Games Growth with Upptic
We speak with industry experts and investigate trends to highlight the strategies, technology, and tactical methodologies you can use to profitably grow your game to a massive global audience.
If you’re interested in learning more about upptic games growth technology and expertise, visit us at upptic.com.
Games Growth with UppticFeb 24, 2023
WTF is Biopsychosocial Gaming? (Solsten)
In science, biopsychosocial factors are physical, psychological, and social factors that impact an individual. What does this have to do with gaming? Joe Schaeppi, Founder and CEO of Solsten, connects the dots in this episode. Joe has a background in both psychology and gaming – starting out as a psychotherapist before moving into gaming as the Sr. Manager of User Experience at Big Fish Games. At Solsten, Joe and his colleagues are building an AI-powered platform to better understand individuals – pioneering the use of video games for cognitive assessment and working with companies to create healthier and livelier experiences for gamers. Listen on to learn how better understanding your users can lead to better outcomes in game development and marketing. SEE MORE AND FOLLOW JOE ONLINE AT: https://upptic.com/wtf-is-biopsychosocial-in-gaming-solsten-games-growth-with-upptic/
Cracking Games Growth: Revealing the Upptic Playbook
The games industry is in a transitory state and many factors are making it difficult for effective games growth. Data is fragmented and attribution methodology is incomplete. Creative workflows can be messy and digital assets are often all over the place. These issues make it hard to understand what is and isn't working.
Amid this volatile climate, Upptic has been growing its games portfolio to its most profitable ever. In this recorded webinar, learn how our team tackles data, creatives, and user acquisition for each stage of growth: Development, soft launch, and scaled growth. Get insights on overarching strategy, data analysis, creative trends, UA best practices, and much more.
VC Funding & Its Impact on Gaming's Present & Future (a16z Games, Storygrounds)
VC investments have long been a key funding resource for fledgling startups – including indie game studios and companies promising innovative solutions for the games industry. How much of an impact has VC funding had on the games industry, though? Are VC investors directing the trajectory of the space with their money – either directly or indirectly?
We sit down with a16z Games Partner Josh Lu and Storygrounds Co-Founder and CEO Andrew Green to discuss VC funding's impact on gaming. a16z Games is part of the Andreessen Horowitz venture capital firm – focused specifically on games. Josh, who has been in the games industry for more than a decade at places like Blizzard Entertainment and Zynga, is a program lead for the firm's SPEEDRUN accelerator program. Storygrounds is a platform that lets you build webcomics together. Andrew not only heads up the work at Storygrounds as its Co-Founder and CEO, but is also an angel investor and advisor with a rich history in the games industry.
Together, with these two games funding experts, dive into the current state of the industry, developments such as the crypto crash and Apple's VR headset, technological advancements, investor-founder relationships, and the future of the gaming industry as well as how VC funding will impact it.'
Learn more and follow our guests online here: https://upptic.com/vc-funding-its-impact-on-gamings-present-future-a16z-games-storygrounds-games-growth-with-upptic/
Appchains in the Games Marketing Ecosystem (thirdweb, Ava Labs)
With their scalability and flexibility, appchains may be the future of web3 gaming. But what is an appchain and how does it differ from other blockchain technology and solutions?
Atif Khan, VP Business at thirdweb, and Ed Chang, Head of Gaming at Ava Labs, give us a crash course in appchains, dapps, sidechains, and more. They also dive deep into the web3 gaming sector and how it's liable to impact gaming as a whole: Atif calls the "bear market" designation of the web3 games sector misleading. Ed says that philosophies introduced by web3 gaming will become present in most games over time. Both point out innovative ways web3 tech can be used to enhance gaming experiences.
If you're in the gaming space, and especially the web3 games sector, this is a podcast you must listen to!
Learn more and follow our guests online here: https://upptic.com/appchains-in-the-games-marketing-ecosystem-third-web-ava-labs-games-growth-with-upptic/
The Potent Power of Creator-Driven UGC (Viraaal)
UGC, or user-generated content, is a big buzzword these days. Amid the buzz, Viraaal has created a UGC platform where content creators can quickly find campaigns, shoot videos, and get paid. Founded and helmed by CEO Alexei Chemenda, a veteran of start-ups, Viraaal seeks to revolutionize the world of UGC agencies.
Alexei shares his insights on the differences between influencer marketing and UGC marketing, how these segments of marketing are evolving, the pros and cons of working with content creators to generate UGC, and how to build a content creator-driven marketing strategy.
If you're looking to add UGC to your marketing playbook, be sure to take a listen now!
Learn more and follow our guests online here: https://upptic.com/the-potent-power-of-creator-driven-ugc-viraaal-games-growth-with-upptic/
Building Mainstream Gaming IP with Web3 DNA (BLOCKLORDS)
Both Web2 and Web3 are going through times of change and are in need of a bit of a renaissance. While Web3 can provide the technology for some interesting new mechanics, onboarding can be clunky at best while marketing pipelines are almost non-existent. Meanwhile, Web2 is the current gold standard for mass-market appeal – but is in need of ongoing innovation and fresh ideas.
Amid these two forces, BLOCKLORDS is forging a path as an accessible, mass-appeal, player-driven, medieval grand-strategy game with innovative mechanics. BLOCKLORDS CEO David Johansson sits down with us to talk about creating a mainstream game with some underlying web3 technology included. Get insights on striking a balance between web2 and web3, building a sustainable game economy, targeting the right audiences in the right ways, and much more.
