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Devsisters’ Chris O’Kelly talks upselling IP to fans across multiple games without cannibalisation

17% of mid to high spenders spend on two Devsister games cumulatively
Devsisters’ Chris O’Kelly talks upselling IP to fans across multiple games without cannibalisation
  • In preparation for our 2024 event, we're taking a look back at just some of the amazing speakers and sessions that took place at PGC Helsinki 2023
  • For more opportunities to network and learn from the big names in games make sure that you're a part of PC Connects Helsinki 2024

Helsinki has long been at the forefront of the global games industry, with a particularly fine heritage in mobile. That's why we've been visiting every year since 2014 for our annual Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki two-day conference.

And this year we're proud to be part of Finish Games Week, a week of events celebrating gaming activity within the region with PGC Helsinki 2024 taking place on October 1st to 2nd.

And in preparation for our 2024 event, we're taking a look back at just some of the amazing speakers and sessions that took place at PGC Helsinki 2023. 

So for more opportunities to network and learn from the big names in games make sure that you're a part of PC Connects Helsinki 2024.


Speaking at Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki 2023, Devsisters Europe managing director Chris O’Kelly gave a talk on the power of intellectual property with insights from the Cookie Run franchise.

"A great IP has lots of stories to tell. Often multiple in parallel," said O’Kelly. "You have to have a resonating message, an emotional trigger, and some sort of consumable content depth evolving over time."

Playing across the property

Based on Devsisters’ internal data, active players who engage in two or more of its games in the same franchise have 30% longer play sessions and play more times in total per day. Those players also have roughly double the day one retention rate of players who don’t already play multiple games in the franchise, and they have triple the day seven retention.

Cross-promotion is "where it becomes quite significant", with up to half of IP "aficionados" having enough interest in a new entry in the IP to install it, based on Devsisters’ actual install numbers. This applies even if the new game is in a different genre.

Suggesting players trust in studios as well as IPs, gamers who already play a Devsisters game are 30% more likely to show interest in a new game even if not based on the same IP and in a different genre, O’Kelly shared.

"Cannibalisation amongst spanners is quite small," he added, as 17% of mid to high spenders have been found to spend on two Devsister games cumulatively, while 25% spend on two titles at least once.

Upselling to "aficionados" of an IP is five times higher than with newcomers to a franchise, whether those new players are acquired through paid or organic means.

Broadening a brand

In its 15-year history, the Cookie Run series has seen plenty of entries from OvenBreak to Witch’s Castle to Puzzle World, each one leveraging the known IP either in the same endless runner genre or taking brand in new directions.

Collaborations with other brands are also a regular occurrence, such as Sonic and Tails appearing as playable characters in 2021’s Cookie Run Kingdom. O’Kelly noted that these collabs have mixed results - some more successful than others - and that while many collaborations are exclusive to Asia, like the creation of real consumable products based on Cookie Run, there is a "Western pipeline for collabs" coming.

So too is a 3D animated series in production with over 20 episodes created so far, further broadening Cookie Run as a transmedia IP.

Then there’s the trading card game, released in Korean and due for release in English, though full details are yet to be confirmed. The card game was made with support from Kenji Watanaba, the original producer of Digimon and Tamagotchi.

Finishing his talk, O’Kelly concluded: "Last but not least, an IP is more than just a logo or a cool character. It has to have good lore, a cool background, and a story tangible in all aspects of the storyline. It will help you make decisions on everything."


Find out more about our next event - Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki 2024 - and how to register your interest, get tickets and take part, here.