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Casual Connect 2012: Kabam's Haden Blackman on 10 things to avoid when making games as a service

Casual Connect 2012:  Kabam's Haden Blackman on 10 things to avoid when making games as a service
 Finishing up the first day of Casual Connect was Haden Blackman, Kabam's GM.

He was talking about Games as a service: 10 things to avoid


  • You can't just focus on gameplay. Monetisation is as important as core gameplay. There are lots of subtleties.

  • Don't confuse monetisation loops with gameplay. You have to have strong gameplay and innovation is increasingly important.

  • Don't forget your 'Elder' (or longterm) game. What will your players be doing after six months, after 36 months.? You probably can't sustain do it through content. Think about social interactions such as PVP.

  • Don't build more than you require to launch. Really hone your core features. Create cloves of garlic, don't try to layer an onion. Get the game out there and let it evolve.

  • Assemble the right team. You need a mix of backgrounds and a mix of skills - monetisation design and optimisation, user experience design, dedicated marketing, technical experts etc etc. And they need to be a team.

  • Realise launching a game is the easy part. Pre-launch is maybe 20 percent of the work. Weekly or daily updates are required, plus you need promotions, sales, tournaments and in-game events. This drives activity and monetisation.

  • Don’t trade stability for speed. You might be working releasing core gameplay, but you can’t release buggy, broken games.

  • You need an optimisation plan. You need to track everything and you need to think how this will change the game when it’s live before you put the game live.

  • Don’t have virality; have true vitality. At the moment, we’re using blunt instruments because we’re forcing people to spam their friends. We need to develop evangelists who are actively promoting your game without you telling them to do so.

  • Don’t forget the best practises from traditional gaming. Some of those lessons are still relevant, especially on the game production side. 


Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at PG.biz which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.

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