Chartboost’s co-founders Maria Alegre (CEO) and Sean Fannan (CTO) were selected as the most recent inductees for Pocket Gamer’s Hall of Fame. It’s flattering to be named into such an amazing lineup of game industry thought leaders such as Pocket Gems’ Ben Liu, Kabam’s Kevin Chou and NimbleBit’s David and Ian Marsh–we consider this a great acknowledgement.
We couldn’t accept this recognition without acknowledging and thanking you, our partners. We simply just wouldn’t have been able to build one of the best communities of game developers without you.
Maria and Sean may have been inducted into the Hall of Fame, but by no means are we going to rest on our laurels. We’re on a mission to continue improving on the largest revenue platform for mobile games. With the recent release of Chartboost Video, the only video made exclusively for game developers, we’re determined to empower game developers around the world to reach their full potential.
Mech Mocha Game Studios is an independent game development studio based in India. Founded by Mohit Rangaraju (Chief Mech) and Arpita Kapoor (Chief Mocha), Mech Mocha was part of iAccelerator 2013 batch and operates from an awesome co-working space at CIIE, IIM A. They are also proud alums of Chartboost University. Mech Mocha believes in teaming up with talented and passionate programmers, artists, animators and musicians to create high-end quality games that would leave a feeling of satisfaction in every players’ mind. They’re currently working on their first iOS title Puppet Punch.
As I write this, Mech Mocha is submitting Puppet Punch to the App Store. It’s a long-awaited day for our team and we’re ecstatic about it. Since this project began, we went through numerous changes and iterations. Nearly six months ago, we thought we were ready for release, but then we were selected to attend Chartboost University (CBU) — it was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up.
CBU is a two-week-long mentorship program for mobile game startups where industry experts from different specialties such as design, production, technology, audio, and monetization dig into your product and provide feedback. As a bonus, the IGDA gave us passes to attend GDC 2014.
Our time at CBU helped us improve our game immensely. The combined feedback from mentors and fellow developers at CBU, GDC attendees, and press at Pocket Gamer Big Indie Pitch was amazing. While the base gameplay and design of Puppet Punch wasn’t changed after CBU, there’ve been significant changes to the game’s backend, progression, core loop and monetization.
Before we count down the last few days of summer, we looked back on August CPI data. Last year we saw a decrease in CPIs from July 2013 to August 2013, but that wasn’t the case this year. Despite students going back to school, it seems like advertisers didn’t think user LTVs would go down too much to warrant lowering their advertising bids. Average bids on iOS were up 13.8%, down -0.8% on Google Play, and up 1.5% on Amazon.
Soon, iPhone and iPad users worldwide will benefit from iOS 8′s major enhancements. Unfortunately, a handful of older iOS devices won’t be compatible because of significant changes to its operating system. The name of the game is compatibility, which is why to avoid interruptions to Chartboost’s monetization services, you need to update to our latest SDK 5.0, right HERE
But there’s more. For those of you who have been waiting for the public release of Chartboost Video it’s here — and only with SDK 5.0. Remember, it’s the only video made exclusively for game developers, and in closed beta we’ve received some pretty amazing feedback:
“We are big fans of Chartboost. Their new rewarded video feature was easy to integrate and provided another great revenue channel. We increased user engagement and experienced almost no IAP cannibalization.”
– Critical Hit Software
“Being able to test the new video functionality from Chartboost, firsthand, was very exciting. We can't wait to see how it performs now that it's widely available. Our experience so far has been outstanding.”
- Tapps Games
This SDK 5.0 (iOS, Android, Unity) update includes:
- iOS 8 compatibility
- Chartboost Video – interstitial and rewarded
- Easier integration & improved APIs – more impressions and increased monetization
For more info, you can visit our trusty Help Site: SDK 5.0 and migration docs, Video, or shoot us an email at: email@example.com. We always like to hear from you. #WeHeartDevs
We’re catching up with Olaf Morelewski, a Chartboost University 2013 (CBU) alum and the founder of made it app. He’s just released the game that he’s been working after his experience at CBU.
