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Deconstructor of Fun

Deconstructor of Fun

By Deconstructor of Fun
Deconstructor of Fun podcast explores the business side of games. The content is aimed to help developers, publishers, and platforms to understand what makes the game not only fun but also commercially successful.

The podcast has two forms​ of episodes:
1. This Week in Games (TWIG), which analyses the latest news
2. The Series, which focuses on one specific topic through multiple episodes.

The podcast is a long-form conversation hosted by (Twitter):
Michail "Mishka" Katkoff: @m_katkoff
Joseph "Joe" "JK" Kim: @jokim1
Eric Kress: @ekress
Adam Telfer: @adamwtelfer
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Currently playing episode

TWIG #120: Supercell on 2nd Decade, Zynga Ad Network, Bad Robot Entering Games, Microsoft on Future of Games

Deconstructor of Fun

TWIG #120: Supercell on 2nd Decade, Zynga Ad Network, Bad Robot Entering Games, Microsoft on Future of Games

Deconstructor of Fun

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TWIG #121: BlizzCon, Zynga accelerates, Rovio's financials and VALHEIM!
Welcome to TWIG #120! Today we cover: #1. Zynga’s plan to accelerate growth in 2021 #2. BlizzCon Online 2021 #3. Valheim: How a 5-Person Team Created the Most Popular Game on Steam #4. Rovio 2020 Financial Statement  Hosts: - Miska Katkoff (@m_katkoff) - Joe Kim (@jokim1) - Eric Kress (@ekress) As always, pls feel free to send us feedback! Check out TWIG on the GameMakers YouTube Channel!
57:50
February 24, 2021
Growth Triggers #5 Why AppLovin and Zynga are Building Content Fortresses
Growth Triggers is a segment focusing on all matters of growth. In this episode, we discuss AppLovin's acquisition of an attribution platform Adjust, and Zynga's intention to invest in ad tech. Your hosts Michail Katkoff and Eric Seufert
47:07
February 22, 2021
Embracer Group: Strategy, Outlook, and Focus on the Long-term | Kenshi Arasaki (ATA), Ken Go (DECA), and Randy Pitchford (Gearbox), Lars Wingefors (Embracer),
We get a comprehensive and in-depth discussion talking about industry consolidation/consolidators and more specifically about the Embracer Group.  In a unique discussion, we get a very holistic perspective on Embracer speaking to:       - Kenshi Arasaki, CEO, A Thinking Ape, One of the best in the industry at long-tail and forever franchise games with titles from the early days of IOS like Kingdoms at War.          - Ken Go, CEO, DECA Games, Who specialize in live operations having taken over and successfully managed live titles such as former gree titles like Knights & Dragons and Modern War.       - Randy Pitchford, President and Co-founder Gearbox, I think everyone knows Gearbox games most notably Borderlands.       - Lars Wingefors, Co-founder and Group CEO, Embracer Group, Quickly becoming famous for a lot of the recent industry acquisitions they have been making.  Host:    - Joe Kim, CEO LILA Games
56:21
February 19, 2021
TWIG #120: Supercell on 2nd Decade, Zynga Ad Network, Bad Robot Entering Games, Microsoft on Future of Games
Welcome to TWIG #120! Today we cover: #1. Zynga Is Building Its Own Ad Network, Mulling M&A #2. Bad Robot looking to be the rare Hollywood-and-games success story #3. Microsoft's Head of Cloud Gaming James Gwertzman Talks Past, Present, and Future of Gaming Tech #4. MY TAKE ON SUPERCELL IN 2020 AS WE BEGIN OUR SECOND DECADE Hosts: - Miska Katkoff (@m_katkoff) - Joe Kim (@jokim1) - Eric Kress (@ekress) As always, pls feel free to send us feedback! Check out TWIG on the GameMakers YouTube Channel! CLUBHOUSE EVENT  This Friday 2/19/2021 at 12PM PST https://www.joinclubhouse.com/event/xob8aNOK Sponsors Square ENIX Montreal. Check out their open job positions here: semmtl.com/dof
01:01:16
February 18, 2021
Learnings from Building My Dream Team with Sophie Vo, Studio Lead at Voodoo
How do you build a dream team from scratch? In this episode Sophie Vo, Studio Lead at Voodoo, details her journey of building a game team. We discuss how to craft a team culture, hire according to set values and lead through lockdowns. Sophie has a true passion towards leadership. Her approach is very methodical and constantly improving as she analyses, plans, executes and recalibrates based on learnings. Don't miss Sophie's original article "A Dream Team is All You Need".
01:07:31
February 15, 2021
Future of PC Games | David Brevik (OG!), Sean Haran (Gearbox), Tim Morten (Frost Giant)
Today we will be speaking about the future of PC Gaming.    Here with us to talk about this are 3 incredible speakers     - David Brevik, Famous of course for founding Blizzard North and for Diablo but then also founding other game studios including Gazillion and now as President of Skystone Games      - Sean Haran who’s held senior executive roles at 20th Century Fox, Marvel, Riot, and now as Chief Business Officer at Gearbox      - Tim Morten who was at Activision, was CEO of Savage Entertainment, held exec positions at EA, Santa Monica and Blizzard before starting Frost Giant as CEO. Host:    - Joseph Kim, CEO of LILA Games
01:20:39
February 12, 2021
TWIG #119: EA Buys Glu, AppLovin Buys Adjust, Embracer Buys Gearbox, and Predictions (Shooters, Marketing)
Welcome to TWIG #119! Today we cover: #1. Why Did AL Buy Adjust #2. EA buys GLU #3. Embracer Group acquires Borderlands maker Gearbox Entertainment for $1.3B Predictions: Shooters and Marketing Hosts: - Miska Katkoff (@m_katkoff) - Joe Kim (@jokim1) - Eric Kress (@ekress) - Adam Telfer (@adamwtelfer) As always, pls feel free to send us feedback! Check out TWIG on the GameMakers YouTube Channel!
58:04
February 10, 2021
Seriosly Unconventional Growth with Philp Hickey, EVP of Brand & Marketing
Originally Seriosly's first game was launched in mid-2014. Since then the game has grown quarter after quarter with the latest growth spurs coming after the acquisition by Playtika.  In this episode I'm joined by Phil Hickey, EVP of Brand & Marketing at Seriosly, to discuss:  How has Best Fiends been able to continue to grow ever since the game was launched? Why did they take this unconventional/methodical approach of building a brand first.  How much pressure has there been to follow the latest performance marketing trends from shockvertaising to extremely misleading ads? How to build and run an effective and lean marketing team in games that is sitting far away from the game team? What's the best way for the game and marketing team to work together? 
43:42
February 9, 2021
Hit Roblox Developers Share Their Secrets!
Hear from real game developers on Roblox who have created hit games! What does it take to be successful? How is dev on Roblox different from other platforms? What is a day in the life like? What is their view on Roblox monetization? What is the future outlook for the platform? Roblox developer speakers:     - Andrew Bereza aka "Berezaa", Toybox Development - Vesteria, 2PGFT, Miner's Haven, Azure Mines, War Games, Build Island     - Josh DeBoer, aka "Artemis" Summit Studios Games - Vehicle Simulator     - Anne Shoemaker aka "Myzta", Fullflower Studio - Mermaid Life, My Droplets    - Arthur Trusov aka "Trus" - Tropics Paradise, Tycoon Hospital  SPONSOR: This podcast is sponsored by Square Enix Montreal! Check out open positions to work there at: semmtl.com/dof Your host:    - Joe Kim aka "DJ Mac Daddy" CEO of LILA Games
01:05:27
February 5, 2021
TWIG #118: Epic Games Store Review, Google Stadia Shuts down Internal Studios, & Gambling Apps on Google Play
Welcome to TWIG #118! Today we cover: #1. Gambling apps are coming to Google’s Play Store in the US and 14 other countries, The Verge #2. Reviewing Epic Games Store’s 2020, MasterTheMeta #3. Google Stadia Shuts Down Internal Studios, Changing Business Focus, Kotaku Hosts: - Joe Kim (@jokim1) - Eric Kress (@ekress) - Adam Telfer (@adamwtelfer) Guest Host: - Ninel (Gryuner) Anderson, Check out Devoted Studios Youtube Channel As always, pls feel free to send us feedback!
