Adventure Capitalist developer HyperHippo shares 10 Years of Learning in 6 key points at PG Connects London

At PGC London CEO Sam Fisher focused on taking the long term view, fostering creative culture and trusting yourself

Adventure Capitalist developer HyperHippo shares 10 Years of Learning in 6 key points at PG Connects London

The developer of Adventure Capitalist, Adventure Communist, Dungeon Dwarves and Vacation Tycoon delivered an almost spiritual holistic vision to running a company, kicking off by explaining that “We get up every morning because we really do want to make a difference in the world.”

He continued to outline three key learnings from 10 years (so far):

i) Great Teams & Meaningful Visions Take Time to Become Powerful
It takes time to get things right, we think we’ve only just about got it right after 10 years. In another 10 years I expect I’ll probably say ‘oh you naive boy’

When you’re starting up your new company you need to think about the longterm. When you build games youc an last for generations, so you need to think about that

ii) Culture is Where We Cultivate
“This is going to sound obvious, but you need to make consistent choices and nurture what you are building every day.”
“We’ve been concentrating on building what we call a creative driven culture. How do you get creativity? You need to have some sort of safety to try and fail and also limitations, set up a sandbox within which to work.”
Sam also stressed the need to look at the difference between retention and alignment.
“We were very proud of keeping people in our team for a long time, but alignment has to be more important – need to make sure the teams are aligned”.

iii) Trust Yourself
“If I was to go back and give myself advice, the one thing I’d say is ‘trust yourself’. This is a rapidly changing market and the experts aren’t always right. You’re not going to make perfect decisions and you WILL make mistakes, but your team WILL thank you for making bold decisions.”
Fisher ultimately pushed home the point saying “A few big wins will make up for a lot of small mistakes!”

The Way Ahead
To conclude his presentation, Sam went onto share 3 key ideals for his (and potentially your) future success.

1. Be Different
“My advice here has always been to find what you’re good at and focus on that. We excel at creating moments of joy and we’re excited about that.” “You need to think what you’re doing that your special at and work out how can you really focus on that.
Sam went on to point out that so called ‘niche’ markets in mobile can become huge when you consider global scale. For Hyper Hippo he felt that the growth would be outside of tier 1 markets.

2. Player Relationships are our fuel for survival
“We’ve always had a player first culture, we realise that our most important currency is our relationship with our players.”
Fisher went onto explain that their ongoing focus was going to be very much on the active player base, rather than big headline numbers “Often you get caught up in vanity metrics of how big your audience is, but we’ve been continuing to focus on the active player base, that smaller 3% maybe of the total audience who are always there supporting, engaging and spending money.”

He went onto outline his vision of the future of the market, where there were 2 large forces at play – what the players want (in his view ‘freedom’) and what the platforms want or need (i.e. controlling the environment), saying“It’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out, our bet is on the player!”
“This is making us think of things in a different way, outside of the current relationship. How we connect and interact with players and their lifestyles and maybe working with companies in different spaces – that could be outside of games entirely in wellness, automotive”

3. Be Good or Compliance will hurt us
The final forward looking point was something that should be of interest to everyone in the space, the need to look after players and stave off or deal with compliance.
“When you look at the billions of dollars of fines occurring in the space, it’s a sad state. And we have to take some responsibility. We’ve had the benefit of the wild west for a long time, but the rules will catch up with us and we can’t ignore it."

Ultimately, for Fisher, the best solution to regulation is to get ahead of it and look after players and their data and rights in the first place. “In the current economy, margins are probably going down and it’s only going to cost us more in terms of compliance. So please look after your players and be good!”


A footy game fanatic and experienced editor of numerous computing and game titles, lively Chris is up for anything - including running Steel Media! (Madman!)