October was yet another busy month for the Storm8 executive team as they took on a couple of conferences around the Bay Area to share their expert perspective on the social mobile gaming landscape.
Global Game Stars at GMIC 2013
Storm8 CEO Perry Tam took to the stage at GMIC 2013 in San Francisco on October 22. It was GMIC’s second year in the Bay Area and the conference attracted some American and international heavyweights in the mobile and Internet sectors. Storm8 was, of course, featured in the Global Game Stars track, which is where top executives from the world’s leading games and apps companies come together to discuss all-things mobile games.
Perry shared some best practices on effective user acquisition strategies alongside executives from PlayFirst, Glu Mobile, InMobi and Fiksu. Steel Media’s Chris James moderated the lively panel just before lunch.
Perry’s advice to budding mobile game developers is to treat user acquisition similar to running a free-to-play business. Different partners have different users and offer very different values. What’s important is to track and test each one of them and double down on what works for you. Just because one strategy works for another company, it doesn’t mean it’ll work for your own games. Tuning and iteration is key to effective user acquisition.
The Battle Royal: GamesBeat 2013
VentureBeat’s GamesBeat conference was held close to Storm8’s headquarters this year at the Hotel Sofitel in Redwood Shores. Gaming has become such a big part of the mobile ecosystem that instead of holding GamesBeat alongside VentureBeat’s MobileBeat conference, they decided to expand the agenda and return as a standalone conference focused solely on games.
Storm8’s General Manager Vatsal Bhardwaj participated on a panel on “developing mobile ads that don’t suck.” The breakout session was very well received, with the room quickly filling up. All panelists agreed that close to 80 percent of mobile ads today don’t live up to players’ expectations, often being too disruptive or just uncreative. Vatsal’s advice is for developers to really focus on the message that they would like to deliver within the ad content. And, like developing mobile games, testing and iteration also play a key role in developing effective ads. Appropriate placement of ads within a game is also extremely crucial. Placing them at logical breaks within a game is important to ensure that players are not distracted from their gameplay.
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