47:44
February 3, 2021
Going Public with Anton Gauffin, CEO of Huuuge Games
In this episode, I'm joined by Anton Gauffin, CEO of soon to be public Huuuge Games.  We discuss why Anton has decided to take his company public, dive deeper into their Build & Buy strategy, talk about their M&A approach, and what sets Huuuge different from the other consolidators in the market. We also discuss the effects of IDFA depreciation on the company's M&A strategy. your host Mishka Katkoff
01:00:22
February 1, 2021
Playtika IPO | Growth???, Risks, and Future!
Today we are going to be discussing Playtika’s IPO and future prospects. Playtika develops and publishes some of the world’s most popular social casino games such as Slotomania, Slots - House of Fun, Bingo Blitz, and card games like World Series of Poker In our discussion today we’ll be talking about #1. IPO and current valuation #2. Current business and sources of revenue #3. Growth prospects #4. Key risks #5. Competition #6. Future Prospects And with us today to talk about Playtika’s future prospects: Matthew Kanterman from Bloomberg Intelligence Eric Kress from Gossamer Consulting Moderataor: Joe Kim aka DJ Limit from LILA Games
32:52
January 29, 2021
*FULL UPDATED* How to Effectively Deploy Consumer Insights
Today we will be talking about how to most effectively utilize consumer insights in gaming. A lot of research studies can go wrong due to various problems and errors that can lead to false conclusions. What should studios watch out for? And how can we do this right? So today we will be discussing consumer insights with arguably the best CI practitioners in the entire industry: Mark Allenbach, Founder of Well Played Research, Stan Kwon, Founder of Beta Hat Matt Penfield, VP of Consumer Insights from Zynga Mike Swiontkowski, Head of Global Research and CI from Blizzard Host: Joe Kim, CEO of LILA Games
01:42:10
January 29, 2021
TWIG #117: New PUBG Mobile Game, Tencent Gonna Buy EA or Take-Two?, Vicarious -> Blizzard, Strategy and Sports Predictions!
Welcome to TWIG #117! Today we cover: #1. A new PUBG Mobile game is on the way #2. Report: Tencent raising billions to buy EA, Take-Two, or others #3. Vicarious Visions merged into Blizzard #4. Deconstructor of Fun Strategy and Sports Predictions Hosts: - Miska Katkoff (@m_katkoff) - Joe Kim (@jokim1) - Eric Kress (@ekress) - Adam Telfer (@adamwtelfer) As always, pls feel free to send us feedback!
01:03:03
January 27, 2021
Ad Revenue & Monetization Trends in 2021 | Post-IDFA Impact
Today we will be talking about mobile ad revenue and monetization. More specifically we will discuss What will happen in 2021 including the potential impact of IDFA deprecation To talk to us about these issues we have with us a good mix of ecosystem players in the industry. Josh Chandley, COO, WildCard Games an indie mobile games studio building classic card games Sofia Gilyazova, Head of Ad Monetization, Social Point, the mobile games division of Take Two Offer Yehudai, President, Fyber. Fyber builds monetization platforms for mobile publishers. Your host: Joe Kim aka "DJ Limit" CEO of LILA Games
01:10:08
January 22, 2021
TWIG #116: Playtika's $11B IPO, Star Wars' IP given out like candy, Hypercasual and RPG predictions
Welcome to TWIG #116! Today we cover: #1. Mobile game maker Playtika goes public at $11 billion valuation #2. 2020 year in review | Bayjinger #3. Star Wars Games to Be Branded Under Lucasfilm Games Banner #4. Hypercasual Prediction  #5. RPG Prediction  Hosts: - Miska Katkoff (@m_katkoff) - Joe Kim (@jokim1) - Eric Kress (@ekress) - Adam Telfer (@adamwtelfer) As always, pls feel free to send us feedback!
01:01:13
January 20, 2021
The Secrets of Lily's Garden - Lessons from Perhaps the Most Underrated CMO in the Industry
Is it possible for a mid-size studio with no prior hits to enter the most competitive genre on mobile and challenge publishers that outweigh it on all aspects from game development to marketing? On paper, never! In real-life, yes! This episode explores the growth of Lily's Garden from an idea to a multi-hundred-million top-grossing title. And who better to talk about this than Gonzalo Fasanella, CMO of Tactile Games. ps: as always, open roles in the company discussed towards the end of the episode. In this episode we discuss the following topics: How has Lily's Garden been able to sustain the incredible quarter after quarter growth for soon two years? How to build and run an effective and lean marketing team in games? What's the best way for the game and marketing team to work together? What should CMOs / heads of performance marketing, who tend to be extremely data-driven? learn from the advertising industry?
58:49
January 15, 2021
TWIG #115: Roblox $29.5B, Cyberpunk WTF?, Diablo Immortals, Puzzle Game Genre Predictions!
Welcome to TWIG #115! Today we cover: #1. Roblox: $520 Million Funding And $29.5 Billion Valuation #2. What the hell is going on with Cyberpunk? #3. Diablo Immortals: More than a Meme #4. Puzzle Games Becomes the Top Grossing Genre on Mobile Hosts: - Miska Katkoff (@m_katkoff) - Joe Kim (@jokim1) - Eric Kress (@ekress) - Adam Telfer (@adamwtelfer) As always, pls feel free to send us feedback! LINKS: Future of UA Mobile Marketing Conference (Free Signup): https://futureofua.splashthat.com/ Event will be held on 1/14/2021 (Thursday) at 10AM. Everybody (PMs, Execs, and Marketers) sign up for this now!
54:49
January 12, 2021
Growth Triggers #4 Mobile Games Marketing in 2021
Triggered growth is a segment focusing on all matters of growth. This podcast is insightful, entertaining, and highly opinionated. We call it how we see it. In this episode, we discuss the most common misinformation regarding IDFA deprecation, the battle for the ownership of conversion events, how product and marketing teams will work together as one.  In addition, we'll discuss trends in creatives, ad spend, and ad monetization. Talk about the role of app store testing and player research. And of course hypothesize what the big three (Apple, Google, and Facebook) will look like in 2021. Your hosts: Michail Katkoff and Eric Seufert
56:12
January 7, 2021
TWIG #114: Happy New Years! | Best of 2020
Welcome to TWIG #114! Today we cover the best and worst of 2020 in the Games Industry! Hosts: - Miska Katkoff (@m_katkoff) - Joe Kim (@jokim1) - Eric Kress (@ekress) - Adam Telfer (@adamwtelfer) As always, pls feel free to send us feedback! LINKS: Future of UA Mobile Marketing Conference (Free Signup): https://futureofua.splashthat.com/ Event will be held on 1/14/2021 (Thursday) at 10AM.  Everybody (PMs, Execs, and Marketers) sign up for this now! 
01:12:07
January 5, 2021
What do Successful Game Projects Have in Common?