Learn more and follow our guests online here: https://upptic.com/building-mainstream-gaming-ip-with-web3-dna-blocklords-games-growth-with-upptic/
Can a Creator Program Drive Deeper Engagement? (Nexus)
In a world that's saturated with games and offers, it's more important than ever that game studios and publishers are driving deeper engagement with their audiences. In this world, content is king. Many companies turn to influencers to help connect with their players. Nexus is taking the natural need for engaging content further with their creator program.
Justin Sacks, CEO at Nexus, sits down with us to explain the difference between content creators and influencers, what a creator program is, why it should be a core part of a marketer's toolkit, performance and attribution for creator programs, and the things to think about when building or selecting a creator program.
If you're trying to connect with your audience with fresh and relevant content, be sure to take a listen to this episode now!
Learn more and follow our guests online here: https://upptic.com/can-a-creator-program-drive-deeper-engagement-nexus-games-growth-with-upptic/
Building Games with Your Audience (BattleFly)
Ensuring your game resonates with its audience is key to growth and success. It's easier if you're building games with the gamers who want to play it. BattleFly is a DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) creating the BattleFly game alongside its players.
Ben, BattleFly's founder, joins us in the studio to talk about the different iterations of BattleFly and how the DAO has engaged with its players to create a game that everyone enjoys. Learn how web3 has helped enable more collaboration with more stakeholders, how BattleFly fosters player collaboration and leans on them for insights, the evolution of BattleFly from an NFT collection into a full-fledged game, and the art of creating inclusive spaces.
If you're a web3 game developer or community manager, you should give this episode a listen right away!
Ad Platform Evolution in the Modern Marketing Ecosystem (Unity)
Ad platforms are a core component of the modern marketing ecosystem – and one that has been undergoing big changes these last few years along with many other parts of the games marketing industry. As Unity's VP Strategic Partnerships & Business Strategy, Steve Webb works with key advertising and monetization partners and platforms – and also works to provide game developers with unique insights on how to succeed in gaming – giving him a deep understanding of how the ecosystem is evolving.
Learn more about Unity's growth strategy and place in the modern marketing ecosystem, how the ecosystem has evolved over time, it's impact on game development and game marketing, what is going on in the ecosystem now, and where things are heading from here. We dive into data availability and how some changes have leveled the playing field; the necessity of consolidation (or lack thereof) and how it's impacted game developers, publishers, and advertisers; emerging technologies; and much more.
If you're a game developer or marketer, be sure to watch now!
The Evolution of Ad Monetization in Games (Felix Braberg)
Whether it's Google's move away from placements, new CMP requirements, or changes in ad quality, ad monetization continues to evolve. We sit down with mobile ad monetization expert and 2.5 Gamers podcast host Felix Braberg to learn the history of ad monetization, current growth hacks, and what's coming down the line.
Get insights on the "beauty of ads," differences between waterfall and header bidding, the rise of rewarded video, SKAN's impact on ad monetization, how quickly growth hacks come and go, and much more!
Tournaments: The Ultimate Engagement Hack? (Fractal)
User acquisition is only half the battle. Engagement and retention is the other half. While many game companies use online communities and social media to engage players, these don't necessarily get them into the actual game. One often overlooked retention lever are tournaments.
Fractal Product Manager Brent Liang shares his insights on how tournaments can increase retention and player LTV. Learn about which genres work best for tournaments. Discover which types of contests gamers connect with most. Get best practices for building and executing tournaments. Plus, see some surprising ways tournaments are being leveraged for game development.
If you're looking for a new retention lever, be sure to catch this episode!
Engagement & Retention Lessons from Web3 (Soulbound)
Web3 gaming is a space that continues to evolve at a brisk pace. As game developers and marketers assess and adapt to what's working and what isn't, there are lessons to be learned about effective engagement and retention. It's in this environment that the Soulbound Ecosystem – a cross-game player acquisition and retention platform – has been built and grown.
Soulbound co-founders Casey Grooms and Matt Conn share their insights on the web3 gaming space and what they've learned during their work building and running Soulbound. Learn about the early experiments of web3 games and what AAA titles need to do to incorporate blockchain effectively, get insights on how IP and console gaming factors into overall web3 games growth and adoption, and get versed on gamer trends and effective game design in web3.
It's an episode with applications beyond web3 – watch it now!
New Frontiers in Marketing Attribution (AppsFlyer, Gamesight, Spindl)
Game marketing attribution is evolving. Not only does the established mobile segment continue to evolve due to privacy changes and new technologies, but PC and console gaming is having an attribution renaissance, and the nascent web3 segment continues to evolve toward attribution infrastructure and mindsets.
We explore these new frontiers with AppsFlyer Director of Product for Gaming Adam Smart, Gamesight CEO Adam Lieb, and Spindl Founder Antonio Garcia-Martinez. They share their insights on their respective segments of the games industry – AppsFlyer on mobile, Gamesight on PC and console, and Spindl on web3.
Together we take a look at the evolution of data ecosystems, the current state of these segments and their similarities and differences, and the unique challenges each segment faces when it comes to game marketing attribution and analytics.
Web3 Growth Tactics (Big Time Studios)
Michael Migliero, CMO of Big Time Studios, joins the podcast to share his insights on growing web3 games. Big Time Studios is the company behind Big Time – “a free-to-play, multiplayer action RPG game that combines fast-action combat and adventure through time and space.”
Learn about content funnels for Meta, TikTok, and other platforms and how Big Time utilizes NFT mints in conjunction with other revenue sources to monetize users more sustainably. Also hear some surprising stats on game adoption by web3 native gamers vs. traditional gamers – and how Big Time is approaching marketing a web3 game in a post-crypto crash world.
