Interview

Android is better for freemium monetisation than iOS, says Game Insight's Darya Trushkina

Android is better for freemium monetisation than iOS, says Game Insight's Darya Trushkina
It used to be said iOS was the gold rush of mobile game development, but when it comes to making money on mobile, Android is better described as the wild, wild west.

Still, Russian outfit Game Insight seems to be avoiding the badlands and dead man hands. It's currently got the two top grossing games on Android in the form of Paradise Island and My Country.

And it's looking to build on that success too. We caught up with veep of business development, Darya Trushkina, to find out more.

Pocket Gamer: Why do you think the freemium market is so exciting?

Darya Trushkina: We believe the freemium market has more potential in the future. Personally, I like to try a game out before paying for it. Once I'm addicted, I'll pay for virtual goods. I think this holds more widely as many people favour the option to get games for free, which gives them the opportunity to explore many more games and figure out what they really like.

Also, freemium games are our specialty. We know how to monetise through virtual goods, and that's why we work in this market.

So we shouldn't expect any paid games from Game Insight?

Freemium games are taking over the market. Within the next few years, I think gaming will transform into free-to-play while paid apps will become a part of history.

Game Insight is reserving its position by making high quality content, and creating a great gaming community, who share the same beliefs. As for now, though, we are all about freemium games and I bet it will remain this way for a long time.

You've enjoyed plenty of success on Android with the likes of Paradise Island and My Country. How are those games performing compared to your iOS line-up?

My Country is not on iOS yet, so I can't compare those two. Paradise Island, however, is on both platforms and, for last couple months, revenue-wise, it performs better on Android.

IOS works better for paid apps, while Android is great for freemium games - that's what makes the difference.

More generally, are you finding it easy to monetise freemium games on Android?

Development is tough on Android: fragmentation is a big issue. However, it is all about the volume, plus the effort the developer is willing to invest. It's easier and faster to make a game for iOS but Android requires more time and effort.

Nevertheless, once the game is ready, Android works much better for small developers because the competition is not that big on Android yet. High quality games perform very well on Android and if monetisation works, it pays off completely.

Do you think Android is best for social games then?

Aside from mobile, Facebook is still the number one social gaming platform and unless Google+ opens its doors to developers with better conditions, I'm afraid Facebook will remain the only platform for social titles.

There aren't any Facebook competitors at this time. There are many different platforms geographically-wise, but none of them perform as well as Facebook in terms of revenue . We can make money on local networks, but overall, there's no comparison to Facebook.

Would you consider making mobile games for other platforms?

Recently, we opened an HTML5 development studio, and our first game will be launching soon. Also, there are several other interesting opportunities we are working on at this moment, but unfortunately, I cannot talk about them at this time

Do you think Game Insight could be an acquisition target?

At this moment, we do what we love and enjoy doing it. The Game Insight team loves games and we love to bring fun to the people playing them. But, we "never say never". If an opportunity comes along and it might be a good fit for the company, we will always consider it.

Thanks to Darya for her time.

You can see what Game Insight gets up next to via its website.

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.

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