After a period of restructuring and reorganisation, My.Games has begun to truly live up to its new global approach.
Having previously been a majority Russian-owned company, My.Games’ European and worldwide enterprises were sold to new owners in the wake of the Ukraine conflict. With new management and a new outlook, the company has taken pains to distance itself from its old owners, emphasising their new European and global approach, and in terms of strategy and expansion it definitely feels like an entirely new venture.
Most recently they announced the opening of their new regional hub in Abu Dhabi, offering them a physical presence and embedding them in the local gaming community. It’s part of their “Think Global, Act Local” strategy, and something that’s driving My.Games latest push into the global market, beyond their successes in Europe so far.
We got the chance to put our questions to chief strategy officer at My.Games, Elena Grigoryan who chatted about their latest moves and what the future holds for the company.
PocketGamer.com: Can you tell us more about My.Games’ “Think Global, Act Local” approach?
Elena Grigoryan: At My.Games, we seek to stay at the forefront of global industry trends, closely following market dynamics and player behaviour around the world. This broader perspective helps us better identify emerging opportunities and anticipate shifts in the market.
However, simply having a global outlook is not enough. Acting locally means going beyond a one-size-fits-all approach and recognizing the diversity of gaming communities and player preferences around the world. We understand that gamers from different regions have distinct tastes, cultural backgrounds, and gaming platforms they prefer. By acknowledging and respecting these differences, we can develop our games and create experiences that will truly resonate with local audiences.
The "Think Global, Act Local" approach also involves fostering strong relationships with local game developers’ communities and helping them to grow by sharing our expertise. Furthermore, it enables us to work with the best local talents whose experience, in turn, can enrich My.Games team.
What are you hoping to achieve with this approach?
We want to build a massive global community of game developers and gamers, to make more titles available in the developing markets of the Middle East, Latin America, and Asia, and take the local gaming industries to the next level - to help them grow and develop, together with our partners we will aim to create more special programs and initiatives, along with creating more jobs for local game developers.
What difference does having a presence on the ground make to your operations?
Despite being an over 90% remote workforce, an on-the-ground presence makes partnerships and collaborations with local gaming game developers communities, business partners, recruiters, press, and other important connections easier and more personal. Being able to meet face-to-face to build relationships and develop new initiatives and partnerships helps to build trust and mutual respect within local communities.
Where do My.Games have offices right now?
We keep expanding our company’s presence. My.Games’ HQ is in Amsterdam, we have offices in Cyprus and Armenia, and hubs in UAE, Georgia, and Turkey. In each of these locations, we organize various events and meetups to meet with the local game developers’ community and exchange ideas and expertise. Recently, for example, we held meetups in Armenia and Georgia, gathering more than 150 attendees at each of them and receiving very positive feedback from the participants.
What challenges have you faced in this overseas expansion?
International expansion always comes with hurdles. It takes time to build communities, forge local partnerships and raise awareness of your objectives. Still, we have found that with the right commitment and teams that share our vision, these hurdles can be overcome. Moreover, we see that the company’s expansion is hugely beneficial for the team as the more our employees travel, meet with industry experts from various regions, and collaborate with them on projects, the more they grow professionally and will further work towards making My.Games’ projects even more successful and entertaining.
Where is the next place you'll be focusing on?
This year we will focus on growing our presence in the MENA region. We have just opened a new regional hub in Abu Dhabi in partnership with local gaming organisation AD Gaming and plan to work closely with them to further support the local gaming market.
The region is full of talented game developers, and with our investment branch My.Games Venture Capital (MGVC), we will aim to act as a strategic partner for the studios with the most potential, offering them support in game development, analytics, and marketing. Together with AD Gaming, we will also be working towards creating more initiatives for young people to help them build successful careers in gaming.
My.Games will also be a part of Game Drive 2023 in collaboration with Google and Amazon Web Services. What does that involve?
Since launching Game Drive in 2020, My.Games has the opportunity to discover talented teams and further collaborate with them, expanding the platform's impact on the gaming industry and ensuring it remains vibrant and innovative. Within Game Drive, we join our best expertise with the key industry leaders from Google, AWS for Games, data.ai, and Deconstructor of Fun to set mobile game developers for success.
We’re focusing specifically on mobile games as it is a very dynamic and highly competitive industry, and that is where the developers will benefit significantly from the support. Game Drive, being in its third season now, has become a real community where the game industry veterans contribute their expertise and dedicate time and resources to new creators and projects.
We encourage all studios, no matter their size, to participate in Game Drive, and want to use the program to foster innovation, entrepreneurship, and empower this emerging generation of developers to achieve their fullest potential. Game Drive is open for all mobile game developers: if you have a project and would like to receive detailed feedback, you can submit it via the Game Drive website.
If you don’t have a project yet or are in the early development stage, you can participate in the educational online AMA sessions and join us at our physical events too, where you have the opportunity for exclusive networking with the Game Drive partners.
What do you think, in a crowded market, is the best way to promote your game? What's the best way to get ahead, find an audience, serve them and keep them happy?
In today's situation, when the market is oversaturated and big and small studios are fighting for players' attention, one cannot overemphasise the importance of building a strong brand for your game so that players keep coming back to it. At My.Games, we are pursuing a full-funnel comprehensive marketing approach, where we aim to attract attention, get players interested, engage them, and build loyalty even before users click on a banner and install the game from a store. Along with that, the key retention factor for us is the core gameplay in our titles and the ability to add more variety to it by introducing new features and updates, and different in-game events.
We have also been paying a lot of attention to analytics, restructuring and improving our predictive acquisition models. We rather quickly learned to estimate iOS acquisition in a new way; we are trying to be one step ahead and preparing for similar changes for the Android platform. In addition, nearly all our mobile games are ported to PC, which helps us expand our audience and acquisition capabilities.