Finally, get insights on ad strategies, analytics, and game economies – as well as some predictions on what will come down the line!
Influencer Marketing and UGC Strategies (Gamesight & Lucky Axolotl)
"We think it's the most important channel. We think it's the most authentic channel," Emilee Helm says of influencer marketing. She heads up influencer marketing at Gamesight – which focuses on performance marketing for PC, console, and web3 games.
Emilee joins our podcast this week alongside Bradley Kincaid, the Co-Founder of Lucky Axolotl – a creative studio focused on influencer marketing and UGC. Bradley shares several insights on UGC and influencers – including how to best utilize CTV as part of a marketing strategy.
The two share their thoughts and expertise on a variety of related topics as well, including creative trends, KPIs and measurement, how to work with influencers, and the application of AI tools. Watch the full podcast now to learn more!
Growth Stacks for Game Marketers (Phiture)
Phiture Partner and Co-Founder Andy Carvell wrote the book on mobile growth stacks. Literally. In this episode, Andy gives us the history of how the Mobile Growth Stack came about and walks us through its components piece by piece.
We take a walk through data and analytics – which Andy notes may never have been as transparent or accurate as people wanted to believe, even before new issues complicated matters. Andy also shares his insights on engagement, retention, and monetization.
Xander and Warren also take some time to compare and contrast Phiture's approach to user acquisition, creative, and ASO with Upptic's approach (wherein Andy amusingly points out how brands' protectiveness over their app store icons can be detrimental to ASO efforts).
At the end of the day, both companies produce great results, even while using sometimes differing methodologies and philosophies to drive success.
Creatives in Retargeting and User Acquisition (Adikteev)
Retargeting is a beast of its own, requiring different strategies and creatives than normal user acquisition campaigns. We sit down with Adikteev COO Kate Lovejoy and Upptic Creative Director Ava Savitsky to discuss retargeting at large, the similarities and differences between UA and retargeting, useful tools, and future trends. FULL EPISODE SUMMARY
Creative, Data Modeling, TikTok, & AI (RocketShip HQ)
Measurement is broken, but that doesn't mean performance is. That's among the lessons from this episode's podcast guest: Shamanth Rao, Founder and CEO of boutique growth marketing firm RocketShip HQ. Take a deep dive into creatives and data as we discuss the latest trends, useful tools, and effective strategies for the evolving mobile landscape. See full episode summary here.
Polygon & Upptic: Onboarding the next generation to web3
Urvit Goel, the VP, Head of Global Business Development at Polygon Labs, sits down with Warren and Xander to talk about onboarding web3 gamers, the current state of web3 games, the Crypto Winter, and Polygon's new partnership with Upptic – which will bring Upptic's world-class growth services to select web3 game developers on the Polygon blockchain.
The Metaverse after the Crypto Bust (Polygon Labs, XP Foundry)
The 2022 crypto crash brought much of web3 gaming to a halt. How is the industry faring now? Rian Rabinowitz of Polygon Labs and Melty Tantiwanich of XP Foundry join Warren and Xander for a roundtable on the topic.
We take a hard look at the web3 landscape, lessons learned amid the crypto crash, and how things might change in the near future. If you're in the web3 gaming space, it's an episode you'll want to pay close attention to!
Is user acquisition dead? (Matej Lancaric)
Sit down with Matej Lancaric and get the answer to the question on everyone's mind: Is user acquisition dead?
Matej is a UA consultant with 10+ years of experience. He has global launched 32 games in the last 4 years, produces the "Brutally Honest" UA newsletter, and is also the host of the no-bullshit gaming podcast “Two & A Half Gamers.”
We chat with Matej about the current state of attribution and privacy, whether SKAN is even worth using, surprisingly effective UA tactics and channels, and the impact of regulators on marketing.
2023 Games Growth Trends & Predictions
Welcome back to season 5 of "App Talk with Upptic" – or, rather, "Games Growth with Upptic"! We kick off season 5 by talking about this rebrand before diving into several different topics with a couple of our own colleagues – Upptic Creative Director Ava Savitsky and Upptic Sr. Web3 Growth Manager Ian Brent.
Together, we discuss the state of games growth (which has seen some rough waters), user acquisition trends, creative insights, analytics learnings, and web3 takeaways. We end with some wildly speculative predictions. Think any will come true?
2022 State of Games Growth: Gaming's New Era
As we close out season 4 of App Talk with Upptic, we ask ourselves: Are we entering a new era of gaming?
To help answer this question, we look back at the ups and downs of the last several years and chart out a potential path forward for 2023 and beyond.
Upptic CGO Warren Woodward guides us as we, first, look at why 2022 has been such a transformative year, pointing to privacy changes, worsening macroeconomic conditions, gaming's first revenue contraction, and the growth of web3 technology and products.
We then identify what defined the previous eras of Premium and Free-To-Play gaming.
With this in mind, we look back at the last several years of revenue and investment in web3, mobile, PC, and console – and how these trends might tell us what is on the horizon. We also dive deep into the transformative factors of 2022.
With all the evidence laid out, we make the case that the industry is entering a new era of gaming – one that will include web3 technology, smaller developers, crowdfunding, and the use of multiple devices with cross-platform play.
We end with some tips to help game developers and marketers big and small adapt to what's coming in the years ahead.
We look forward to working alongside you all as we build this new era of gaming together.
See you all in 2023!