The topics covered in the episode are: What are the biggest differences in how the big companies and the indie ones build their games? How to decide what the project is going to be balancing between data and intuition  How to choose the right monetization model for your game How to drive sustainability through updates, new player acquisition, and reactivating lapsed ones What are the main shifts in player behaviour post-2020: Shoutout to the Googler Martin Svoboda who interviewed me
45:33
January 2, 2021
2020 in Review Mirror - Trend Analysis and Forecasts with Sensor Tower & AppsFlyer
Which genres gained the most and which trailed behind? What were the effects of the lockdowns? What are the trends for user acquisition, in-app purchases, and in-app adds going into 20201? Which countries were overlooked? guests: Randy Nelson - head of mobile insights Brian Murphy - head of gaming Tim O'Neil - strategic account executive
56:15
December 21, 2020
Growth Triggers #3 IDFA Depreciation for the Product Leads
Growth Triggers is a segment focusing on all matters of growth. In this episode, we focus on; How much info will I have about where the players are coming from post IDFA what happens to a/b testing and offers? What happens to soft-launching Ad monetization? LTV curve vs. LTV curves Are fake ads done?  how can product teams help the marketing team? Your hosts Michail Katkoff and Eric Seufert
01:05:03
December 18, 2020
Game Industry M&A: Chris Petrovic (ex-Zynga SVP) on Keys to Success! Who's Next?
Chris Petrovic joined Zynga as SVP and Head of Corporate Strategy, M&A, and Business Development all the way back in March of 2016 when Zynga stock was $1.88.    Since Chris joined, basically ALL of Zynga's growth has come through mergers & acquisitions and helped drive increased share value to today's price of ~$8.70.   During his time at Zynga, Chris oversaw the acquisitions of: PuzzleSocial, Harpan, Gram Games, Small Giant, Peak Games and most recently Rollic Games.    Prior to Chris' involvement, Zynga had not been so successful at M&A.      - What were the changes made at Zynga to help increase success?     - What are key lessons learned and keys to success?     - What should game companies look for when doing acquisitions?   Speakers:     - Host: Joe Kim, CEO of LILA Games         - Host: Eric Kress, Principal of Gossamer Consulting     - Chris Petrovic, former SVP and Head of Corporate Strategy, M&A, and Business Development, Zynga
01:00:49
December 17, 2020
TWIG #113: MTG Acquires Hutch, Wild Rift Expanding to Europe, Zynga's Rollic Acquires Onnect
Welcome to TWIG #113! Today we cover: #1. MTG acquires Hutch – a leading developer and publisher of mobile racing games #2. League of Legends: Wild Rift expanded to Europe and other territories #3. Zynga-owned Rollic acquires  Onnect  from dev Chef Game Studio for $6 million Hosts: - Joe Kim (@jokim1) - Adam Telfer (@adamwtelfer) - Miska Katkoff (@m_katkoff) Guest Host: - Eric Seufert (@eric_seufert) As always, pls feel free to send us feedback! LINKS: Check out Eric's Blog: https://mobiledevmemo.com/ YouTube Videos Referenced: - Multiplayer Netcode - Product Implications of IDFA 
51:54
December 15, 2020
Helsinki the Capital of Mobile Games
However you want to slice it or dice it, Helsinki is the best city in the World for mobile games companies. What makes it unique is the ecosystem that has developed organically over the years. Founders help each other. There’s a strong drive for collaboration and there's not much rivalry or competition. Founders inherently understand that success breeds more success.  I'm joined by two of the most qualified people to talk about the Helsinki gaming ecosystem: Harri Manninen, founding partner of Play Ventures and a board member of every single prominent gaming startup in the city, and Joakim Achren, co-founder of Next Games and a person who has singlehandedly helped more gaming founders than anybody else in the business through the content on Elite Game Developers.
01:02:08
December 14, 2020
Growth Triggers #2 Fake Ads Post IDFA and When to Build a Brand for Your Game
Triggered growth is a segment focusing on all matters of growth. This podcast is insightful, entertaining, and highly opinionated. We call it how we see it.  Your hosts: Michail Katkoff and Eric Seufert Hit us up for topics you'd like us to cover and how to improve.
43:46
December 10, 2020
TWIG #112: Genshin Impact = $400M in 2 Months on Mobile, EG7 Acquires Daybreak, Roblox Future in China!!!
Welcome to TWIG #112! Today we cover: #1. Sensor Tower: Genshin Impact brings in nearly $400 million in 2 months on mobile #2. EG7 acquires Daybreak #3. The promise and challenge of Roblox Future in China LINKS: Check out Joakim's Elite Game Developers website and podcast: https://elitegamedevelopers.com/ Check out Randy Nelson's Interview with Joseph Kim:    - Gaming Trends | A Look Ahead to 2021 (SensorTower's Randy Nelson Interviews JK) Hosts: - Joe Kim (@jokim1) - Adam Telfer (@adamwtelfer) - Eric Kress (@ekress) Guest Host: - Joakim Achren (@joakim_a) As always, pls feel free to send us feedback!
52:06
December 9, 2020
Why Israel's Gaming Ecosystem is One the Best in the World with Gigi Levy-Weiss
Israel has always been a hub for tech startups. It's where companies such as Monday, Wix, Fiverr and Waze - just to mention a few - were born. Today the country is also known for a massive gaming sector worth tens of billions with companies such as Playtika, Moonactive, Plarium, Crazy Labs, ironSource, AppsFlyer and Fyber driving the growth. Who better to deconstruct the evolotion of the Israel's gaming ecosystem that Gigi Levy-Weiss, the Founding Parner of NFX (leading Israeli and Silicon Valley VC fund) and an early investor in Plarium and Playtika - among numerous other startups.  The questions we cover are:  How did the gaming sector get started and evolved into what it is today? How are Israeli companies doing so well in social casino when gambling is illegal in Israel? How does the Israel's a gaming ecosystem compares to the one we have here in Helsinki? How do companies stack up with needed talent? What is the VC and Angle scene like in Israel? What has gone right with the evolution of the gaming ecosystem in Israel - and what could have been done better and what will the future look like?
42:28
December 7, 2020
Growth Triggers #1 How Apple Played Epic, Platform Wars and the Marketability Loop
Growth Triggers is a new segment on Deconstructor of Fun podcast focusing on all matters growth. This podcast is definitely insightful, for sure entertaining and as always, highly opinionated. We call it how we see it. Your hosts Michail Katkoff and Eric Seufert
50:26
December 3, 2020
TWIG #111: Lilith's Farlight 84 Battle Royale Shooter, Fortnite Subscriptions, and Supercell Shuts Down Hay Day Pop!
Welcome to TWIG #111! Today we cover: #1. Farlight 84 is an impressive and whacky looking battle royale that's heading for iOS, Android and PC next year #2. Will Fortnite's Subscription Work? #3. Supercell shutting down Hay Day Pop after less than a year Check out JK and his co-founders from LILA Games break down the Farlight 84 trailer: Farlight 84 Reaction & Analysis Hosts: - Joe Kim (@jokim1) - Adam Telfer (@adamwtelfer) - Eric Kress (@ekress) - Miska Katkoff (@m_katkoff) As always, pls feel free to send us feedback!
01:04:29
December 1, 2020
TWIG #110: Embracer Group Acquires 13 Studios, Apple 15% Fee Cut, Roblox IPO
Welcome to TWIG 110! Today we cover: #1. Embracer Group acquires 13 studios: Here's everything you need to know #2. Apple will reduce App Store cut to 15 percent for most developers starting January  #3. Roblox IPO & some financials ($1.2b bookings in 9M 2020) Further, we are joined by guest host:    - Jon Jordan, founder of Steel Media whom you probably recognize from many gaming articles on PocketGamer.biz and elsewhere    - You should also check out Jon's Youtube Channel: Blockchain Gaming World Regular Hosts:    - Joe Kim (@jokim1)     - Adam Telfer (@adamwtelfer)     - Eric Kress (@ekress)    - Miska Katkoff (@m_katkoff) As always, pls feel free to send us feedback!
