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Level-Up : Conversations with Friends & Developers

Posted on November 24, 2014
By Kaavya Kasturirangan

At InMobi we love games. Interestingly, we are also a collection of people who love talking and conversations. Put the two together and you'll know what our new blog series "Level Up : Conversations with Friends and Developers" is all about. We intend to create a cozy nook on our little blog where we catch-up and talk shop with our developer and non-developer friends. Do chime in; did I mention we love participation as well? ☺

This week we're catching up with the constantly-traveling but ever-available Martine Spaans at Tamalaki

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Kaavya. Tell us a little about your outfit and what you do

Martine: FGL Mobile is a service for indie developers to bring their games to Android markets like Google Play and Amazon. We handle the QA, game submission, Ad Mediation, Cross Promotion, Notification system, Marketing, etc. I have my own publishing label Tamalaki and I partner exclusively with FGL. I advise developers about UX and Monetization. Tamalaki focuses on publishing casual games for women 30+. Examples are Hidden Object, Match-3, Word games, Time Management, etc.

Kaavya. What category of games do you predict will be popular in 2015

Martine: Hard to say. Who ever predicted Flappy Bird? It’s a hit-driven market and the App Store superstars often influence what other games will become popular.

Kaavya. Is there an audience segment of gamers that has been ignored so far by developers or at least less targeted? Why?

Martine: Yes and no. There are millions of games in the stores and there is a wide variety. So I don’t think there is a specific target group ignored. The big money makers are all titles that are very open and friendly to any demographic. Games like Candy Crush or Words with Friends converted many people who didn’t play games before. Slowly everyone is becoming a gamer, although they might not identify with the term. I think over time there will be more titles specifically for these new groups of “gamers”. For example, games for seniors, maybe with extra big buttons.

Kaavya. How can an indie explore and exploit the global phenomenon and scattered target audiences that enjoy casual games since really a teenager in US playing a casual game is just like a 50 year old woman in China where the game is concerned, right?

Martine: Indeed, like mentioned in the previous point it’s true that more and more different people start to play games. But not all of them identify with the term “gamer”. So this should also be reflected in the styling and communication of your game. I would advise to pick a specific style or demographic you are developing for and stick with it. If you spread yourself too thin and you try to do everything it will become too hard to grab some attention in the crowded stores.

Kaavya. The app store is only getting more crowded. How can an indie promote their game without spending too many marketing dollars?

Martine: Try to cross-promote. Either your publisher can help you with that, or team up with other self-publishing companies. Focus not only on getting new players, but also on retaining your existing ones. There is no better marketing than having your players vouch for you.

Thanks Martine for spending time with InMobi. Here's to a great holiday season and blockbuster 2015!

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