FULL VIDEO WITH SLIDE DECK: https://upptic.com/2022-state-of-games-growth-app-talk-with-upptic/
Web3 Gaming in the Crypto Downturn (Darewise)
This podcast is brought to you through a partnership with Animoca Brands. Animoca Brands is one of the world's leading mobile game developers and publishers . They are on the frontlines of Web3, investing heavily in a vast portfolio of Web3 projects.
Benjamin Charbit, CEO at Darewise, joins us in our virtual recording studio. Darewise is the developer of web3 game Life Beyond – a metaverse experience, built with Unreal Engine and blockchain, where players can build, trade, and own assets on a mysterious alien world.
Benjamin talks about what makes Life Beyond different from other games – and how web3 technology has made that difference possible. We also dive into what it means to be a part of the Animoca Brands family and what opportunities might be on the horizon for game developers under their umbrella.
Benjamin doesn't shy away from talking about the downturn in the crypto space either – and how that has impacted Darewise and web3 game development. He provides some parting advice to game developers who are considering building web3 games in the current market.
Big Gaming Earnings
Warren and Xander discuss the latest earning reports for several major games industry companies. It's, thankfully, not as painful as their Big Tech earnings analysis a couple weeks ago. One thing that shines through all the data is that mobile games are still the king of gaming revenue.
We also ruminate on the ongoing saga with FTX. The ripple effects FTX's collapse continue to reverberate through the web3 space – with Star Atlas and web3 game developers seeing impacts.
Finally, we close with a good ol' fashioned "App of the Week" segment.
SOURCES & MORE: https://upptic.com/big-gaming-earnings-app-talk-with-upptic/
Digital Asset Ownership with Vessel by AppLovin
Our guest this week is Rafael Vivas – one of the original members of AppLovin and now heading up its new app Vessel as the GM of New Initiatives. AppLovin is a mobile app growth service provider with a suite of software solutions for monetization, user acquisition, ad campaigns, and creatives. Vessel is AppLovin's monetization marketplace for digital items on mobile games and apps, which is currently available in both Apple's App Store and Android's Google Play.
In this week's podcast we dive deep into crypto, NFTs, and web3 gaming – starting with why AppLovin has created a digital marketplace in the first place and why it views NFTs as an evolution of digital item ownership. We also discuss how NFTs have been misrepresented and misused so far in crypto and web3 – and what the best use cases are for them. Of course, the goings-on with FTX are also discussed – how by focusing on digital items, rather than crypto, Vessel can focus on cost-effectiveness and ease of use, instead of market movements.
Finally, we close with questions on where market opportunities lie and what developers looking to get into web3 should know about the technology and space. If you're involved with web3 or digital monetization, it's an episode you don't want to miss!
SOURCES & MORE: https://upptic.com/digital-asset-ownership-with-vessel-by-applovin-app-talk-with-upptic/
Big Tech Earnings
In this week's podcast, Warren and Xander discuss the latest Big Tech earning reports for Q3 and Q4 2022. It's a painful podcast – but an important one.
We start off with some surprising news from the crypto space: Binance's imminent acquisition of FTX – the news of which has led the crypto space to basically melt down... again.
We then cover the one relatively bright spot in the industry right now: The completion of the Unity-ironSource merger. Lots of new opportunities await for both for the merged company and its many clients.
After that, we shift focus to the meat of the podcast – the Big Tech earnings.
Facebook revenue is down, Alphabet sees little growth, Snap sees a huge increase in its quarterly losses, and Apple is seeing relatively flat quarterly income. On top of this are additional news of hiring freezes or layoffs from Facebook, Alphabet, Apple, Amazon, and Twitter.
It's definitely a rough time to be in tech, mobile games, or marketing. But there is still hope that as companies take a more deliberate analysis-driven approach to decision-making and profitability, that fortunes will change for the industry at large – including those who are facing layoffs and have recently been laid off.
SOURCES & MORE: https://upptic.com/big-tech-earnings-app-talk-with-upptic/
Web3 Indie Game Development (EtherOrcs)
Our guests this week are poof and b33f of EtherOrcs. EtherOrcs is the world's first 100% on-chain NFT game. In EtherOrcs, Orcs and their allies go on raids, pillage villages, explore the unknown, and more. Through the course of the game, players can earn better gear and more NFTs through strategic gameplay built on the Ethereum blockchain.
In this week’s podcast we dive into the world of web3 indie game development – including EtherOrcs unconventional path to market and what the creators would do differently if they had a second go at things. Poof and b33f chime in with their thoughts on the current web3 game economy and share their insights on different web3 game fundraising models. They also dive into why EtherOrcs has shunned mainstream gamers in favor of going after native web3 gamers.
Plus, we discuss the latest news from Apple – including the release of SKAdNetwork 4.0, a change to App Store policy on social media post boosts, and a change in Apple's policy around NFTs. Additionally, we discuss Reddit's continuing submersion into NFTs and how it's impacting the overall marketplace.
Web3 Game Publishing with Bozena Rezab (Gamee)
This week's podcast is brought to you through a partnership with Animoca Brands. Animoca Brands is one of the world's leading mobile game developers and publishers . They are on the frontlines of Web3, investing heavily in a vast portfolio of Web3 projects.
Our guest this week is Bozena Rezab, Co-Founder and CEO of Gamee. Gamee is an engaging play-and-earn mobile gaming platform that rewards players for skill and effort. It is powered by the GMEE token – which enables access, action, and governance of the platform. Gamee products include the Arc8 games hub and G-Bots NFTs.
