As planned, the Free Your Play 2013 developers conference was held in Helsinki for the first time yesterday, where such luminaries of the shareware games market as Supercell, King, GungHo and Wargaming gathered together. We decided to tell you about the most interesting speeches made during the event.
Ben Cousins, who heads the Stockholm-based Scattered studio, part of DeNA, opened the conference with an excursion into the history of video games. From his point of view, it is possible to identify a certain pattern of “ups and downs”: following the consoles that pushed arcade games, mobile games that disrupted the success of the latest ones came. The question hung in the air, what will happen after mobile games? Perhaps projects for “wearable” devices a la Google Glass?
A lively discussion was also caused by the first question from moderator Bret Terrill: “What is the biggest mistake in the free games market?“, to which the head of Wargaming communications Tom Putzki replied: “To make victory the goal of your game.” A concrete example was given here: Wargaming had to remove a real bestseller, the Chinese Type 59 tank, from the list of in-game purchases of World of Tanks, since it was too powerful and spoiled the whole game.
Having given a rather predictable answer to the previous question, “Make a bad game,” Lassi Leppinen, the Clash of Clans product lead at Supercell, added the following to the above: “The prices [of in-game purchases] should be high from the very beginning, because then you will not be able to increase them. Over time, prices will still fall.” Interestingly, Supercell, one of the most successful studios in the world, has not even released its first mobile game just a year ago.
Then we talked about the system of indicators used by companies to evaluate their activities: do they trust analytics? Daisuke Yamamoto from GungHo admitted that he listens to the advice of his wife, a lover of playing Puzzle & Dragons. And, apparently, for good reason: on this hit game, 20 Japanese developers earned $113 million for GungHo in April 2013 alone.
Christian Segerstrale, a member of the Board of Directors of Supercell, who hosted the conference, is full of enthusiasm: “Never before in the history of game development has there been such an amazing time. […] Everything is wonderful: scope, income, profit.”