The founders of MyTona Alexey and Afanasy Ushnitsky told App2Top.ru how the year went for their company (for example, they managed to open an office in New Zealand and increase the studio to 500 people).
The Ushnitsky BrothersHow was 2018 for you personally?
It was a fruitful and eventful year, which we fully devoted to the release of our new projects — Cooking Diary and Ravenhill, as well as the support of our flagship Seekers Notes. It’s very cool that finally we have not one, not two, but three games on the market. We also devoted a lot of time to the development and growth of the team.
How was the year for your company?
As for the projects, the following achievements can be distinguished:
1) Global release of our Cooking Diary cooking Time Manager. A month after its launch, the game hit the box office Top 100 on iPad in the USA. We have implemented a lot of interesting things in it, such as Tasty Pass in events. This is something like a “combat pass” from hardcore games, which is sharpened for casual games. Overall, we are very pleased that the players like our time manager. We continue to refine it, creating new features and improving the balance of the game.
2) The global release of our hidden with match-3 — Ravenhill elements, developed and released in record time.
We started developing the game in January of this year, and the release took place in November. The project continues to develop the ideas and mechanics embedded in Seekers Notes, but in general, this is a completely different game. We will start an active marketing campaign soon, but at the moment we are working hard to improve Ravenhill. For example, during the softlonch, we decided to abandon the classic hidden energy and added life instead.
3) Our flagship Seekers Notes continues to hold the lead among hiddens.
This year, the game won the 3rd place in the box office top on iPad in the USA.
4) We have announced our first ambitious midcore project – Manastorm, which we have high hopes for.
5) This year we started developing new projects, but we will talk about them later. For MyTona, all this is just the beginning.
All of the above would be impossible without a strong and professional team.
Firstly, we continued the pace we took last year and made another leap in growth, increasing the team from 320 to 500 people.
Secondly, due to such a large growth, we simply needed to develop new territories. In February, we opened a second spacious office in Yakutsk. In the spring, we launched an office in St. Petersburg. And at the end of the year we opened an office in New Zealand. Now we have offices in Vladivostok, Singapore, Shenzhen and New Zealand almost in the same time zone as Yakutsk.
Thirdly, we devote a lot of time to professional growth and internal communication of our team. This is especially important when there are 500 people in the company, while working in different time zones. Within the company, master classes on development are actively conducted, educational programs are conducted, each newcomer has a mentor. And now we see that our team has developed very much professionally.
And this is in addition to the annual MyTonaCon internal conference, to which Maytonians from all cities come to Yakutsk to exchange experiences for several days against the backdrop of the stunning Yakut nature. Lectures and workshops are held in parallel in four halls for several days. This year, the scale of the event was comparable to large profile conferences. During the event, the team and I set new goals for ourselves, one of which is the powerful professional development of employees.
What event of 2018 do you consider the most important for the industry?
It is worth noting that the segment of hyper-casual games has become quite a big business. Due to its simplicity and elegance, hyper-casual games attract a large audience with little or even zero gaming experience. For example, this fall we were hunting and noticed how a local hunter enthusiastically played a game from Voodoo on his phone — and this is in a remote taiga, far from civilization!
In this regard, it is worth highlighting Playgendary. The guys really did well — they got into the Top 3 global companies by the number of monthly game downloads and made a huge leap in growth.
We will also highlight the situation in the Chinese market, where licenses have been discontinued since March 2018 and the market has “stalled”. Many companies, both Chinese and Western, had big plans for the Chinese market, but, unfortunately, in 2018 it did not meet expectations, and as a result, only 3,000 licenses were issued. We think this will affect the market as a whole. At the same time, it is felt that Chinese publishers are gradually beginning to pay more attention to Western markets.
What trends of the outgoing year would you note?
This year, such an AAA project as Fortnite broke into the mobile market, actively competing with the former top leaders. This suggests that competition is growing and the market is moving forward, which cannot but please us.
We were also interested in the vastness of solutions and opportunities that machine learning technologies can offer to the gaming industry.
And of course, as we said above, hyper-casual games have become a trend. We think this trend will continue to develop confidently in 2019.
What are the third-party projects of this year that you liked the most?
We can’t single out anything particularly noticeable from casual games. But we are pleasantly surprised by the success of Fortnite, which we noted in the trends of the outgoing year.
Red Dead Redemption 2. If there are such classics as “The Godfather” in cinema, then RDR2 has become a modern classic among games. A very detailed, powerful and strong game that raised the bar high for AAA projects.
As for technologies, we will highlight RTX video cards that have made a powerful breakthrough after a rather long stagnation in the GPU market.
Taking this moment, we would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year! We wish everyone successful projects, high performance, fewer crunches and more achievements!