In this week’s podcast we focus on Gamee's launchpad app Arc8 – a web3 app available in mobile app stores. Was ask Bozena about what they had to do in order to ensure they're complaint on mobile platforms and how they've navigated being a web3 app on mobile devices. We dive further into engagement and business models and how working with web3 changes publishing strategies and player onboarding.
Plus, we discuss the latest DappRader report as told from two different sources, take a look at Bain's analysis of the games industry, and converse about Limit Break's upcoming $6.5M Super Bowl ad.
Web3 Games Growth with Axie Infinity, Animoca Brands, and Arrivant
Hosted by Upptic CGO Warren Woodward, our Web3 Games Growth webinar included some of the greatest minds in web3 gaming:
- Sky Mavis Co-Founder Jeffrey Zirlin
- Animoca Brands CTO Yusuf Goolamabbas
- Arrivant COO Meg McWilliams
Together, this panel shares their experiences and learnings on building and marketing successful web3 games, including:
- The web3 landscape
- Effective web3 growth tactics
- KPIs and metrics to use in web3
- Data, analytics, and web3 infrastructure
- Differences between web2 and web3 creatives
Many thanks to our panelists for sharing their insights – and for everyone who tuned in live!
AppLovin & NFTs, Gaming Goodbyes, Overwatch 2, App Store Declines
In this week's episode, Xander and Warren really dive into the nitty-gritty of current events.
First, we discuss AppLovin's new Vessel app – a marketplace where mobile game developers can integrate NFTs into games to drive engagement and revenue. This sits at the intersection of three huge areas of focus for us: Web3, mobile games, and performance marketing. It's exciting news – and also interesting in the fact that AppLovin has managed to work within Apple's strict policies to bring an NFT marketplace into the App Store.
Next we discuss Google's announcement that Stadia will be shutting down in January. The cloud-gaming service has struggled to gain traction, but the company believes the technology will be useful in other areas of its business – such as with industry partners, YouTube, Google Play, etc. Google will be refunding all Stadia hardware, games, and add-ons purchased through Stadia's store.
In another gaming goodbye, Playtika is shuttering Best Fiends maker Seriously – supposedly over discord and clashes between the studio and its parent company on aggressive monetization, budgeting, and other issues. Leaks regarding the fallout seem to heavily favor Seriously, which likely indicates they came from sources within the studio. An article from Mobilegamer.biz promises that a new studio will "rise from the ashes" in coming months.
Shifting to incoming games, we highlight the release of Overwatch 2 and it's interesting pivot into a completely live-services model. The game is also doing away with loot boxes in favor of a new in-game shop that uses in-game currency. It's been a long time coming, but that's not surprising given everything Blizzard has been through in the last few years.
Finally, we end on the news that App Store net revenue declined 5% year-over-year for the month of September – a record low for the store. The news was highlighted by Stephanie Link and retweeted by Eric Seufert, who noted that "ATT wreaked havoc on the mobile gaming market, which comprises the vast majority of App Store revenues. The growth of Apple's ad platform, substantial as it has been, was not sufficient to offset that loss within the broader Services category."
REGISTER FOR OUR WEB3 GAMES GROWTH WEBINAR: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/1416618928232/WN_nq5y952aSiO0BMmTeKK9dQ
Web3 Marketing Measurement with Antonio Garcia-Martinez (Spindl)
Our guest this week is Antonio Garcia-Martinez, New York Times bestselling author of Chaos Monkeys and Founder of Spindl. Spindl is creating attribution solutions for the Web3 space. They offer easy integration, Web2 and Web3 funnels, and meaningful analytics on ROI, CAC, retention, and more in an actual dashboard.
In this week’s podcast we talk to Antonio about the obstacles in measuring marketing performance in Web3 and how developing Web3 attribution will impact marketers and consumers. We also take a step back to discuss the differences between Web2 and Web3 – not just technologically, but from an ethical and human perspective – and the implications of striving for a Web3 digital marketing system that's similar to what we know in Web2.
We also discuss the latest news about Robinhood, podcast ad fraud, and Walmart's metaverse – as well as the "not-news" regarding Apple's supposedly changed policy on NFTs (hint: nothing has changed).
REGISTER FOR OUR WEB3 WEBINAR: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/1416618928232/WN_nq5y952aSiO0BMmTeKK9dQ
Axie Infinity: From Web3 to Mass Adoption with Quinn Campbell (Sky Mavis)
Our guest this week is Quinn Campbell, VP of Growth at Sky Mavis. Sky Mavis is the creator of Axie Infinity – the world's most popular Web3 game by DAU. In addition to Axie Infinity, Sky Mavis also hosts a marketplace to buy and sell in-game assets, a wallet for digital items and currencies, and Mavis Hub, a launchpad for promising blockchain games.
In this week’s podcast we talk to Quinn about Sky Mavis' approach to bringing Axie Infinity to the mainstream F2P audience. We drill down into the original drivers of growth for Axie Infinity, issues with the original game economy, how the game has evolved and what the next generation of Web3 games need to be prepared for, applying mainstream gaming playbooks to Axie Infinity, working with "necessary evils" such as mainstream app stores, the term "free-to-own", and persisting Web3 stigmas.
We also discuss the White House's first ever framework for crypto and AppLovin's new blockchain project, Vessel.
JOIN OUR WEB3 WEBINAR: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/1416618928232/WN_nq5y952aSiO0BMmTeKK9dQ
AAA Blockchain Game Development with Benjamin Lee (Blowfish Studios)
This week's podcast is brought to you through a partnership with Animoca Brands. Animoca Brands is one of the world's leading mobile game developers and publishers . They are on the frontlines of Web3, investing heavily in a vast portfolio of Web3 projects.