01:18:38
November 26, 2020
Marketability Will Make or Break Your Game
Three facts: 1. Marketability (CPIs) is the single most important metric of your business case 2. You can optimize marketability early on extremely cost-effectively  3. Most of the gaming studios fail to understand the first point until it is too late and thus refuse to concentrate on the second point. Marketability is perhaps the single biggest element of your game that you have direct control of and that can make - or break - your business case. Yet despite this, countless gaming studios fail to understand early enough who are their making their game for, how big is the target audience and what is costs to reach those players.  In this episode I'm joined with Joe Schaeppi (CEO of 12traits) and Jesse Lempiäinen  (CEO of Geeklab) as we discuss the following topics: 👉   Why marketability matters and when should you start optimizing for it? 👉   How will the IDFA depreciation affect optimization of marketability? 👉   What alternative ways should publishers look into to create audiences? 👉   How is the measurement of creative performance going to change? 👉  Is the role of marketability more or less important post IDFA?
01:01:08
November 23, 2020
TWIG #109: Argument for Simpler Games, Apple M1 Impact to Games, Virtual Influencers - Rehash ATVI to Mobile
Welcome to TWIG 109. Today we cover: #1. Apple is astonishingly confident in its new M1 Mac processors #2. Virtual Influencers Make Real Money While Covid Locks Down Human Stars #3. The argument for simpler games, in an industry obsessed with complexity Further, we are joined by guest host Ernest Wong to discuss Bringing more franchises to mobile is Activision Blizzard's biggest opportunity, says COO (from TWIG 107) Hosts: Joe Kim (@jokim1) Adam Telfer (@adamwtelfer) Kenny Liu Ernest Wong (@ErnestWongBWM) Hey people, LILA Games is hiring for a badass new F2P shooter game for mobile. We're hiring especially in Bengalaru, India: https://www.lilagames.com/job-openings/ We need PMs, designers, artists, and engineers. We especially need an AD!
37:14
November 17, 2020
East vs. West - How to Rival Chinese Game Publishers
The Chinese mobile market is expected to reach 21 billion Dollars in 2020 growing a staggering 17% year-over-year. In addition to having this massive - and from the Western perspective nearly impenetrable - home market, Chinese publishers have been having ever more success in the West.  Deconstructor of Fun podcast is joined by Daniel Ahmad, Yang Liu, and Eric Kress to discuss the characteristics of the Chinese mobile games market and how Western developers could better compete against their Chinese counterparts. The topics covered are:  Why are Chinese games are succeeding in the West when hit titles from Korea and Japan are struggling? Most Western hits haven’t become big in China. Why is that? Is there a moat that Western publishers can build against Chinese rivals in the West? What policies can be made to even out the competition? What is the market going to look like in 3 - 5 years?
01:01:41
November 16, 2020
Riot's Valorant - The Origin Story
Valorant's Game Director, Joseph Ziegler, and Lead Producer, Paul Belezza join the Deconstructor of Fun podcast to spill the beans on Valorant's origin story - from an idea to a game played and streamed by millions of fans around the World. We dive deep into Riot's creative process from the developer's perspective, talk team sizes, launch strategies, live services, community, and working with and for the passionate community. The game is growing and the team has an awesome pipeline of new content. They're looking for folks to help them realize the full potential of the game. And rumor says that listening to this episode can get you a step closer to working on one of the best tactical shooter ever made...
01:06:17
November 12, 2020
TWIG #108: Zynga, Glu, and EA Quarterly Financial Results
Ok people, this episode is just me (JK) and Miska. We lost some of our co-hosts when we very last minute audibled a change in news coverage. Anyway, as always, we sometimes may say things for dramatic effect. Hopefully none of you take things too personally as we are, in the end, fans of all game companies. Here are the specific news items we covered: Zynga’s acquisitions push it to record bookings of $628 million for Q3 2020 Why Glu Mobile Stock Skyrocketed Today EA revenues fall 14% to $1.15 billion for Q3 2020
41:00
November 10, 2020
Recruiting During a Pandemic
What are the key challenges and issues with respect to hiring during pandemic?   While hiring has actually not slowed down in these crazy times despite coronavirus, we discuss challenges and issues due to current circumstances and best practices to help ensure great hires! Host:           - Joe Kim, CEO LILA Games: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jokim/  Guests:      - Simone Heard, Talent Acquisition, Jam City: https://www.linkedin.com/in/simoneheard/      - Moses Sison, Talent Acquisition, Unity: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mosessison/      - Neil Warlicht, Executive Recruitment, Stepping Stone: https://www.linkedin.com/in/neilwarlicht/   Topics Covered: Biggest Changes  Key Challenges  Best Practices & Processes  Best Indicator of Performance  Impact of Remote Work  Long-term Implications Yo! Btw, Joe Kim here and my company LILA Games is hiring. We will be in Bangalore, India. Positions we're looking for right here:  https://www.lilagames.com/job-openings/
01:04:48
November 9, 2020
Scaling a Games Company | How to Win Day 1? Travis Boatman, Gigi Levy-Weiss, Kristian Segerstrale
Today we’re here to talk about the biggest challenges and mistakes early stage companies have in order to scale their companies and achieve success.   To speak to these issues we have arguably 3 of the best people in the world to talk about this: #1. Travis Boatman: Travis has held senior leadership positions at a bunch of major gaming and mobile gaming companies including Mattel, JAMDAT, EA, and Zynga. And most recently Travis founded Carbonated Inc. a mobile and PC games studio located in Southern California. Carbonated also raised an $8.5M seed venture financing round led by Andreessen Horowitz. https://www.linkedin.com/in/travis-boatman-3bb593/ #2. Gigi Levy-Weiss: Gigi has been a founder, senior executive, and investor in like a billion companies.But some notable companies in particular includes Playtika and Plarium. And Gigi today is a general partner at one of the most exciting venture capital firms NFX (https://www.nfx.com/).  https://www.linkedin.com/in/gigilevy/   #3. Kristian Segerstrale: Kristian was a co-founder of Glu mobile, CEO of Playfish acquired by EA, was a seed investor in Supercell, was a senior exec at EA, and now is the CEO of Super Evil Megacorp which will soon release their new MOBA shooter called Catalyst Black (https://catalystblack.com/). https://www.linkedin.com/in/segerstrale/   Topics Covered: Biggest Mistakes to Avoid  Creative vs. Data vs. Tech? Impact of Data in Games  Hiring for Cultural Fit  Initial Focus Post Funding  You Need to Plan + Panic!  How to Build Culture  Individual Contributor vs. Manager vs. Leader  How to Avoid Day 2
01:06:39
November 6, 2020
TWIG #107: WSJ: China May Be Spying On You, Scopely Raises $340M, Game Pass and Indies, and Activision Blizzard More Franchises to Mobile
Welcome to TWIG #107! This week we cover: #1. If You Play Videogames, China May Be Spying on You #2. Mobile Games Company Scopely Boasts Of ‘Significantly Profitable Business’ As It Raises $340M #3. "For Descenders, it has been immense. Sales across all platforms increased after we went into Game Pass" – What does Game Pass mean for indies? | Business News | MCV/DEVELOP #4. Bringing more franchises to mobile is Activision Blizzard's biggest opportunity, says COO Hosts: (Twitter) Joseph Kim: @jokim1 Eric Kress: @ekress Adam Telfer: @adamwtelfer Miska Katkoff: @m_katkoff
01:00:41
November 3, 2020
Love Bros: How to Stop Wasting Time! Improve Meetings, OKRs, and More!
