10 days to Casual Connect: What we’re looking forward to

by Tom Lemrond on Jul 7, 2016

Casual Connect is just a week and a half away, and we’ve been looking closely at the conference agenda to get an idea of trends, and to identify which sessions are most relevant to us and the gaming companies we work with. There’s no doubt that VR is huge on the agenda — there will be lots of different takes on it. From the mobile perspective, we’re keeping an eye on that as the VR industry overall is projected to reach 110 billion by 2020, and as mobile VR headsets making terrific progress. Livestreaming is also huge this year, with Twitch and of course YouTube getting a lot of play. And then there’s eSports, which is so big it has its own track. Then there are of course tons of on the nuts and bolts of building a successful game business, ranging from monetization to opportunities for going global.

AppLovin’s own Mark Rosner, Chief Revenue Officer, is moderating a panel on the importance of data in mobile advertising. That’s at 2:00 pm on Tuesday, and he’ll be joined by experts from GSN, Kochava, Electronic Arts, and Ketchapp. During the panel we’ll cover just how easy it is to set up an advertising campaign, and how important it is to share data.

The Casual Connect schedule is chock-full of great opportunities to learn. Here are a few sessions that caught our attention:


CPI > LTV. Now What? A diverse group of social casino UA experts will discuss how to balance CPI and LTV. 11 am Monday, July 18.

Can eSports Go Mobile? Leaders in the eSports space will discuss the opportunities that lie in tapping the touchscreen, mobile generation given that eSports revenues are expected to top $1 billion by 2019. 11 am Monday, July 18.

Ultimate Indie Act: From Big Company to Releasing a Game Solo: What happens when you leave a large company to strike out on your own? Layton Hawkes of PuzzlePops! will fill us in on lessons learned in terms of design, development, marketing, and live-ops. 11:30 am Monday, July 18.

Finding the Balance–Managing the Monetization and UA Cycle: The ongoing challenge of monetizing your new users without alienating them is fundamental in our business. Learn from David Cohen, VP of Strategic Sales at ironSource. 11:30 am Monday, July 18.

Unconventional Retention Strategies: Johnatan Canal of Pipa Studios, makers of Praia Bingo and Casino Magic, will drill down into Pipa’s approach to retention and the results it generates. 1:00 pm Monday, July 18.

Twitch & YouTube Live: New Platforms That Will Change the Gaming Business in 2016: Livestreaming gaming sites are quickly becoming platforms to build and distribute games, and more than $300 million is transacted on these platforms. This session offers an overview of key players and innovation in the quickly evolving livestreaming ecosystem. 1:00 pm Monday, July 18.

When Console Meets Mobile: In this panel moderated by VentureBeat’s Dean Takahashi, game developers will discuss what mobile and console gaming companies can learn from each other. 1:00 pm Monday, July 18.

All in the Cloud – Selected Case Studies: Use of Machine Learning in Games: It’s pretty cool that machine learning (ML)  is starting to be incorporated into games, affecting design and behavior modeling. George Dolbier of IBM will share two case studies that illustrate how ML platforms have been used in games. 1:30 pm Monday, July 18.

Augmented Reality: The Next Frontier for Gaming: There’s no shortage of buzz these days about VR, but AR is also making huge strides. Nick Beliaeff of Spin Master will discuss why he thinks that AR is perhaps more “where it’s at” than VR, and share insights from his latest mixed reality project that blends AR, videogame depth, and RC play. 3:00 pm Monday, July 18.

Asia & Beyond: Lessons from the Leaders Around Globalization of Your Mobile Games: If you’re considering localizing your game to reach new markets, this session is a must. Danny Moy of King and Josh Burns, a gaming industry consultant, will cover which foreign markets to focus on, whether to partner, and where the growth potential lies. 4:00 pm Monday, July 18.


Strategic Opportunities in the Games Industry: In this panel, top development professionals from NCSoft West, GREE, Zynga, and Corum Group will cover growth and consolidation opportunities in the games space. They’ll also cover the recent evolution of deal structures for licensing, fundraising, and acquisition. 10: 30 am Tuesday, July 19.

Games: A Global Democracy: Sometimes you have to step back and wonder, where is it all going, and what does it all mean? Aaron Loeb of Kabam will share his thoughts on how the increasing ubiquity of mobile devices and the advent of globally-connected games have a democritizing impact. 11:00 am Tuesday, July 19.

Equity: A New Definition for Game Development: Equity means two very different things, one financial and one social. Michael John from UC Santa Cruz will discuss how games have a meaningful role to play in terms of opportunity, representation, and voice. 1:00 pm Tuesday, July 19.

How Technology will Impact the Future of Gaming: What’s next in terms of disruptive technologies? Hussein Chahine of Yazino will sketch out what he think is coming down the pike, including how virtual reality will take gaming to new levels in terms of synchrony and multi-player experiences. 2:00 Tuesday, July 19.

Using (Free!) AppAnnie Data to Optimize Your Next Game: Before you even start to develop a new title, you should always conduct serious market research, and App Annie can provide crucial marketplace intelligence. Eric Seufert of the agency Heracles will cover how you can use App Annie to suss out the competition, including investigating theme, genre, IP, and genre saturation. 3:30 pm Tuesday, July 19.


Mobile Ad Monetization for Games: Ketchapp’s CRO, Christian Calderon, will cover ad monetization for startups. Ketchapp has launched hundreds of titles that have been played by over 500 million people globally. Wednesday, July 20, 10:00 am.

Developing for Mobile VR – Challenges, Opportunities and Battle Scars: With the advances made just recently in over-head mounted consoles, it’s now viable for mobile developers to enter the VR market. Expert mobile VR developers will share lessons learned from working in the the mobile VR frontier. Wednesday, July 20, 10:30 am.

And then last but certainly not least, don’t forget about our get together with ironSource and Kochava, we’re hosting a awesome party Tuesday night! RSVP by July 14 to the Boss Level shindig, complete with fancy cocktails and an awesome DJ.

See you in a little over a week!

Tom Lemrond is Senior Director, Partnerships at AppLovin.