Cross-industry agreement reached on safer game design code – European gaming industry news
Give us a brief overview of your entry into the gaming industry and what made you decide to join it?
Before entering the play area, Gismart had earned a name as a leading music entertainment app developer for a range of popular gamified music products such as Beat Maker Go, Favorite for piano and many more. Looking for ways to grow and diversify our business portfolio, in 2019 we decided to add another vertical business and create an in-house studio called flime by Gismar. We have immersed ourselves in developing and publishing lightweight mobile games, focusing on trendy hyper-casual genres and instant games for social platforms. The hyper-casual market was on the rise, not yet saturated, so we saw it as a good opportunity to use our expertise in hypothesis testing, which is crucial for this genre. Plus, we liked its simple mechanics and relevant speed of production, so we had more room for trial and error. In two years, we’ve released a few dozen games for mobile and social platforms, many of which have reached top gaming charts (e.g. Cool Goal!, Body Race, Foil Turning 3D, etc.) and generated over 450 million total downloads. Working in the hyper-casual market, the team built efficient processes in a very short time, as well as tested a large number of assumptions. In 2021, we took another step towards the casual genre and decided to explore puzzle games. It is a busy and tough market with strong competition. However, we had success with our first Cross Logic game and are now actively working on new titles. We consider puzzle games to be a better long-term investment. We also recently created a new company related to blockchain game projects and NFTs.
What does your role as Vice President of Business Development and Marketing at Gismart entail?
I focus on finding, negotiating and executing strategic partnerships in the verticals of Gismart, mainly related to branding and product marketing. I also build and develop long-term, quality relationships and lead communications at Gismart. My role includes mobile product marketing and monetization, app distribution partner management (Apple App Store, Google Play, Facebook Instant Games, Snap Gaming, TikTok Gaming), product branding, relationships public and HR branding. Some of my proudest milestones include nurturing flagship partnerships between Gismart and well-known entertainment brands such as UMPG, Sony/ATV and Warner Chappell, as well as collaboration between The Chainsmokers and hit music app Beat Maker Go by Gismart.
Women remain vastly underrepresented in the global games industry. How does Gismart approach this and what advice would you give to women who want to work in the industry?
This is a problem especially if we are talking about the upper ranks of companies. I am happy that this subject is constantly mentioned in the media because it helps to accelerate change. I think there are two things to fight: stereotypes and corporate practices. However, talking about the Gismart male-to-female ratio, it is very balanced. The ratio of males to females is 1:1.
Gismart is perhaps best known as a publisher of mobile games. What is the recipe for a successful mobile game in 2022?
I can’t give a recipe but I can say how we approach building high potential products at Gismart. We have an expert R&D team to explore global trends and conduct in-depth marketing research. Understanding the niche to find a gap for something new and exciting for users is an important task. After ensuring that the game concept is relevant, we move on to creating a basic game prototype and perform market testing to understand the metrics. There are three key factors that most likely indicate a game has high potential – low CPI, high LTV, and product scalability. The data-driven approach is what we stand for. Gismart has several analysis tools for in-depth market research, quick idea testing and advanced product analyzes that help us make a final decision.
How have Apple’s changes to iOS marketing in 2021 affected Gismart?
As with the rest of the market, we were affected by the IDFA-related changes. This has significantly affected shopping traffic on iOS, and it has certainly become more difficult to gauge the effectiveness of ad campaigns. It also made it harder and more expensive to run product tests on Facebook. On the positive side, these changes have forced us to delve into other buying channels and change and improve approaches to testing new product ideas. We are also opting for more technological experiments on the marketing side related to user acquisition through web traffic.
Many of your games are available on social media sites like Snap and Facebook. Why do social media apps want gaming content in general?
Social platforms undeniably have a large audience and games are a new form of communication. We saw an opportunity for growth in this business and some of our team members who now run Flime by Gismart had the experience of creating one of the first games for Facebook. Today we have over ten social platform games available on Facebook and Snapchat. Color Galaxy on Snap Games became one of the most successful games on the platform quickly after its launch and after two years of maintaining its position.
In general, social platforms consider games as one of the instruments to entertain and retain the audience, thus increasing the time they spend on the platform. Besides retention, having quality games gives the platform other benefits, such as a better user experience, new forms of communication and interaction between users and, of course, additional monetization. for social platforms.
Gismart also manufactures and publishes broader entertainment apps such as music and wellness. Why did the company decide to focus on mobile games?
We started with entertainment music apps. Alex, one of the founders of the company, is a self-taught guitarist and the first Gismart app was a guitar app. After the successful launch of the first product, our music entertainment app portfolio has grown to more than 15 different apps over time. Then came our extension to games. Wellness, as well as the pet care vertical with flagship Woofz, was established about a year ago. Both companies are relatively new but have already established their name in the market and have a significant number of users. All verticals operate as independent businesses and Gismart provides them with advice and mentorship, all kinds of resources, tools and infrastructure. So, in a way, Gismart today functions as a sort of business incubator, with some of the verticals already past the start-up stage.
Last question – what can we expect from Gismart and you for the rest of 2022?
Gismart has very exciting and challenging plans across all verticals. Speaking of casual games, we will continue to expand our portfolio of HTML5 games across Facebook Instant and Snap Games. We also plan to bring our minigames to new major social platforms. Additionally, we are planning to soft launch our new blockchain project.
Speaking of apps, we will continue to upgrade and expand our music entertainment products. We are working to expand the circle of our music partners to bring more unique and fresh music to the table. When it comes to the wellness and pet care verticals, the focus is on the product and working on features to enrich the user experience and facilitate product growth. We hope to see a few new products earn their place in the top chart.