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, Olaf. What can you tell us about made it app?
My pleasure! Made it app is a one-man-shop indie game boutique that I run by myself in Warsaw, Poland. Previously I was working in the advertising industry but decided to quit my Art Director day job and focus on making mobile games. I also wanted to learn some basic programming so now I’m doing pretty much everything – from designing gameplay, drawing game art, to coding and recording sound effects. I know it’s pretty diverse stuff and I realize that nobody can master all fields at once, but I really enjoy doing all these things together and believe that my games are not only quality but fun to play as well.
We’re catching up with Matt Fossati, a Chartboost University 2014 (CBU) alum and the COO and co-founder of Game Masons, LLC. It’s been a few months since his time at Chartboost University and we want to see how the lessons from CBU have applied to their current stable of games.
Tell us about Game Masons
Matt: Game Masons is a small indie studio in Santa Barbara, CA. We started out making utility apps and then found Unity3D. Both founders are gamers, one on the video game side, and the other strategy games side (poker, backgammon, and billiards). We try to make challenging games that are easy to learn and can be played for a good amount of time without getting stale. We were also one of the first studios to offer real money wager on both Android and iOS.
“Quality trumps everything”
How did attending CBU change your work going forward?
Matt: It solidified what we always thought: quality trumps everything. Making a game fun, having a challenging game loop, in addition to high quality graphics and game play is the only way to grow a gaming company. Continue reading
Christine Lee, Director of Business for Chartboost spoke last month in a panel at Casual Connect about the “Achilles Heel” of mobile: Discovery & Monetization. On the topic of how advertising has evolved with mobile, she had the following to share:
“If you really look at the evolution, a lot of people still say mobile is newish or developing,” she said. “But if you think about it, five years ago: banners, that was it. And then eventually interstitials. And then videos, video interstitials, and now rewarded interstitials. Offerwalls, animated, in-play – there is so much going on with ads, and its interesting.”
See her original quote, and more at gamesauce.
If you’ve been watching the mobile games headlines in the last month, you’ve undoubtedly heard about the overwhelmingly positive reaction to the release of Kim Kardashian: Hollywood by Glu Games. Going beyond the headlines and into the Chartboost Network, there’s a lot of interest in fashion & lifestyle games driving solid CTR rates and, for the top performers, great impression-to-install conversion.
Let’s look at the creatives driving success and identify the best qualities to consider.
Strike a Pose
With the focus on fashion and a luxurious lifestyle, it’s important to make sure your creatives look the part. Choosing clear images that make a strong impression up front quickly conveys to potential players what the focus of your game is. Putting a fashionable avatar front and center reinforces the focus, and adding in accessories to indicate the “dress-up” facet will help complete the gameplay story.
Chartboost’s CTO and Co-Founder Sean Fannan talks tech, scalability, and engineering at Rackspace::Solve. His talk focuses on the opportunities and challenges of building a rapidly growing startup; including his thoughts on the benefits of stepping back to think before acting on impulse when you are building something that has to scale.
Chartboost and the IGDA Vancouver
were out in full force for Chartboost Connect at the Full Indie Summit
in Vancouver. Spirits were high and the energy was great as we packed the Anza Club
and enjoyed a fireside chat with Alexandre Mandryka
and then transitioned into a mixer with great food and drinks.
If you couldn’t attend and missed the chat, Alexandre talked about multiple facets of game design touching on the impact of free-to-play, mobile devices, and his thoughts on going indie. A few choice quotes from Alexandre included:
“[We need to] stop talking about mobile games as casual… They can require dedication.”
“Dedicated gamers have the [mobile] devices and are ready to pay if they like the game.”
“The future of mobile games is outside mobile. It’s trans-platform. [In 2020] I hope the way we make games is not about devices, but an experience we are immersed in everywhere…” Continue reading