We continue to summarize the results of 2023 together with the game teams. Next up is an interview with Victoria Belyaeva, Head of Business Development and PR at AppQuantum.

What was the year like for the company? What have you done that I would like to highlight in terms of achievements?

In 2022, as you know, the working conditions in the gaming industry became noticeably more complicated, and in 2023 the situation did not get much better. Yes, we are all gradually adapting to new realities, but there are still many difficulties.

We continue to feel the consequences of the relocation of employees, therefore, in the past year, a lot of efforts were directed precisely to establish processes and return work to its former course. And it's not so easy to do this when your team is spread across 6 time zones and 15 countries.

AppQuantum also did a lot of internal development. Now we are creating our own large service for developers, which will help to make upgrades on their projects. In addition, it will give studios the opportunity to achieve greater automation in processes, simplify SDK integration and reduce the number of iterations in testing.

How has the market changed for game publishers?

Definitely, the situation is only getting more complicated for all market players. Economic instability against the background of events in the world, the production process of projects is becoming more expensive, loans continue to fall, and CPI continues to grow. In such conditions, everyone has to constantly come up with new ways to attract players and approaches to internal processes.

In general, as we can see, the trend affects not only publishers, but also the rest of the market. The same example with the change in Unity policy shows that service providers are also trying to adapt to new difficult conditions and look for additional money flows for their business.

Market consolidation continues. In the new conditions, small teams have to fight more actively for survival, and then big players come to the rescue, who are ready to offer investments and M&A. Of course, in the current environment, this is looking more and more attractive to independent developers.

At the same time, the process of obtaining investments has become more complicated. Companies have practically stopped “fanning out” money right and left, which means that studios that do not have large and successful projects on hand have to close down. This, of course, affects the number of projects on the market.

Competition for the audience not only persists, but also continues to gain momentum. More and more publishers are diversifying their portfolios and trying to diversify the range of their projects in order to reach new players. I think that in the new year we will see even more examples of hybridization of genres with different combinations, including very unexpected ones.

The hyper-casual boom is slowly starting to subside, and more and more developers are leaning towards hybrid-casual projects. The path to this niche from hypercage is not so long, but, nevertheless, it allows you to break out of the endless cycle of prototype production and engage in the development of a specific game. Again, one such successful project can feed the studio for a long time and give the opportunity to feel some stability. It sounds very tempting right now.

Has the practice of working with developers changed, perhaps the developers themselves, their requirements, desires, and the level of proposed projects have somehow changed?

Uniquely. This happens every year in our industry :) Developers are constantly developing, which means that we need to actively grow, go forward by leaps and bounds in order to keep up with them. Publishing has always been a highly competitive field, so we need to offer the best and, importantly, individual conditions to our partners.

If we talk about working directly with developers, it becomes easier to interact with studios every year. The guys are really developing rapidly, their level of understanding of the industry is growing, and the projects themselves are getting better, more interesting and more promising. Teams come more prepared, present themselves well and openly say exactly what they expect from cooperation and on what terms. This greatly simplifies negotiations and the final decision on further cooperation.

At the same time, the players themselves have changed. The audience is becoming more demanding about the quality of projects, the level of involvement in the process, and new mechanics. Games made on the knee will not surprise anyone anymore. To be successful, developers need to meet the needs of the players, and publishers need to help them do this. Constant market research in order to find interesting features, discussing collaborations with holders of large IP, putting forward new hypotheses — now this is a familiar part of the publishing house's work.

In addition, developers are beginning to look for options for more in-depth cooperation. This applies to both investments and publishing. This is also why AppQuantum tries to offer maximum synergy to teams: sharing experiences with other partners, expertise from our friends from Playrix, assistance in solving legal issues, research on specific mechanics and entire niches, and much more. In general, we strive to solve any possible problems so that the guys can focus on development.

We also see the growing potential of developers from Asia. To work with them, you have to study and take into account many new nuances (both purely communication and, for example, legal ones). AppQuantum already has a very positive experience of such cooperation, and we will continue to expand our presence in this market.

What are the company's plans for next year?

Keep growing and developing! We are already developing several new options for cooperation with AppQuantum in order to attract studios with a variety of projects, and next year we plan to get the first results.

We will also continue to develop our own services for developers with whom we cooperate. These solutions will make life easier for teams and make working on the project (both on their part and on ours) more comfortable and profitable. We will definitely share the news later!

And, of course, we will continue to share our expertise in the market. This year we have published a lot of articles, visited several podcasts as guests and went to many conferences. Further — more and more interesting!

In the coming year, I wish you not to stop there, to continue to do good projects, as well as take care of yourself and your health.

Have a nice New Year to everyone!