Our guest this week is Benjamin Lee, Co-Founder of Blowfish Studios. Blowfish Studios is part of the Animoca Brands family and builds AAA games for mobile, PC, VR, console, and, coming soon, Web3 with Phantom Galaxies.
In this week’s podcast we focus on building a AAA game for the blockchain. Benjamin talks to us about the development of Phantom Galaxies, why Blowfish decided to make it on the blockchain, how they are tackling marketing for Web3 and mainstream audiences, and more.
Plus, we discuss the Ethereum's smooth rollout to proof-of-stake, Animoca's latest round of fundraising, Zynga's acquisition of Storemaven, and Starbucks incorporation of Web3 in its rewards program.
REGISTER FOR OUR WEB3 GAMES GROWTH WEBINAR: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/1416618928232/WN_nq5y952aSiO0BMmTeKK9dQ
UA, Data Privacy, Prediction with Cloé Dana (Tempr)
Our guest this week is Cloé Dana, Co-Founder and CEO of Tempr. Tempr uses AI-powered tools to empower marketers in their UA optimization and maximize their returns.
In this week’s podcast we take a dive into the world of automated predictive analytics and how it can shape UA strategy. Cloé answers all our questions regarding the technical aspects of automated predictive analytics and what marketers can expect to get out of them. We also dive into the changing data privacy landscape and ongoing issues with attribution efficacy.
Plus, we discuss the latest Ethereum news, dive into how Apple's privacy changes have boosted its Search Ads product, and share skepticism regarding Netflix's upcoming ad platform.
JOIN OUR UPCOMING WEB3 GAMES GROWTH WEBINAR:
FTC Lawsuit, Questionable Advertising Products, and Layoffs
We don't have a guest this week, but we make up for it by taking a deep dive into a bunch of industry stories.
First, we touch on the news that the FTC is suing Kochava for selling sensitive location data. We read the fine print on their website and muse about how the case might go. No matter what happens though, it doesn't cast the industry in a good light.
In more legal news, we talk about the growing likelihood of the Department of Justice (DOJ) bringing an antitrust suit against Apple. The DOJ has been investigating Apple since 2019 over allegations that it abused it's market power to stifle competition. We dive into their anticompetitive practices.
Moving onto financial news, we talk about Gabe Leydon's foray into Web3 with Limit Break – which has $200M in funding to build a blockchain game. Leydon was pioneer at Machine Zone with F2P games and it will be interesting to see what he does at in Web3 with Limit Break. (Gabe, if you're reading this, come onto our show!)
We then cover the latest news from Snap – wherein they're laying off 20% of their staff and restructuring their business around community growth, revenue growth, and augmented reality. It's not surprising as layoffs have been happening across the industry. It still hurts to see though.
Next we discuss Netflix's ad tier – which will include limited targeting and no third-party measurement. It sounds rather opaque, to say the least.
Finally, we wrap up with the news that Sony is acquiring Savage Game Studios, which has no commercial products yet, and discuss the larger strategy Sony seems to be executing.
Building Great Teams & Cultures with Derrick Morton (FlowPlay)
Our guest this week is Derrick Morton, CEO of FlowPlay. FlowPlay creates community-focused digital worlds – including Casino World, Vegas World, Live Game Night, and ourWorld, that can be enjoyed by anyone of any age anywhere in the world. They were also rated one of Washington's best workplaces in 2021 by the Puget Sound Business Journal.
In this week’s podcast we take a dive into how to build great teams and work cultures. Derrick details what sets FlowPlay apart that makes it such a great place to work, how to grow a team effectively, ways to deal with conflict, and what aspiring team leaders should do.
Plus, we discuss Embracer Group's acquisition of Lord of the Rings game, movie, and book rights, Animoca's continuing crypto strategy, and FTX's revenue report.
Retention Marketing in Games with Manu Gambhir (Snapyr)
Our guest this week is Manu Gambhir, Co-Founder and CEO of Snapyr. Snapyr supercharges player retention for game developers and publishers. They offer the world's first no-code visual programming language for engagement marketing.
In this week’s podcast we take a dive into retention marketing for games. With UA efficacy decreasing due to increasing privacy restrictions, retention marketing offers important opportunities for maximizing player value. Manu shares his insights on what these opportunities are and how to take advantage of them. We also dive into attribution, measurement, and modeling to understand the full LTV of players.
Plus, we discuss the latest in the Unity merger proposals, some surprising statistics about teens and social media platforms, changes to Reddit's community points system, Disney's latest earnings and milestones, and the maybe possible redemption arc of WeWork's Adam Neumann.
Nurturing Communities for Web3 (MetaMods)
Our guests this week are Annie Wong and CrypTotoro, Co-Founders of MetaMods. MetaMods provides custom moderator packages for companies looking to build and grow their online communities. Their packages include experts in security, partnerships, events, community relationships and engagement, and community growth.
In this week’s podcast we take a dive into MetaMod's business and the act of nurturing Web3 communities. From ongoing engagement to incorporating user feedback to handling toxic users, there is a lot that goes into not only building a Web3 community, but keeping it healthy!
Plus, we discuss the latest development in a potential Unity merger, the U.S. Treasury's sanction of wallet addresses connected to Tornado Cash, Apple's latest industry move, and more layoffs in the games space.
