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KEK Entertainment's Georgy Egorov talks crossplay's new prominence as gaming’s "new reality"

The KEK Entertainment founder and ex-Pixonic CEO Georgy Egorov discusses the past decade’s industry changes and the challenges of developing crossplay games
KEK Entertainment's Georgy Egorov talks crossplay's new prominence as gaming’s
  • KEK Entertainment's founder Georgy Egorov discusses the importance of crossplay for the studio's first IP
  • The market has changed dramatically in the past decade, even in the "blue ocean" niche

New mobile games developer KEK Entertainment has just closed its seed round, with $8 million in funding now going towards growing its team and bolstering development.

Based in Cyrpus, the studio was formed by ex-Pixonic management Georgy Egorov and Oleg Poroshin, who played key roles in the huge success of 2014’s War Robots - a mobile game that’s generated over $750 million in its lifetime.

Egorov and Poroshin’s first focus for KEK Entertainment is to create a platform-agnostic vehicle shooter IP with a presence across PC, console and mobile. We spoke with Egorov to find out more… Why are you focusing on crossplay for your first title? What is the opportunity you see there?

Georgy Egorov: Crossplay opens access to a wider audience. More platforms mean more touchpoints with players and more virality. We are making a teamplay game and saw a lot of times when a mobile player wants to invite a friend to play together, but the friend doesn't like mobile controls.

Another crucial aspect is marketing. Thanks to crossplay, we can flexibly choose the best way to reach our audience. Positioning the game as a mobile game for mobile players and as PC game for desktop players and using all the marketing toolset available will make marketing more cost-effective in the end.

“The main challenge in crossplay development is creating a game equally comfortable for players on all platforms”
Georgy Egorov

Our long-term plan is to create a significant IP that unites various projects. Therefore, we aim to focus heavily on building and working with communities. We love our players and want them to interact across all possible social platforms. PC players are usually more social, and crossplay will allow mobile players to engage more.

Overall, I believe that crossplay is the new reality. It used to be more challenging to implement, primarily due to hardware limitations. Now, prominent cases like Fortnite and Genshin Impact show that it's possible. Big players are clearly moving in that direction too. For instance, Apple is turning the MacBook into a new gaming platform - a perfect match for us.

Mobile is a challenging market right now. What's the right formula to tackle this space and win?

Our marketing strategy is in fact a combination of mobile and PC marketing approaches. To be successful on both platforms we can’t go only with UA. That means we need to build a brand. And to do it we need to work with PC and console influencers, media, and go big with communications.

But at the same time, UA is still a great tool. The key to success lies in the production of creatives. That's why we pay a lot of attention to developing the visual style of our project. For instance, in our game, there will be three playable factions with completely different visuals: from classic combat machinery to sci-fi, semi-organic battle tech. This will allow us to attract different types of players and create incredibly impactful creatives.

How has the market changed compared to when War Robots was launched?

“Even monetisation has changed. Today we need to be creative and player-oriented”
Georgy Egorov

There was almost no competition back in 2014. Now even in our relatively "blue ocean" niche there are a lot of strong players. And quality requirements are pretty high now - you cannot soft-launch your game in an unpolished state anymore.

Even monetisation has changed. Today we need to be creative and player-oriented - it’s not a good idea just to sell the overpowered content. The market has also dramatically changed. It was 99.9% UA-driven, with the role of community and relations with players very underestimated. Now it’s essential.

Back in those days, games were designed specifically for the platforms and the more your game fits the platform, the more benefits you get. Now everyone fights for a player’s cost so it’s better to have a platform-agnostic game to get the biggest reach.

I could continue forever; it was just another world. Of course there are a lot of challenges today, but I believe that the amount of new opportunities is far bigger than the amount of problems.

Have there been any unexpected challenges in developing a game that will play comparably on multiple platforms – controls, graphics etc?

The main challenge in crossplay development is creating a game equally comfortable for players on all platforms. Take interfaces, for example. Our task is to make them intuitive for mobile players without causing frustration for PC gamers due to empty spaces and "too mobile UI". Additionally, we need to ensure they adapt well to all screen sizes.

Another interesting case is battlefield orientation. Under load, mobile devices dim their brightness to save energy, while PC brightness remains stable. This creates a situation where battlefield readability is significantly better on PC.

Since we can't control device brightness, we must solve this issue within the game. So we decided to incorporate a separate information block in the battle HUD.

Similar cases arise regularly. However, in our genre, crossplay works well because positioning and tactics matter more than reflexes and accuracy. A tank's turret can't respond to mouse movements like a gun might in a game like CS 2. This helps neutralise the advantage of one platform over another. Personally, I prefer playing on a mobile device and rarely rank below second in the game.