We continue to summarize the results of 2021 together with top managers and experts of the gaming industry (and related ones). Next up is an interview with Dmitry Bobrov, CEO of ZiMAD Studio.How did 2021 go for the company?

Last year was a record year for us both in terms of the gaming audience of our portfolio and financially.

Also, our team grew and became stronger. About 90 new employees have joined us this year and we continue to look for new ones. To date, more than 20 vacancies have been opened.

This year our flagship Magic Jigsaw Puzzles celebrated its tenth anniversary. The “old man” is perfectly preserved and ready to conquer new peaks.

In addition to the release of unique features for the genre (for example, curly cuts), the key achievement of Magic Jigsaw Puzzles was the launch of a long-term collaboration with Disney, which includes Pixar and Marvel content, among others. The uniqueness of our offer is that players receive a large, regularly updated library of branded puzzles with their favorite characters absolutely free of charge.

We also actively developed a portfolio of related products for a similar target audience and tried to discover new genres. In 2021, Magic Cross Stitch, Dominoes Online and Magic Color by Number have multiplied in audience and turnover.

From the news of recent weeks: by the end of the year, a new version of our website was launched. More information about the company and its history, products, and cooperation offers appeared on it. Also, now it pays more attention to current open positions.

What event or trend of 2021 do you consider central within your niche?Of course, one of the most important events of the year in the industry was the release of iOS 14.5 and the ATT framework, which seriously changed the layouts in advertising monetization and the purchase of traffic on the platform.

I would also like to note the gradual pressure on the platforms, which leads to a decrease in commissions for in-app purchases and subscriptions, as well as the emergence of new opportunities for using third-party billing. Like the first point above, this increases the importance of purchases in the LTV structure (including in our niche of casual games). It is not difficult to predict that the pressure on the platforms in this context will increase, which should entail another easing.

Thirdly, I would like to note the ongoing consolidation both among mobile game publishers and in the advertising market. Regardless of the initial root expertise and business model, some successful companies in their fields can gradually grow into full-cycle companies in order to expand their business. At the same time, they simultaneously become owners of an advertising solution, game studios, and various marketing tools. Average (and especially small or novice) players need to take this into account when choosing the direction of development. They need to look for their own niches in which they will not face head-on with a competitor noticeably superior to them primarily in terms of resources and expertise.

What will be the stake in the development of the company in 2022?We are actively working on several new products of internal development in the genres already covered and new to us.

We focus on providing players with a new gaming experience within these genres. I can’t give details yet. Releases are just around the corner.

Since the beginning of 2022, we have been actively expanding the M&A direction, offering developers several possible options for cooperation. We will tell you more about this in the very near future.

We also plan to bring our active and new products to new markets for us, including regional ones. Among other things, we are talking about projects beyond native and Unity development. This will increase the reach of the target audience, give them the opportunity to get acquainted with our games or continue playing on a more convenient platform for everyone.

Finally, we have initiatives to connect to the rapidly developing mobile esports. In 2022, this will definitely grow into something noticeably bigger.