SOURCES & MORE: https://upptic.com/nurturing-communities-for-web3-metamods-app-talk-with-upptic/
Identity & Inclusivity in Gaming with Ian Masters (Flick Games)
Our guest this week is Ian Masters, Founder & CEO at Flick Games. Flick Games is reimagining Solitaire. They work with artists all over the world to bring a unique richness to the game that can't be found anywhere else. In this week’s podcast we take a dive into identity in gaming – including how Flick is using its platform to highlight underrepresented people and demographics. We also talk about market opportunities surrounding representation, and how Web3 and NFTs will impact inclusivity and diversity in gaming. Plus, we muse on the latest games industry earnings news, a looming recession, TikTok's music ambitions, and another delay to the end of Google's third-party cookies.
State of Games Marketing (UA Roundtable)
This week a couple of members from our UA team, Kevin and Ian, join us for a special roundtable focused on the state of games marketing.
Starting off with some high-level conversion on the mobile ad industry and Web3 games marketing, we then dive into some of the most interesting tactics and channels they currently see. Conversation turns to client portfolios and channel buckets, before heading into ATT and how SKAN is working for them at the moment.
Plus, we discuss the latest news on tech earnings and games spending (hint: it's not good) – as well as the latest from Netflix, Tesla, and Minecraft.
Snap shares plunge 25% on disappointing second-quarter results
Alphabet misses on earnings and revenue for second quarter
Facebook parent Meta earnings Q2 2022
Games spending down 10% to $26.3bn in H1 2022
Netflix to Partner With Microsoft on New Ad Supported Subscription Plan
Elon Musk says Tesla is integrating Steam gaming marketplace into its cars
Minecraft Bans NFTs And Blockchain, Which 'Do Not Align' With Game's 'Values'
NFT World, Shunned By Minecraft, Says It Will Build Its Own Minecraft With Blockchain And Creators
Web3: The Next Hot Thing? Or Simply Hot Air?
This week, in lieu of a podcast, Warren took part in a Web3 panel hosted by Singular.
Joining him were The Sandbox Head of Performance Anya Shapina, Mythical Games VP Growth Marketing Daniel Lopez, and Appvertiser Founder Hagop Hagopian.
Moderating was Forbes Senior Contributor John Koetsier – who brought a dose of humor and didn't spare probing questions to get more out of the panelists when needed.
Among the main topics covered were...
- What makes a product "Web3"?
- How close are we to mass adoption?
- What is the Web3 consumer like?
- How is marketing different in Web3?
- What's all this about communities?
- What's all this about players as owners?
...alongside other Web3 hot-button issues.
If you didn't catch it live, be sure to listen on-demand now using the YouTube video or Anchor audio above!
Game Development Past & Present with Ismail Maiyegun (Big Wolf)
Our guest this week is Ismail Maiyegun, Co-Founder and CEO at Big Wolf Games. Big Wolf Games is a game developer, publisher, and live operator. Their leadership team has over 40 years of combined experience in making AAA titles and operating free-to-play games. Big Wolf Games also works extensively with intellectual property (IP).
In this week’s podcast we take a dive into game development throughout the years. Ismail details his history in games and how the industry has changed over time – including the recent impact of remote work. He also shares his insights on the advantages and disadvantages of working with IP holders – and the power of IP in games. Web3 also takes the stage as he discusses the future of the industry.
Plus, we discuss the breaking news around Unity's merger with ironSource – along with news on GameStop's NFT marketplace launch and the Nothing Phone.
Guest: Ismail Maiyegun
Unity Announces Merger Agreement with ironSource
Unity is merging with Ironsource in an all-stock deal valuing Ironsource at $4.4B
GameStop NFT Marketplace (storefront)
Analysis: GameStop’s NFT marketplace earns the company just $45K in first day
Everything about DAOs with Andrew Green (Strider)
Our guest this week is Andrew Green, Co-Founder and CEO at Strider. Strider is creating a Web3 platform to enable creators to control projects through blockchain-based DAOs (decentralized autonomous organizations). The ultimate goal for Strider is to provide a place where people own and profit from their ideas and can connect with directly with users of their content (instead of going through third parties like publishers).
In this week’s podcast we take a dive into everything about DAOs. We get answers to questions like: What is a DAO? Why would you use one? What are their pros and cons vs. traditional alternatives? Plus, we discuss the macroeconomic trends that are causing turmoil in the Web3 and crypto spaces.
We also dive into the recent news on BlockFi and FTX and discuss the massive layoffs across the ad-tech and gaming spaces. If you're looking for work, check out what openings we have.
Guest: Andrew Green
FTX signs a deal giving it the option to buy crypto lender BlockFi
Unity Laying Off Hundreds Of Staffers
Niantic laying off up to 90 after canceling 4 games
AppLovin and Adjust lay off 12% of their workforce
Gaming M&A and Investing with Shum Singh (Agnitio Capital)
Our guest this week is Shum Singh, Managing Director & Founder at Agnitio Capital. Agnitio Capital is a fully authorized and regulated investment bank. They have been passionate about and investing in games since their founding in 2003.
In this week’s podcast we take a dive into M&A and investing in the gaming industry. Shum tells us more about Agnitio Capital and the recent history of M&A and investing in the games space, we discuss the impact of the downturn of the global economy, and get predictions on how the next few years will play out for investments in the gaming space.
Plus, we discuss the news that Solana Labs is building a Web3 phone, Sky Mavis is reopening their Ronin Bridge, and Playtika is selling their controlling stake in their own company to Joffre, and more.
Guest: Shum Singh
Solana Labs Is Building a Web3 Mobile Phone
The Ronin Bridge Is Open
Playtika sells controlling stake: is mobile gaming undervalued?