In many (perhaps most) companies, so many corporate processes, policies, and work flows WASTE TIME!    Meetings are a huge culprit but in this discussion we talk about what are the biggest time wasters and how to stop wasting time. Learn more about how to make your company more efficient RIGHT NOW!   With us to talk about all of this are the "Love Bros":   1. Filippo DeRose, Chief Growth Officer, Traplight: https://www.linkedin.com/in/filippoderose/  2. Matej Lancaric, UA/Marketing Consultant, Lancaric.me: https://www.linkedin.com/in/matejlancaric/  3. Brett Nowak, CEO, Liquid & Grit: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brett-nowak-8920675/   Host:   - Joseph Kim, CEO, LILA Games: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jokim/
01:07:47
November 1, 2020
Art Director for Video Games | Ron Ashtiani
Ron Ashtiani has spent a career in art and as an art director. Ron's had an over 25 year career in art and has served as an art director in multiple game studios including at Midway Games. He also co-founded Atomhawk in 2009 and currently starting a new adventure.   In today's discussion with Ron we discuss the role of an art director (AD), the different kinds of ADs, how to determine an art style for a game, documentation best practices, biggest lessons/mistakes, art differences for mobile vs. PC/console, and much more!   Find out more about Ron Ashtiani here: https://www.ronashtiani.com/ https://www.artstation.com/ashtiani https://www.linkedin.com/in/cumronashtiani/
44:47
October 29, 2020
TWIG #106: Problem With Tech Monopolies, Stadia Creative Director OOPS!, and Facebook's Cloud Gaming
Welcome to TWIG #106: Today we cover: #1. The Problem With Tech Monopolies, From Both Sides of the Political Aisle #2. Stadia creative director says streamers should pay publishers #3. Facebook’s cloud-gaming offering focuses on free-to-play mobile games Your hosts for today: Joe Kim Eric Kress Adam Telfer Kenny Liu
43:34
October 27, 2020
Product Implications of IDFA Deprecation | Andre Cohen + Niklas Herriger
Lot of talk about IDFA deprecation and impact to marketing/UA not so much on product and tools impact. So for our discussion today we will focus on:      - #1. A summary of what IDFA deprecation means generally for the industry      - #2. Implications to the value chain      - #3. Product and tools impact  To talk about all of this we have:     - Andre Cohen - Head of Data Science Tilting Point: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrecohen/      - Niklas Herriger - Founder 8 Bit Coaching: https://www.linkedin.com/in/niklasherriger/
44:50
October 23, 2020
TWIG #105: Unity Publishing... WTF?, Playtika Files for IPO, Among Us Blowing Up!, How Discord Won!
What up people? Welcome to TWIG #105! Today we cover: #1. Introducing the Game Growth program - Unity Technologies Blog #2. China-owned gaming firm Playtika files confidentially for U.S. IPO #3. Among Us isn’t just blowing up on Twitch — it’s dominating mobile gaming #4. How Discord Won LINKS: Riz Virk: Here's how the Big Tech breakup should go down Riz Virk on GameMakers: Riz Virk on US vs. China App Wars, Simulation Hypothesis, Startup Myths & Lessons Your Hosts: Joe Kim Eric Kress Miska Katkoff Adam Telfer
01:01:28
October 20, 2020
How to Plan Content for Live Ops | Barak David, COO Murka; Drew Levin, Lead PM Zynga; Jeff Witt, Co-founder Storm8 and Funzio
How do you determine the content cadence and events (type and frequency) for your live operated game? How do you measure whether you are operating content and events successfully or not? Find out from some of the best guys in the industry how this is done! Drew leads PM on Words With Friends, Barak is leading a revenue growth tear at Murka, and Jeff 4x'ed revenue on Modern War with a single event! This was a panel presentation originally recorded during a live GameMakers digital conference event. Sign up to be notified of future events: https://gamemakers.com/digital-events/ Panel Host: Joe Kim, CEO LILA Games Speakers: Barak David, COO, Murka Drew Levin, Lead PM Words with Friends, Zynga Jeff Witt, Co-founder, Storm8 and Funzio
48:38
October 16, 2020
TWIG #104: Amazon Can't Win at Games, Genshin's Massive Impact, and WOW Expansion Delayed (Yawn!)
Welcome to TWIG #104! This week we cover: #1. Amazon Wants to ‘Win at Games.’ So Why Hasn’t It? #2. Genshin Impact Generates $60 Million in First Week as it Becomes World’s No. 2 Grossing Mobile Game #3. World of Warcraft next expansion delayed Do you have feedback or comments for us? You can reach us on Twitter/LI at: Joseph Kim: @jokim1 (Twitter, Insta)    Eric Kress: @ekress     Kenny Liu: @kliuless Jeff Witt: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jwittsf/
47:50
October 13, 2020
Getting Hypercasual with Gamejam's CEO, Christian Calderon
In this episode I'm joined by Christian Calderon as we cover it all: 1) How to make a great hypercasual game 2) What were the implication of COVID on hypercasual games 3) Hybridcasual and how to make it work 4) Effects of IDFA depreciation 5) IDFV and rising appetite for M&A
01:01:14
October 8, 2020
TWIG #103: Roblox To Go Public, Among Us Drives Discord Usage, Cyberpunk Crunch
Welcome to TWIG #103! This week we cover: #1. U.S. gaming platform Roblox prepares to go public #2. Among Us drives record Discord installs #3. Cyberpunk 2077 Publisher Orders 6-Day Weeks Ahead of Launch  You can reach us on Twitter at: Joseph Kim: @jokim1 (Twitter, Insta)    Eric Kress: @ekress     Guest Speakers: Kenny Liu: @kliuless Josh Burns, LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joshmburns/
47:37
October 6, 2020
How to Grow and Prosper like the King
King's Head of Growth, Antoine Le Nel, and Head of Ad Monetization, Tom Mapham deconstruct company's three phases of growth and discuss key learning along the way. Topics covered: 1. How has King’s marketing evolved over the years? From the early days of numerous puzzle game launches to the Activision era with a focus on franchises. What have been the biggest wins and the most important learnings overt the years? 2. Top of the funnel vs. User Acquisition. King has done some massive brand campaigns over the years. What were the goals of these campaigns, why do they fit in King's strategy and how does King measure the impact of these top-of-the-funnel campaigns. Will King doing more of these in the future? 3. Performance marketing trends and long-term approach. King didn’t jump on the somewhat absurd performance marketing trends of last years such as shockvertaising and fake-playables that are integrated into the game. Why did King choose not to run after the trends? 4. How is King preparing for IDFA depreciation?   5. IDFV. King has a massive portfolio of puzzle games. It seems that IDFA depreciation and the importance of IDFV will be a big advantage for the company that has previously mastered cross-promotionö 6. Ad monetization. King held out from implementing ads for a long-time. It has now been few years that King’s games had ads in them. 
45:23
October 1, 2020
TWIG #102: Epic vs. Apple UPDATE!. Blizzard co-founder Mike Morhaime Starts Dreamhaven, Playco $1B Valuation, and Amazon's Luna Cloud Gaming Service
Welcome to TWIG #102! This week we cover: #1. Monday’s Hearing May Foreshadow Epic v. Apple Outcome #2. Blizzard cofounder Mike Morhaime launches new gaming endeavor Dreamhaven #3. PlayCo raises $100M at $1B Valuation for Instant Games #4. Luna, Amazon’s new Streaming Service Do you have feedback or comments for us? You can reach us on Twitter at: Joseph Kim: @jokim1 (Twitter, Insta)   Eric Kress: @ekress    Adam Telfer: @adamwtelfer    Miska Katkoff: @m_katkoff Guest Speaker: David Hoppe, Partner from Gamma Law: https://gammalaw.com/
50:42
September 29, 2020
TWIG #101: New Call of Duty Warzone Mobile, Micro$oft Acquires Bethesda, Stillfront Acquires Nanobit, and Sony vs. Microsoft Nextgen Wars
Welcome to TWIG #101! This week we cover: #1. 'Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile' Seemingly Leaked in Activision Job Post #2. Stillfront Group acquires Nanobit and expands the portfolio with narrative and lifestyle games #3. Welcoming the Talented Teams and Beloved Game Franchises of Bethesda to Xbox - Xbox Wire  #4. Eric Talks: Sony vs. Microsoft next-gen strategy Do you have feedback or comments for us? You can reach us on Twitter at: Joseph Kim: @jokim1 (Twitter, Insta)   Eric Kress: @ekress    Adam Telfer: @adamwtelfer    Miska Katkoff: @m_katkoff
01:28:21
September 23, 2020
Unity's IPO | Growth, Risks, and Valuation!
