On January 23rd and 24th Pocket Gamer Connects hits home soil, returning to London for two days of insight-sharing, and contact-making interspersed with our world-famous thought-provoking panels, seminars, keynotes and more.
There are countless networking opportunities and our expert sessions are your chance to get up close and meet some of the biggest names in mobile games in what will be our biggest and best PG Connects London yet!
Oleg Shyamovych self-described ideologist as well as the owner and CEO at Clever Ads Solutions, a leading programmatic mediation platform for ad monetisation of mobile apps and games. He is the founder of popular Telegram groups “Monetization, Mediation, UA (user acquisition)” with 4000+ members and “Kids Games and Apps” (500+ members).
Oleg is also the co-owner of PSV Games Studio (brand Hippo Kids Games) with more than 250 published mobile games over one billion downloads.
At Pocket Gamer Connects London, Oleg will deliver a talk named: “Mobile Ads Monetisation: Stop Shooting Yourself in the Foot” - a detailed look at the successful ad monetisation strategy for more than 250 mobile games and apps, released in both Google Play and Apple App Store. Oleg tells us that the tips and tricks for ads monetization in his talk could increase your ad revenue up to 60-80 percent.
The PG.biz team spoke to Oleg to find out more.
PocketGamer.biz: What's the most common mistake you see being made in the games industry?
Oleg Shliamovych: The key mistake of the vast majority of young developers is the fact that they want to develop a great game but not a great business out of the game.
If you are developing a game, you need to think about how you can make the game interesting for the player. However, if you are planning to create a mobile games business, your goal is much more than just to make a game interesting. You need to think and focus on how you can monetise and scale the game in order to make it as profitable as possible for as long as possible. Then, when it comes to the point where the game has proved itself to be profitable in the long term, the game is interesting for players as well. To put it simply, all profitable games are interesting but not all interesting games are profitable.
If you could give developers one piece of useful advice what would it be?
The answer to the previous question is the most helpful advice possible for mobile game developers. When creating a game, you need to think about the balance, so people can and will spend money on the game and, just as importantly, have fun.
What are the next big opportunities in the games industry?
I cannot tell you with certainty what will be trending tomorrow, however, I can confidently say that localisation and scaling are the key factors of growth for the vast majority of mobile game studios.
What's the most important Key Performance Indicator for you?
Personally, I believe that the key criterion is converged unit economy. To put it simply, this is when the revenue for a single user over a two-year period is greater than the cost of user acquisition.
What's your goal within the games industry?
Our goal is not to develop the best game ever. If we look at mobile gaming as a business, the goal is to see a constant increase in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA). However, my personal goal and aspiration is the possibility to work, earn more money, receive satisfaction from what I do and be better than I was last year.
What company do you most admire in the games sector?
I believe that this is Activision Blizzard. Why? - It is simple. This is the company whose game designers have managed to find the holy grail, the philosophy stone of mobile gaming. To be exact, they have found a deadly combination or the right approach between the quality of the content (gameplay) and the profitability of their games.
What's the greatest challenge facing the games industry in 2023?
In 2022 the market has slowed down, demonstrating a fall in comparison with 2021. Now, the main target is to successfully deal with the recession. However, honestly speaking, I do not see any big challenges this year.
On the contrary, I see the challenge on a far more personal level for the formal and informal leaders of games companies being how to inspire themselves.
In answer to that question - I believe it's asking how to find the inspiration that will help your company to make another breakthrough in the business.
What's the most overhyped trend in games over the last 12 months?
I believe that it is "Pay-to-earn". It seems to me like some sort of desecration. You cannot mix your hobby (games) and job (earning money). When you start to receive money for your hobby, it becomes your job. Any blockchain component in games is just a marketing ploy which does not help to enrich the gameplay.
OK, so what trend should we be paying attention to in 2023?
I would pay attention to Hypercasual puzzles (example: woodoku). On one hand, higher retention and simplicity of the game plus a UI-UX interface that is understandable to almost all users. On the other hand, all of these together make a good potential for separating this type of game into a separate promising segment.
What role do NFTs play in games?
They play the same role as VR helmets in mobile games ;-)
NFTs do not provide any benefits other than marketing. The player cannot take the value of any product out of the ecosystem of the game.
Are hypercasual games here to stay?
Definitely yes. This is a genre of simple games, and people like everything that is simple, and therefore this genre will live long.
What are your thoughts on cross-platform games?
If we are talking about cross-platform games, then we run into the problem of incompatibility of successful monetisation models. Games on different platforms have different successful monetisation models: while most mobile games are free-to-play or have freemium models, desktop games are premium games by default.
In other words, the monetisation strategies that work on mobile don't work on PC/consoles. Therefore, I still do not understand how this can be combined in one cross-platform game.
What do you enjoy most about working in the games industry?
I am very impressed by the simplicity of everything and the environmental friendliness (eco-friendliness) of the community in the industry. Ease of communication between market participants, a simple style of behaviour, and the willingness of market participants (and sometimes competitors) to help each other. This is extremely rare in other sectors of the economy.
What's the best piece of advice you've ever received that you'd like to pass on to others?
A/B test everything! Do not trust somebody else's recommendations, just do the right A/B testing.
Can people get in touch with you at Pocket Gamer Connects - who would you like to hear from?
Of course they can! First of all, I will be giving a talk at the PG CONNECTS LONDON 2023 on 24 Jan at 11:20am about the Tips and Tricks of mobile app ads monetisation.
Secondly, you can also find me during the two days of the conference at our Clever Ads Solutions booth. Come any time to discuss how to efficiently set up ad monetisation for your game or application without any negative impact on retention and lift your ad revenue up to 70-80 percent without additional cost and daily routine work with ad networks.
Thirdly, we have two groups on Telegram in English and Russian languages where people discuss trending and interesting topics about mobile app ads monetisation. Finally, you can always find and reach me on LinkedIn. In addition, our head office is located in Cyprus, come and visit us! We will be glad to show you around the Island, treat you with our rich collection of whisky and of course discuss possible ways of increasing your ad revenue.
I'd like to connect with mobile game developers and talk about successful monetisation strategies.