Another Anticipated NFT Game Makes Its Way To The Epic Games Store
Web3 Growth Playbook with Justin "Jkey" Vogel (Safary)
Our guest this week is Justin "Jkey" Vogel, Co-Creator of Safary. Safary is the world's first Web3 growth community with a mission to build the first Web3 growth playbook by connecting top growth professionals and defining what growth looks like in Web3.
In this week’s podcast we discuss what this playbook will include. Learn about the foundational challenges that Web3 apps face, growth levers native to Web3, distinct tools Web3 marketers have, and examples of projects that are executing effective Web3 growth strategies.
Plus, we discuss the latest news on Diablo Immortal, metaverse projections, and the latest hubbub around Embracer.
Diablo Immortal gets over $24 million in spending, within 14 days after launch
McKinsey & Company report predicts $5 trillion in metaverse earnings by 2030
Saudi Arabia's Savvy Gaming Group embraces Embracer with $1B investment
CEO Comment on the Announcement of the Directed Share Issue to Savvy Gaming Group
Community Building with Thomas Hopkins (Perfect Storm)
Our guest this week is Thomas Hopkins, COO at Perfect Storm Studios. Perfect Storm Studios is a games studio founded by industry veterans working to build the next generation of games. They're currently working on a title that will incorporate great design, community involvement, and player rewards.
In this week’s podcast we take a dive into community building. Thomas Hopkins is well-versed in community building with past ventures at Masterclass, Superpeer, and beyond. Learn more about the key components and best practices for building and managing a community as a business growth lever.
Plus, we discuss the latest news on SKAN, cloud gaming, market conditions, and Upptic partner Axie Infinity.
Guest: Thomas Hopkins
SKAdNetwork expansion and Fingerprinting (with Alex Bauer)
Explore App Tracking Transparency - WWDC22
Xbox Game Pass on Samsung TVs feels like cloud gaming's tipping point
Cloud gaming ban on the App Store, and mandatory WebKit usage, both declared anticompetitive
Skillz Stock (SKLZ): A Financial Disaster
A message from Coinbase CEO and Cofounder Brian Armstrong
A Billion-Dollar Crypto Gaming Startup Promised Riches and Delivered Disaster
Season 3 Wrap-Up
This week marks the conclusion to Season 3 of App Talk with Upptic! Instead of having a guest this week, we’re taking a moment to reach out to you, our listeners, and highlight the latest from Upptic – such as our new Web3 Community Growth services and partnership with Arrivant.
But don’t worry, we wouldn’t leave you without the latest industry insights and a couple neat apps! In this week’s episode we also discuss the latest news regarding Bored Ape, Square Enix, Activision Blizzard, Facebook, YouTube, and Apple. There’s a lot going on!
And, as always, we close with a couple of our favorite apps.
Thank you for listening to us this season! See you in a few weeks!
Bored Ape NFT company raises around $285 million of crypto in virtual land sale
Bored Ape Yacht Club creator’s metaverse mint rocks the Ethereum blockchain
Embracer acquires Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montreal and Square Enix Montreal for $300m
Square Enix Sells Deus Ex, Tomb Raider Studios to Fund Blockchain, AI Projects
Good Twitter thread on Square Enix news
Activision Blizzard sales and engagement tumble
Facebook shares spike on better-than-expected quarterly earnings
Alphabet reports weak earnings and revenue on big YouTube miss
Apple shares dip after company warns of a possible $8 billion hit from supply constraints
Unifying UA, Data, Creative (and Tech) with Emma Kong (Electronic Arts)
Our guest this week is Emma Kong, Sr. Manager, Mobile Growth at Electronic Arts (EA). EA is one of the world's leading game developers and publishers. Some of their most recognized game brands include EA Sports FIFA, Battlefield, Apex Legends, The Sims, and Need for Speed. They have more than 450M registered players around the world.
In this week’s podcast we take a dive into growth pillars such as UA, data, creative, and tech – and how to unify them. We also talk about team alignment, good communication, buying vs. building, recent UA developments, and collaboration between marketing and product.
Plus, we discuss the latest news from Netflix, Coinbase's new NFT marketplace, Meta's giant fees for creators in its metaverse, and more.
Guest: Emma Bobae Kong
Coinbase launches NFT marketplace in hopes of appealing to crypto and mainstream users
Meta will charge creators fees of up to 47.5% to sell virtual wares in its metaverse
Netflix to launch an ‘Exploding Kittens’ mobile game tied to an new animated TV series
Netflix loses $45 billion in value as subscriber numbers drop
Microsoft is developing an in-game advertising system for free-to-play games
Game Economies & Ponzi Crypto with Ramin Shokrizade (Arrivant)
Our guest this week is Ramin Shokrizade, Founder at Arrivant. Arrivant is a game development studio focused on creating massively social games with player-to-player Play-to-Earn economies that meet the core needs of gamers – empowerment and connection – using scientific principles. They're currently working on their first PC and mobile game: StarGarden – a team-based, auto-chess battler with RPG mechanics.
In this week’s podcast we take a dive into game economies and ponzi crypto – digging into the details of why so many early Web3 gaming economies have collapsed, what the traits of sustainable and scalable Web3 game economies are, and how Web3 evolves game economies.
Plus, we discuss the latest news from Epic Games, Meta, China, and more.
Guest: Ramin Shokrizade
Epic Games valued at about $32 bln in funding from Sony, Lego firm
Meta plans virtual currency, creator coins for its apps
Meta to start testing money-making tools for its metaverse
MetaMask users can now buy cryptocurrency with Apple Pay
China ends nine-month freeze on game approvals