Posted on July 10, 2017 by staff

Flexibility key to indie mobile game success


The key to success for indie developers is to stay small and nimble, according to a mobile game publisher.

Greg Robinson is the director and founder of Connect2Media and an advisor to Boomdash Digital, which is based in the Sharp Project.

“As the larger publishers have downsized, the term ‘indie’ has become a lot looser than it used to be, increasing the amount of people in that category,” he told BusinessCloud.

“There are a lot of teams that survive now in the space that used to be filled by internal studios as companies keep their fixed headcount lean.

“In the mobile gaming space, you’re either a big publisher or you have to stay small and nimble. You don’t want to get caught in the middle ground of an expensive operation and low revenues.

“From the indies I speak to and work with, it’s still a very hard market to make a return from and also develop your business further.

“They often take paid work to fund their own development. Successes are driven by teams working hard on the games they want to make – and that points to the craft, art and tenacity of the indie life.

“Development platforms like Unity3D also have a big role to play in democratising development.”

The event, sponsored by Playdemic and supported by Gameopolis and The Foundry film studios, will hear from Paul Gouge, CEO of Playdemic, a mobile developer behind several leading titles including Village Life! and Golf Clash. Playdemic was bought by TT Games, part of Warner Bros., earlier this year.

Paul Rustchynsky, game director for a new racing IP at legendary studio Codemasters, will also speak.

The other confirmed speakers so far are Si Donbavand, development director at Fabrik Games; Cari Kirby, marketing manager, Team Cooper; Clayton Carpenter, programming supervisor, PlaygroundSquad; and Annie O’Toole, head of operations, SwapBots; and Simon Smith, development director at Desk Dragons Interactive.

Robinson has 16 years’ experience working in the mobile games industry in the North West and has delivered award-winning content for leading titles like Call of Duty, Monopoly, Sonic, Pro Evolution Soccer and Guitar Hero.

“Your game needs to have something that is unique or innovative that you can market to consumers and the App Store owners,” he said, offering advice to developers.

“Your games marketing has to fit into the size of its opportunity: simple Ketchapp style games are developed and marketed quickly looking for a viral hook, while bigger, more structured games are developed in market longer through beta releases and bigger budgets.

“You have to get the App Stores on your side with some form of featuring of the game. You can do this through exclusivities, tech feature support or just plain lobbying of the teams.”