How to create a chart-busting game

by Mark Rosner on Aug 12, 2015

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of moderating the How to Create a Chart-Busting Game panel at Casual Connect, with Chris Akhavan, President of Publishing, Glu Mobile; Barry Dorf, VP of Partnerships and Alliances, DeNA and Brian Shih, Director of Production Management, Pocket Gems

It was standing room only, and a fantastic panel which covered topics like monetization, social mechanics, user flow, advice for succeeding as an Indie Dev and the role of IP in making a great game.

Since the audience was made up of mostly Indie Devs, the question of how they can compete with studios with hundreds of employees and multi-million dollar budgets was a hot topic. It’s tough, said the panel, but not impossible. The market is highly fragmented. First off, you have to make sure your goals are realistic, said Dorf of DeNa.

Perhaps the most resonant moment of the panel was Akhavan’s advice to Indie Devs be risky. The big studios are the ones who have to play it safe. The little guys can be daring, innovative, and nimble. This is their competitive advantage.   

Then the topic turned to IP. Glu, with their Kim Kardashian game as the canonical example of how to use IP to make a chart-buster, noted that IP was an accelerant, but not a necessity in making a game. Obtaining rights to IP is generally not an option for Indie Devs, but look at Crossy Road. You don’t need IP to be successful. Chris from went on to say that licensing IP is good for lowering CPI, but that’s really just the icing on the cake. It’s really about getting passionate fans to play your game.

The biggest laugh of the panel came after Akhavan’s tongue-in-cheek advice for monetization.

Thanks to the folks at Casual Connect for hosting us. And if you plan on going out to Casual Connect parties tonight, consult our ultimate party guide first.

Mark Rosner is AppLovin’s Chief Revenue Officer.

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