Today we are going to be discussing Unity’s IPO. I think we all know Unity’s business as a cross-platform game development engine… but in particular, we will discuss: #1. Current business and sources of revenue #2. Growth prospects #3. Key risks #4. Competition #5. Valuation And with us today to speak to all of these issues and more are (Twitter): Jason Chapman from Konvoy Ventures (@konvoyventures) Aaron Bush from The Motley Fool and Master the Meta Newsletter (@aaronbush100) Matthew Kanterman from Bloomberg Intelligence (@theKantoarbot) Host: Joe Kim from LILA Games (@jokim1) LINKS: Unity Files for IPO (Konvoy Ventures) Analyzing First Game Engine IPO (Master the Meta)
47:01
September 18, 2020
Genre & Great Games with Facebook Gaming and Game Refinery
Did you know that nearly half of players say that genre is important when deciding which new mobile game to try, exceeding factors like friends or family recommendations and app store reviews?  This insight ☝️ is just one of numerous you'll find in Facebook's recent Genre and Great Games report. It's a fantastic deep dive into four key mobile genres (Strategy, RPG, Puzzle and Hypercasuas) focusing on four key countries (US, UK, Japan, Korea), What makes the report unique is not only all the Facebook data but also the way it is structured based on genre characteristics, community, IAP preferences and ad monetization. In this episode we are joined by Kyle Ranally, Vertical Insights Marketing Strategist at Facebook IQ and Joel Julkunen, Head of Game analysis at Game Refinery. Both of the gentlemen we instrumental in crafting up the Genre and Great Games report. Get the Full Report here: www.fb.gg/genre2020
54:49
September 16, 2020
TWIG #100: Lessons, Biggest News, and The Future!
Welcome to our 100th episode retrospective episode! In this podcast, we will look back on the origins of TWIG, talk about lessons learned, biggest news, future, and finally what are some of the best episodes you should definitely try to catch. Hosts: Twitter, Insta Miska Katkoff: @m_katkoff Joseph Kim: @jokim1   Eric Kress: @ekress     Adam Telfer: @adamwtelfer    
52:30
September 14, 2020
Writing for Games Done Right! | With Susan O'Connor (Tomb Raider, Bioshock, Far Cry 2)
Today we discuss how to do writing for games the right way! And speaking with us on this topic is one of the most experienced writers in the industry Susan O'Connor. Susan has worked on over 25 titles, from AAA to indie. Titles in her portfolio have sold over 30 million copies and generated over $500 million in sales. Listen to find out more about the opportunity for writing in games, the process, key considerations, how to work with and hire a writer, how to write great characters, and more! Find out more about Susan here: https://www.susanoconnorwriter.com/ Host: Joseph Kim, @jokim1 Guest: Susan O'Connor
54:07
September 12, 2020
Launching and Scaling a Mid-Core Game in 2020
Mid-core game marketing is know for either massive marketing campaigns that flood the market or those incredibly divisive creatives that have usually nothing to do with the game itself. Either way, scaling a mid-core game is an expensive undertaking. So how should you launch and scale if you have a great game but limited resources and no brand recognition?  In this episode we're joined by Riku Rakkola (CEO of Traplight Games) and Filippo De Rose (Chief Growth Officer of Traplight Games) who walk us through how they developed, launched and scaled Battle Legion. One of the most innovative mid-core games to hit the market in recent years.
58:24
September 9, 2020
TWIG #99: Epic's Plans for World Domination, India bans PUBG Mobile, New Switch Coming 2021, and Ubisoft: PS5 Not Backwards Compatible with PS3 and Lower
Welcome to TWIG #99! This week we cover: #1. India bans PUBG in latest crackdown on Chinese apps #2. Epic’s Latest Apple Argument Hints At Plans For World Domination #3. Report: New Switch model with better graphics coming in 2021 #4. PS5 won’t be backward-compatible with PS3, PS2, or PS1, Ubisoft says Do you have feedback or comments for us? You can reach us on Twitter at: Joseph Kim: @jokim1 (Twitter, Insta)   Eric Kress: @ekress    Adam Telfer: @adamwtelfer    Miska Katkoff: @m_katkoff SPONSOR: This episode is sponsored by Beta Hat (www.betahatMR.com)
52:22
September 7, 2020
Making a Hit Mobile Match-3 Game | GenJoy's David vs. Goliath Story
GenJoy, a studio from the leading Spanish mobile Group Genera, just launched Tuscany Villa a match-3 puzzle game on mobile.  How will the Seville, Spain based mobile studio compete against giants such as King and Playrix?   More specifically we talk about:   #1. Strategy & Product: What kind of strategy and what kind of product differentiation does Genera employ to compete against the big guys?   #2. Marketing: We’ve heard stories about how the big guys have a huge marketing advantage… or do they? Let’s dive deeper and find out how Genera competes on a marketing basis   #3. Technology Infrastructure: And finally technology infrastructure. There are lots of rumors and stories of a massive infrastructure technology investment by King especially around machine learning and AI applied to level creation, design, and balancing. What are the technology investments Genera will be making to compete?   To walk us through all of this and more are the three key leads from Genera:      - Alejandro Moreno     - Pablo Benitez     - Jesus Bartus
46:06
September 4, 2020
Epic Lawsuit vs Apple & Google | Expert Legal Opinion
Antitrust Specialist Ryan Tisch from Crowell & Moring and Video Games Lawyer David Hoppe from Gamma Law explain Epic's lawsuit against Apple and Google.   Topics Covered:  Epic's Legal Suit Explained  Google vs. Apple? Apple's Retaliation  Apple's Legal Strategy  Realistic Legal Scenarios  Predicting Outcomes  Expect an Epic Trick   Hosts:     - Joe Kim, @jokim1    - Eric Kress Speakers:     - David Hoppe, https://gammalaw.com/     - Ryan Tisch, https://www.crowell.com/
41:55
September 3, 2020
TWIG #98: Facebook Abandoned IDFA, Unity IPO, COD Cold War $70, Risks of Market Research
Welcome to TWIG #98! This week we cover: #1. Facebook has abandoned the IDFA and may kill FAN for iOS. What’s next for mobile measurement? #2. Unity’s IPO numbers look pretty… Unreal #3. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War costs $69.99 for next-gen consoles #4. The risks of market research LINKS: Best Practices Live Ops Digital Conference. More info: liveops.splashthat.com Eric Seufert blog post: Apocalypse Now: per WWDC, the IDFA is dead Guest Host: Eric Seufert. Check out Eric's blog: MobileDevMemo. And his Twitter: @eric_seufert Regular Hosts: Joe Kim. Any Ubisoft employees wanting help finding a new job DM me! Eric Kress Adam Telfer
56:44
August 31, 2020
Rant-cast: Eric Kress Unchained | IDFA Apocalypse, Why Tech Companies Fail at Games, Geopolitical Shenanigans
What are the biggest issues and annoyances in the games industry that trigger Eric Kress? Come to an uncensored broadcast discussing these issues moderated by Chris Hewish from Xsolla and also joined by Joe Kim who will egg on Eric for maximum entertainment! Host: Chris Hewish, President of Xsolla Speakers: Eric Kress, Deconstructor of Fun co-host Joe Kim, Deconstructor of Fun co-host Notes: I (Joe Kim) have been corrected that probabilistic attribution actually doesn't require fingerprinting but instead can be executed by utilizing a technique called Mixed Media Modeling. Thanks Steve Palley for the correction!
