it, and also to spread the word, this increases the likelihood that your project will succeed. Cindy mentioned that projects with more than three backers succeed 90% of the time.
The panel made very interesting comments on the importance of designing your rewards thoughtfully. Wiley WIGGINS regretted offering a poster reward, because they didn’t calculate properly the cost and the pain of delivering them to their backers. Kickstarter doesn’t get involved in the design of rewards, and it is really up to the company to do its homework as far as costs are concerned. Reward design is very important.
Another consensus was that the duration of the pledge, the length of time allowed to reach the project’s target, didn’t need to be long. The logic is that your early backers will reach it in the first few days anyway, and then progress will be slow and regular until the very end when lurkers may decide to chip in and help.
It was also interesting to note that the Kickstarter system attracted whales in the same way. Thunderbeam offered to make $1,000 contributors their ‘best friend’, which they essentially added just for fun. They now have many new best friends.
I learned quite a bit from these panels, and will definitely be keeping an eye on Kickstarter – I hope they find a way to accept non-US projects down the line.
1st June 2011 by julien
A few weeks ago, Thomas and I attended the Nordic Game Conference in Malmö, Sweden. Although most of our time was spent meeting with representatives of the very impressive Scandinavian game development industry, we had a chance to see some of the talks, and came back with a few thoughts on current trends in the online games business.
23rd May 2011 by Diane
Last week, I attended the Paris web Game Conference 2011 organized by the French national videogames developer trade body, SNJV, and the digital university IIM. The program was mainly composed of panel discussions with the leaders of French web/social/mobile games developers : Boostr, Kobojo, Bulkypix, Prizee, Weka, Feerik, Owlient…
I won’t have time for a long transcription, but here were the most interesting remarks from the speakers :
Tags: +8*, acquisition, Antvoice, Boostr, browser-based, browsergames, Bulkypix, community management, Cross-media, cross-platform, Facebook, Feerik, France, Hi-Media, html5, Kobojo, M6 Web, Mediastay, Mimesis Republic, Mobile gaming, MXP4, Orange, Owlient, Prizee, Social Games, SpawnApps, Unity, Visiware, Webgame conference, Weka Entertainment
4th May 2011 by Thomas
Next week, Julien and I will be attending the Nordic Game conference in Malmö. We will be there from the Tuesday to the Thursday, listening to the lectures, meeting with existing and future partners, but we should still have a fair amount of time if you want to come and have a chat with us.
I will also be sitting in a panel at 3pm on the Investment and Funding Day (an invite only event) on the Tuesday prior to the conference as well as at the Funding Hotspots panel on Wednesday. That’s at 11:30 in the Stockholm room and I am looking forward sharing my views with David Gardner and Ilkka Paananen on the topic under Fred Hasson‘s direction.
Vi ses nästa vecka!
4th November 2010 by Jen
This month, we’re going our separate ways on the 15th of November. Absence makes the heart… well, totally dependent on internet access really, right?
Julien and I are attending Game Connection from 16-18 November in Lyon, and Julien will be arriving a bit early to present a Master Class session on Monday 15th, covering “Communication & Marketing for Online Games”. If you’d like to meet us at the event, please ping us through Game Connection’s booking system or use our contact form to send a meeting request.
Thomas and Martin are heading to Korea for a couple of weeks to represent ICO at Gstar. They’ll be available for business meetings on the 18th and 19th, so please get in touch if you’d like to see them.
(Diane is off having a splendid adventure, and cannot be found until the week of 22nd November.)
26th October 2010 by Jen
On 27th October –that’s tomorrow! — Julien will be giving a talk on “Smarter Marketing” at TIGA’s half-day event in London, How to Self-Publish and Market Your Game.
Then, on 5th November, Martin will be at the browsergames forum in Offenbach, Germany talking about “Games as a Service”.
If you’ll be in attendance, please stop and say hello! More events news will be on the way soon.
10th August 2010 by Thomas
Last month in Munich I spoke about social games, common myths about them and the relative truth for each of them. While we have been working on social games projects for a while, we aren’t as familiar with this part of the industry as we are with the MMO space, for instance. Researching for this lecture was a lot of fun and a learning experience.
Because of the evolving nature of the social games, we are still at the very beginning of the story, and I expect the presentation to get outdated very quickly.
I had the opportunity to talk to people working at the biggest social games development studios during the process, and a lot of the content here comes from those discussions (which were full of hopes as well as frustrations). Here it is for you to read:
Which myth have I missed? What did you believe about social games that wasn’t true in the end?