San Francisco Meetup recap: Mobile Game Marketing Trends for 2015


January 30, 2015


min read

Chartboost's San Francisco mobile game developers chat with Jameel Khalfan from PocketGems about user acquisition, game monetization, soft launches, fundraising, mobile game metrics and more!Our 5-city US roadshow kicked off Wednesday night in San Francisco at the Chartboost office. It was great to chat with our SF game dev community to hear about your latest projects and to share ideas around player acquisition, monetization and trends in mobile gaming. Watch the video or keep reading to see what went down.

We're just mins away from kicking off our roadshow with our SF event at #Chartboost HQ! Stay tuned for live updates Chartboost (@Chartboost) January 29, 2015
We've got a good crowd gathering. We'll be kicking things off with @jameellionaire shortly! #gamedev Chartboost (@Chartboost) January 29, 2015

After grabbing pizza and beer, we all gathered around Jameel Khalfan to chat with him about the latest and greatest in mobile game marketing and where the mobile gaming industry is heading. Jameel is the Business Ninja at Pocket Gems, an active angel investor, ex-VC at Globespan Capital Partners, ex-Product Manager at Microsoft, and an all-around mobile gaming guru!

Kicking off the @Chartboost roadshow with @jameellionaire #gamedev ? Pepe Agell (@joseluisagell) January 29, 2015
Super excited to hear from PocketGems at @Chartboost's kick off roadshow!!! Let's #gamedev? KAILANI? (@KailaniMu) January 29, 2015
@Chartboost roadshow #GameDev ? geo (@geohong) January 29, 2015

Ok, my first question for Jameel -- "Clash of Clans ruled from 2012, Candy Crush since 2013: is the era of innovation over?

Is the era of mobile game innovation over? @jameellionaire doesn't think so: "The era of innovation is actually just starting for mobile."? Chartboost (@Chartboost) January 29, 2015

Oh, quite the contrary! Jameel believes that the era of innovation in mobile gaming is just starting and the best is yet to come.

3D games. The best is yet to come #gamedev @chartboost ? Carles Guerrero (@CarlesGuerrero) January 29, 2015
Are 3D games the next mobile gaming innovation? Gameplay > graphics and easy to tweak with analytics.... #GameDev @Chartboost? Mark Beck (@Beck_Mark) January 29, 2015

Next question: "With limited time and money, how should smaller mobile game developers choose which marketing channels to focus on when launching a new game?"

Smaller game devs should focus in one thing, launch it fast and iterate #gamedev @Chartboost ? Pepe Agell (@joseluisagell) January 29, 2015

Jameel said that indies can move quicker then the big game studios and this is a huge advantage. He advised indies to focus on one thing, launch quickly, and iterate, iterate, iterate! The best way to get users for your games is from other games, so collaboration with other similar games is key.

Find people to play your games...from other games! Collaboration is key! #gamedev @Chartboost? Maeghan Ouimet (@MaeghanO) January 29, 2015
You get the best users when they come from other similar games. @chartboost rules ;) #gamedev ? Carles Guerrero (@CarlesGuerrero) January 29, 2015

I then asked Jameel to share his thoughts on the biggest mistake developers make. Jameel advised mobile game developers to obsess over their soft launch metrics. It is especially important to understand and learn from what your first players are doing before spending a lot of money to launch your game more broadly.

@Chartboost #1 mistake games dev make? Ignoring their soft launch data, and just going for it #GameDev #TrustTheSoftLaunch? Victor Perez (@VP031) January 29, 2015
@jameellionaire: in a launch, you shouldn't spend 100s of thousands unless u know your metrics and are sure you'll get your $ back #GameDev ? Pepe Agell (@joseluisagell) January 29, 2015
Soft launch? Try to get some thousands (10-12k) of users and understand what they are doing! #gamedev @Chartboost ...? Carles Guerrero (@CarlesGuerrero) January 29, 2015
@jameellionaire: the number 1 metric is retention. D1 and D7 to be specific #gamedev ? Pepe Agell (@joseluisagell) January 29, 2015

My next question to Jameel was: "For mobile game developers who lack funds, any advice on raising money?" There are some great crowdfunding options out there, said Jameel, such as Indigogo and Kickstarter. If you're going directly to investors, be sure to show them data and figures.

#gamedev @Chartboost for funding use crowdfunding non diluted capital @jameellionaire? Christine Lee (@TheCircusCafe) January 29, 2015
& if you don't have the $$$ try @indigogo @kickstarter or go to investors to raise money (but show them some figures!) #gamedev @Chartboost ? Carles Guerrero (@CarlesGuerrero) January 29, 2015

"What?s the next big thing in mobile game player acquisition as well as monetization?" Answer: Mobile video ads!

What's the next big thing in UA? "One thing that has picked up is video advertising." -@jameellionaire #GameDev? Chartboost (@Chartboost) January 29, 2015
The next big thing in user acquisition! VIDEO!!! #gameDev @Chartboost ? Carles Guerrero (@CarlesGuerrero) January 29, 2015
@jameellionaire: videois the way to go on both monetization and player acquisition strategies #gamedev @Chartboost? Pepe Agell (@joseluisagell) January 29, 2015
Ohhhhh video. Can't talk about anything else these days with UA! @Chartboost #GameDev ? KAILANI? (@KailaniMu) January 29, 2015

I then turned it over to the audience who had lots of questions for Jameel about metrics, emerging ad units like playable ads, and even bitcoin!

@jameellionaire: ARPU should be calculated on a 30 day period first. Then you can expand the time-frame. #GameDev? Pepe Agell (@joseluisagell) January 29, 2015
@jameellionaire: it will take some time until playable ads are well stablished. #GameDev ? Pepe Agell (@joseluisagell) January 29, 2015
#BITCOIN as mobile game currency? Depends on the audience, but not widespread just yet #gamedev @Chartboost? Maeghan Ouimet (@MaeghanO) January 29, 2015

Jameel concluded our mobile gaming discussion with some thoughts about what to consider when launching internationally. Spend time on creating a specific user acquisition strategy for each region, and don't forget to localize your games.

@jameellionaire: if you are planing to expand to Asia, in addition to localizing your games, you should choose domestic channels #gamedev ? Pepe Agell (@joseluisagell) January 29, 2015
If you want to expand your game internationally, you should think a lot about your local UA startegy, says @jameellionaire #GameDev? Chartboost (@Chartboost) January 29, 2015

Fan club!

Folks are lined up to chat with @jameellionaire after his insightful chat at the Roadshow tonight! #GameDev ? Chartboost (@Chartboost) January 29, 2015

Thank you Jameel for sharing your insights and perspectives with us Wednesday night!

@jameellionaire was an amazing speaker! Well executed event @Chartboost #gamedev FTW? KAILANI? (@KailaniMu) January 29, 2015
Thank you to @jameellionaire for speaking at tonight's Chartboost Roadshow. #GameDev ? Chartboost (@Chartboost) January 29, 2015

And thank you to Chartboost's amazing San Francisco mobile game developers. It was a great evening and we really enjoyed talking with you about your games. Next stop, Dallas! Stay tuned for updates.