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SAN FRANCISCO — Change has been a big part of Anatoly Ropotov’s life.
He shared with a GamesBeat 2015 audience today about how moved across several companies in the Eastern European game development sphere before landing in his current position as CEO at Game Insight. Those valuable experiences have given him a unique perspective on being able to keep up with a constantly changing — and often very fickle — mobile gaming market.
Game Insight has changed its product focus over its life, going from a social gaming company and making the transition to the mobile free-to-play gaming market. The company has a strong backbone in “simulation tycoon” and hidden object games. It’s in the process of adding 3D and social elements to their existing lineup to keep them feeling fresh in the current marketplace. However, it’s also working hard to venture into new genres with stronger emphasis on 3D visuals. Game Insight releases a huge number of games in an effort to stay competitive with many of the biggest players in the mobile gaming field.
“We’re making some major bets,” said Ropotov. “[We have] multiple titles in development by really big teams of 50 people or more, spending over two years on those titles. We’re making those big, bold bets — not just one, but multiple at the same time… we hope to be a trendsetter in a few game genres that haven’t been pioneered in free-to-play and mobile.
“We have a portfolio strategy [in the “simulation tycoon” genre where we keep launching a game in this genre every quarter or so. So people keep flocking to one game to another while waiting for updates.” He refers to this as “sustainable free-to-play” as Game Insight keeps updating these titles periodically.
Though it’s making some gambles, Game Insight feels confident that its userbase trusts its brands. The company has three principles that it uses to keep users engaged and build trust, which Ropotov elaborated on. Firstly, it doesn’t shut down its games — Game Insight feels that doing so would devalue its brands and betray the trust of its players. Secondly, it designs games so that if players begin playing on one platform, it can easily migrate progress to another. Finally, it works to keep delighting its existing player base with a steady stream of new content, aiming for at least two game updates each month.
“It’s really tough to do that for 10 titles a month,” Ropotov said, “but with nine studios and amazing experience. … I think we’ve pretty much nailed that.”
Being able to play offline is also important. “When we started in our region, offline play was crucial, as connectivity was [less advanced] back then … all of our games initially had offline play. [Now] 90% of our games have this functionality,” he said. “It’s extra brand trust. If anything happens with game servers, players know they can still retain their game progress.”
Above all, Ropotov believes that finding new and engaging ways to serve customers is tantamount to Game Insight’s continued success. “We’re all about the players, and finding a new way to gain an audience in an organic way. Making things easier for players is crucial for us.”
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