57:06
August 29, 2020
IDFA - What You Need to do Yesterday
In this episode we sat down with three growth experts to discuss following questions: What companies are doing to prepare for the depreciation of IDFA How to figure out the best messaging to convince as many users as possible to give you permission to access their IDFA via AppTrackingTransparency How to optimize marketing campaigns post IDFA depreciation How to pick conversion value events going forward How to distinct between paid and organic users How to retarget high-value users What will happen to CPIs Connect with our fantastic guests: Tatyana Bogatyreva, Head of UA at Gram Games Nebojsa Radovic, Growth Lead at Network’s Yevgeny Peres, VP of Growth at ironSource 
01:30:19
August 25, 2020
TWIG 97: Amazon Sucks at Games, Take-Two Acquires Playdots, Tencent Stake in Voodoo, Game Creators Burned Out
Welcome to TWIG #97! This week we cover: #1. Amazon is good at so many things. Why is it bad at games? #2. Take-Two Interactive acquires mobile studio Playdots for $192 million #3. Tencent takes minority stake in French casual games maker Voodoo #4. Video Game Creators Are Burned Out and Desperate for Change SHOW LINKS: Guest Host: Dan Bailey, Actor/Voice Actor and Video Game Producer  THE GREATEST LIVE OPS CONFERENCE EVER, SIGN UP NOW: https://liveops.splashthat.com/  FEEDBACK?: Do you have feedback or comments for us? You can reach us on Twitter at: Joseph Kim: @jokim1 (Twitter, Insta)   Eric Kress: @ekress    Adam Telfer: @adamwtelfer    Miska Katkoff: @m_katkoff SPONSOR: This episode is sponsored by Beta Hat (www.betahatMR.com)
58:08
August 24, 2020
Starting a New Game Studio | 3 CEOs Who Raised Millions Talk Funding!
Host:  Joe Kim, Deconstructor of Fun Podcast Host, Managing Partner of GameMakers, and CEO of LILA Games. We are joined by the founders and CEOs of 3 recently funded game studios:   1. Antti Hattara, CEO of StarBerry  ($1.3M led by Play Ventures)     2. Emily Greer, CEO of Double Loop ($2.5M led by London Venture Partners)    3. Travis Boatman, CEO of Carbonated ($8.5M led by Andreessen Horowitz)     Today we’ll be talking about what it takes to start a games studio and also how to get funding for your studio.  So more specifically we’ll talk about:       What is the current environment for starting a games studio? What are the key opportunities to pursue? What does the funding environment look like? What are challenges?  Advice for new founders?
01:08:22
August 21, 2020
TWIG #96: Next-Gen State of Industry, Apple/Epic Can't Lose!, and Wildlife Scores $120M
Welcome to TWIG #96! This week we cover: #1. Next-Gen Gaming: State of the Industry, Unreal Engine Blog site #2. Opinion: The Apple/Epic battle has four possible outcomes, and Epic can’t lose, 9to5 mac #3. Wildlife Scores Vulcan-led $120M Series B Financing To Propel Mobile Game Platform, Crunchbase SHOW LINKS: Guest Host: Kenny Liu from ggDigest, now DOF Digest! Is the US about to split the internet? US Govt "Clean Network" Proposal FEEDBACK?: Do you have feedback or comments for us? You can reach us on Twitter at: Joseph Kim: @jokim1 (Twitter, Insta)   Eric Kress: @ekress    Adam Telfer: @adamwtelfer    Miska Katkoff: @m_katkoff SPONSOR: This episode is sponsored by Beta Hat (www.betahatMR.com)
54:45
August 17, 2020
How to Build the Amazon of Game Companies!
Game companies (with some exceptions like Nintendo) don't last! They are not long-term defensible. In tech, the FAANG companies are massively defensible. In fact,  Amazon today is the most valuable and most defensible company in the world.    In the video games industry, we don’t see the same level of long-term defensibility that we see in those industries.   After lots of great feedback and discussion after posting a blog post about this issue, we decided to bring some smart folks to talk about this.  Here's the written blog post  So the topic of our discussion today is as follows:      - #1. What are the current defensibility strategies of game companies today?      - #2. How defensible are gaming companies?       - #3. How can game companies build greater long-term defensibility?       - #4. How should management teams be thinking about building greater defensibility into their companies?      - #5. Which game company has the greatest defensibility in the market today?   And with us today to speak to all of these issues and more are:       - #1. Lloyd Melnick, GM of Chumba Casino at VGW    - #2. Kristian Segerstrale, CEO of Super Evil Megacorp - #3. Mark Sottosanti, SVP at Riot Games Your host/moderator: - Joe Kim, CEO of LILA Games, YouTuber at GameMakers, and DOF Podcast Co-host/Producer, Twitter/Insta: @jokim1
01:11:24
August 14, 2020
TWIG #95: Apple Blocks xCloud and Stadia, Zynga Acquires Rollic for $168M, and Why Indies Struggle on Switch eShop!
Welcome to TWIG #95! This week we cover: #1. Apple blocking Project xCloud and Stadia because it can't review every game (gamesindustry.biz) #2. Zynga acquires hypercasual game maker Rollic for $168M (Mobile Marketer) #3. Why Indies are struggling to be seen on the Switch eshop (MCV/Develop) SHOW LINKS: Guest Host: Kenny Liu from ggDigest, now DOF Digest! FEEDBACK?: Do you have feedback or comments for us? You can reach us on Twitter at: Joseph Kim: @jokim1 (Twitter, Insta)   Eric Kress: @ekress    Adam Telfer: @adamwtelfer    Miska Katkoff: @m_katkoff SPONSOR: This episode is sponsored by Beta Hat (www.betahatMR.com)
48:06
August 10, 2020
UA Coffee Talk: Mobile Marketing for Card Games
Indie mobile game developer WildCard Games has been developing mobile card games for the past 7 years launching games like Ultimate Cribbage, Cribbage, and Backgammon.   How does this 2 person studio get to the next level in growing their mobile game products?   Let's DIVE DEEP! We review mobile marketing strategy and discuss channels, campaigns, creative types.  Deep discussion on using Facebook's AEO and VO relative to other forms of marketing.   Great discussion with WildCard's Josh Chandley their Chief Operating Officer. https://www.linkedin.com/in/joshchandley   Expert UA Advisors: Nebo Radovic, N3twork: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nebojsaradovic/ Jon Lau, Weee!: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jonathan-y-lau/   TOPICS DISCUSSED: Intro to WildCard Studios Current Marketing Campaigns Initial Feedback Fluctuating ARPU Curve AEO and VO Considerations Creative Types Scale Considerations IDFA Considerations  Facebook Algorithms  Final Words of Advice
54:26
August 7, 2020
TWIG #94: Halo Infinite, EA Best June Quarter in History, and Blizzard Shows off Diablo Immortal
Welcome to TWIG #94! This week we cover: #1. Could Halo: Infinite be the last ever Halo title, as 343 calls it a “platform for the future” #2. EA Just had its best june quarter for Sales in 38 year history #3. Blizzard shows off new Diablo Immortal gameplay SHOW LINKS: Guest Host: Kenny Liu from ggDigest, now DOF Digest! FEEDBACK?: Do you have feedback or comments for us? You can reach us on Twitter at: Joseph Kim: @jokim1 (Twitter, Insta)   Eric Kress: @ekress    Adam Telfer: @adamwtelfer    Miska Katkoff: @m_katkoff
53:42
August 4, 2020
Genre-Defining Gaming Studios - with Michail ‘Mishka’ Katkoff
In today’s episode, we ask a very important question - how to build a studio that can make genre-defining hit games. Even though game mechanics are powerful forces, what can truly drive massive and sustainable growth are culture, processes and teams that comprise high-performing studios - a perspective that I’m excited to dig into today. I’m truly thrilled to get Mishka’s insights distilled from hundreds of games from tens of studios in our interview today.    Key Highlights:  🤔 Why is it important to know and understand how to build a successful studio, versus, say how to make successful game mechanics?  🎮 The seven elements that make for a great studio.   ✅ Why ‘right sized’ teams are important to a great studio.  👨🏻‍💻 Why Mishka values software and art over presentations.  🎨 Why Mishka considers an art director a key early hire.  ❌ The one common characteristic of unsuccessful games. 📐 How engineers, designers and business people on teams look at problems from very different perspectives. 💭 Why a PM or businessperson-driven culture can find it hard to release anything genre-defining.  ✌️ How to change the composition and leadership of studio teams as a game matures.  💯 How to think about being design driven vs. metrics driven.
