Matthew Annal on making profitable games without looking too closely at the stats

Focusing on the fun

Matthew Annal on making profitable games without looking too closely at the stats

As part of Pocket Gamer Connects London 2017, Matthew Annal, CEO of Nitrome, gave a talk on how the company has made profits without looking closely at stats.

He started by talking about the company's development process, which relies largely on "gut instinct" and making games it wants to make, not necessarily ones it thinks will be mega-successful.

"Is it a realistic way to make money? Well, yes," said Annal, saying that all 21 of the games Nitrome has made have been profitable using a largely ad-based monetisation model.

As to what makes a good game, Annal said Nitrome "focuses on a unique hook or gimmick" which usually makes it stand out, giving it much-needed media attention.

"Polish is really important," he added, saying "your game is only as good as the worst part in it," and pointing to graphics as being hugely important to increase chances of being promoted.

In terms of catching Apple and Google Play's eye, Annal said that working with game sites and getting articles written about your game is often enough to get your game seen and potentially featured on the stores.

He also stated that while publishers "get a bad rap", if your game is failing to get promotion, working with a good publisher can give your game a serious boost in exchange for a percentage of your revenues.

In terms of monetisation, Annal said to look at other monetisation models, avoid being idealistic, and added that "it's OK to make money."


Ric is the Editor of, having started out as a Staff Writer on the site back in 2015. He received an honourable mention in both the MCV and Develop 30 Under 30 lists in 2016 and refuses to let anyone forget about it.