Phantom Gamelabs’ Sonja Angesleva on the importance of focusing on early purchasing behaviour for UA

Learn from Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki’s brightest minds as we hear from our speakers ahead of the September conference

Phantom Gamelabs’ Sonja Angesleva on the importance of focusing on early purchasing behaviour for UA

Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki is gearing up to be our biggest event in the city yet, and we couldn’t be more excited to share with you all that we have in store! It’s going to be a magnificent two day event packed with endless opportunities to learn, scale and most importantly, connect. Today, we’re continuing our series spotlighting just some of the amazing speakers that will be gracing the stage at our Helsinki show this September. They have been generous enough to share a few of their insights and expertise with us ahead of time, and you won’t want to miss them!

If you haven’t heard, we’re bringing back Europe’s favourite games industry conference to the spiritual home of mobile gaming for the first time in two years. On September 27 to 28, over 1,200 games industry professionals from around the globe will descend upon Helsinki for two days full of networking, matchmaking opportunities and hours of wisdom from over 200 thought leaders from all over the world. We are currently highlighting some of the most highly anticipated speakers we have joining us at the conference this September – keep checking back every day for more brilliant insights from our superstar speakers.

Today, we’re shining the spotlight on Phantom Gamelabs’ CEO Sonja Angesleva. Sonja is the CEO of Phantom Gamelabs and a board member of Remedy Entertainment. She has vast experience in product management, CI and data analytics in the fields of mobile games and B2C product development. She has received several MVP and lifetime awards in games, and in May 2022 she was listed in the Hyperight Nordic Top 100 in Data, analytics and AI.

[My aspiration is to] stay curious, leave my mark and add value to other people.
Sonja Angesleva

Join us at PG Connects Helsinki on September 27 to 28 to hear Angesleva deliver a session on sustaining business innovations, rapid mobile game prototyping and the necessity for early validation What’s the most common mistake you see being made in the games sector?
Sonja Angesleva: It is easy to measure different KPIs. It is equally easy to get confused about what is ‘good’, what should be picked as the North Star or what are the most important KPIs at a certain point in development. The lack of targets or various issues with data can easily derail the game team and blur development goals.

Outside development and publishing, where are the next big opportunities in the mobile games market?
We see many opportunities in in-house tools development. Building custom solutions for data automation or low-code tools to support digital marketing can alleviate hiring challenges and support user acquisition experimentation. Further this could lead into discovering new media formats at the boundary of television/streaming content and digital marketing and branding.

What’s the most important key performance indicator (KPI) for you - and why?
D7/D1 RPI stack. In the present competitive landscape, it has become critical to focus on early purchasing behaviour. This helps to manage the UA risk and better understand drivers for early engagement when building long-lasting and appealing experiences for players. From a player lifetime value perspective, RPI leads to LTV.

What is your biggest aspiration/goal in mobile gaming?
As a mobile game developer, stay curious, leave my mark and add value to other people.

How do you define innovation?
Innovation is a new method, or a new idea. It can be disruptive like cryptocurrencies, AR, VR or sustaining innovation, providing ways of getting better at what we are doing. In game business, disruptive innovations and their unknown potential take most of the media coverage. Phantom Gamelabs focus on sustaining innovations. We believe sustaining innovations have a major role in shaping the game industry over the next few years. How to better serve our players through CI, how to provide relevant offers and features for the players and how to keep the game relevant over a long time.

How do you find opportunities for innovation?
Constantly evolving mobile game market pushes developers to question the status quo and take new approaches in development. That puts forth opportunities for innovation. In order for innovation to break through, it requires a three-level approach. One has to have mature enough technology, clearly framed business potential and cultural acceptance. It is hard to build lasting solutions only based on technical innovation if consumers are not ready to accept it or it is too difficult to use.

I believe in developing sustaining innovations over disruption.
Sonja Angesleva

What is the best way to disrupt a market?
I believe in developing sustaining innovations over disruption.To me, that means coming up with a new product in order to replace an old one or improve existing processes and ways of building player experiences.

How do you encourage innovation in your organisation?
At Phantom Gamelabs, we work in small independent squads. Everyone is encouraged to constantly challenge themselves with game, feature, liveops event, data automation and backend tool ideas. We have a process of evaluating the ideas and pushing the best ones forward. We’ll always have time, and we reward innovation.

How do you know if your idea is good?
We believe in discussion, validation and analysis. We have a clear KPI framework, well-defined targets and most recent market data helping us validate an idea. Eventually, players will confirm whether our hypothesis is true or false.

How do you get other people behind your idea?
Developing ideas is a multi-step process. If an idea passes the initial step, it is our idea - no longer my idea. After that consumers will confirm if an idea should be developed further.

Connect with our stellar speakers
Expand your network with the likes of Sonja Angesleva and many, many more brilliant minds at this year’s Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki conference. There is no better place to connect with the biggest and most inspiring industry players and take your business to the next level. You can still take advantage of our Early Bird offer, but it’s ending soon! Head over to our website and buy your ticket today, you can save up to a whopping £290 if you act fast

Marketing Executive