30:23
July 30, 2020
TWIG #93: Ragnarok of M&A (from IDFA Deprecation), RPG Personas Debate!, Over 1/2 of Kids Playing Roblox, Microsoft Showcase
Welcome to TWIG #93! This week we cover: #1. The 7 RPG player personas #2. Over half of US kids are playing Roblox, and it’s about to host Fortnite-esque virtual parties too #3. Microsoft Showcase #4. The Imminent Ragnarok of M&A in Mobile Gaming Space SHOW LINKS: Guest Host: Brett Nowak, CEO of Liquid & Grit FEEDBACK?: Do you have feedback or comments for us? You can reach us on Twitter at: Joseph Kim: @jokim1 (Twitter, Insta)   Eric Kress: @ekress    Adam Telfer: @adamwtelfer    Miska Katkoff: @m_katkoff
01:06:31
July 28, 2020
The Economy of the Metaverse | Tim Sweeney CEO of Epic Games!
If the Metaverse is the next frontier? How should the economy be designed to help support a healthy and vibrant ecosystem for all players? Today we are joined by Tim Sweeney CEO of Epic Games  The focus of the discussion is how do we build an efficient and fair economy for this new platform.
48:20
July 27, 2020
Game Industry M&A Outlook | Who's Buying, Who Will Be Acquired Next?
We’re here today to talk about the current state of M&A aka mergers & acquisitions in the games industry. There’s been a lot of recent activity and there seems to be an open question now of whether the current trend can continue as Zynga seems to indicate or whether we’re likely going to see a major slowdown.   Specifically we’ll speak to:      - #1. What has driven the recent spate of M&A in the games industry?      - #2. Why has Zynga historically sucked at M&A and suddenly seem like they are amazing at it more recently?      - #3.  Who are the buyers in the market      - #4. Whoa are the acquisition targets  including speculation on WB?      - #5 Predictions on M&A trends short term/long term?   And with us today to speak to all of these issues and more are:      - #1. Saad Choudri, Chief Commercial Officer, at Miniclip: https://www.linkedin.com/in/saad-choudri-4691384/      - #2. Jeff Cohen, Research Analyst at Stephens Inc.: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeff-cohen-29930455/      - #3. Michael Metzger, Partner at investment banking firm DrakeStar Partners: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michaelmmetzger/ Originally aired on GameMakers.com YouTube channel HERE
01:05:39
July 23, 2020
TWIG #92: Microsoft xCloud Launch, China Removes Supercell's HayDay + 2.5K other games, Glu Reloads for Acquisitions
Welcome to TWIG #92! This week we cover: #1. Microsoft to launch xCloud streaming free with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate in September (The Verge) #2. China removes  Supercell’s Hay Day and 2500 other games from iOS app Store (Venture Beat) #3. Glu reloads its war chest for mobile game acquisitions (Venture Beat) SHOW LINKS: Watch the M&A YouTube video FEEDBACK?: Do you have feedback or comments for us? You can reach us on Twitter at: Joseph Kim: @jokim1 (Twitter, Insta)   Eric Kress: @ekress    Adam Telfer: @adamwtelfer    Miska Katkoff: @m_katkoff This episode is sponsored by Beta Hat (www.betahatMR.com)
49:47
July 21, 2020
IDFA - Everything You Ought to Know with Eric Seufert & Yevgeny Peres
Monumental changes are changes are coming to mobile games market.  First one to bear the hit is the performance marketing ecosystem. As Play Store follows suit, attribution platforms, ad networks and Facebook are struggling to adapt to the new reality. And as the shift happens, performance marketing teams will go through a rapid bottoms up change due to all the changes in the ecosystem.  In this episode we dive deeper into the implications of the changes to the marketing ecosystem. What happens to CPIs and CPMs? What is the role of cross-promotion going forward? Will IPs be a more important for games looking to grow? How about ad monetization?  We also discuss the future of various different type of mobile games companies from hypercasual publishers to mid-core developers, from startups to giants with large and diversified portfolios.  ---- Our guests: Eric Seufert www.linkedin.com/in/ericseufert Yevgeny Peres https://www.linkedin.com/in/yevgenyperes/
01:28:22
July 15, 2020
TWIG #91: Sony Invests $250M in Epic Games, Why Tencent is Buying Leyou (aka Le-YOWWW!), Mobile Games Broke Records in Q2, Ubisoft Event!
Welcome to TWIG #91! This week we cover: #1. Sony invests $250m in Fortnite’s Epic Games (Financial Times) #2. Why Tencent is looking to buy Warframe parent company Leyou (Venture Beat) #3. App Annie: Mobile gamers broke app store records in Q2 2020 (Venture Beat) #4. Everything we learned on Ubisoft Event (Kotaku) SHOW LINKS: As per the News updates, check out the incredibly handsome Joe Kim's blog post on Why Epic Games $18B valuation may actually be too low FEEDBACK?: Do you have feedback or comments for us? You can reach us on Twitter at: Joseph Kim: @jokim1 (Twitter, Insta)   Eric Kress: @ekress    Adam Telfer: @adamwtelfer    Miska Katkoff: @m_katkoff This episode is sponsored by Beta Hat (www.betahatMR.com)
01:02:07
July 13, 2020
Sharing the Secrets: How Ludia Successfully Re-targets and Re-engages its Players
Which one is better: acquiring a new user or getting a lapsed user to re-engage? Well, it depends. Most of us have been investing into getting new users while struggling at re-engaging our lapsed users. But our lack of success in re-engagement is likely more to do with how we go about it rather than the strategy of getting the lapsed players to return. In this episode we discuss re-engagment both at strategic and practical level with Ludia's Taylor Lundgren and two powerful Googlers: William Planques and Guy Saig.
46:48
July 10, 2020
TWIG #90: PUBG Mobile Doubles LT Rev to $3B, Apple Arcade Strategy Shift, and Amazon and Google Bad at Games!
Welcome to TWIG #90! This week we cover: #1. PUBG Mobile Doubles Lifetime Revenue to $3 Billion in Just Seven Months (Sensor Tower) #2. Apple Cancels Some Arcade Games in Strategy Shift To Keep Subscribers (Bloomberg) #3. Amazon and Google are in games for the wrong reasons (GamesIndustry.biz) SHOW LINKS: Game Changers is a webinar series featuring exceptional women in the gaming industry. Our goal is to create a platform for female leaders to share their expertise and to create a strong and caring support network for women in our industry. Isabel Ferreira, Stella Wang and Catalina Lou will join this Thursday, 9th July at 6pm BST to discuss and share their thoughts on Crossing the COVID-19 Bridge: Impact, Outlook and the Silver Lining. There is a sign up link here - https://lnkd.in/gWZqJ7M FEEDBACK?: Do you have feedback or comments for us? You can reach us on Twitter at: Joseph Kim: @jokim1 (Twitter, Insta)  Eric Kress: @ekress   Adam Telfer: @adamwtelfer   Miska Katkoff: @m_katkoff Note to Apple: All hosts do not necessarily share the same opinions! This episode is sponsored by Beta Hat (www.betahatMR.com)
01:00:09
July 6, 2020