Marketing and Monetization Interview Series #13. Getting to the top.

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Back in January we’ve celebrated AdDuplex’ 4th Birthday and ran this festive contest where Mini Golf Club was selected as one of the winners.

Mini Golf Club is a physics based mini golf simulator for Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8. It is also one of the most successful games created by Zoltán Gubics.

Zoltán started developing and publishing games during his studies. And after graduation he became an entrepreneur and founded Obumo Games. In this interview Zoltán shares personal experience and lessons learned while getting his Windows Phone and Windows games to the top.

Could you tell us more about yourself? What is your background? Is app and game development your full time job?

I live in Budapest, Hungary. I studied software engineering at Budapest University of Technology and Economics and graduated two years ago. During my studies, I focused on Microsoft technologies mainly and that’s how I got involved in Windows 8 application development. I’ve been interested in game development since the start of my studies, so I developed my first game for Windows 8 called Offroad Racing. Luckily, Offroad Racing has become very popular in the Windows Store and that was the point when my hobby became my daily job. I’ve been developing games ever since as an independent developer using Unity game engine.

I usually work alone, however I have had some help from a friend at the beginning.

In your opinion what are the reasons that Mini Golf Club is loved by users?

minigolf3I think players love Mini Golf Club because of its casual yet challenging gameplay and wide variety of levels. Most of the levels can be completed in several ways, which makes players think about new solutions. Currently, there are 170+ levels and the collection is growing month by month. They can also create their own levels in the editor and send in their creations by email. The best of player-made levels are added to the collection every month as an update. They get all features for free, because I decided to monetize my game primarily with ads instead of IAPs and it turned out well for me.

Which of your own games do you like the most? Why?

battledroidsPersonally I like Battle Droids the most. The game is a recreation of the popular Bomberman game for Windows and Windows Phone. It’s a player versus player multiplayer game for up to 4 players and it has an action packed gameplay that requires some skills against other player. The multiplayer features are also cross-platform, so player from Windows Phone devices can play against Windows 8 users. It’s my third published game and I haven’t really got much experience back then and the game didn’t get much attention in the stores.

You have published 7 apps already. So you should have noticed what works best while setting up marketing and advertising strategies. Could you share some of your insights?

Sure. I usually set up my advertising campaigns for the launch date. I also use AdDuplex cross-promotion network and house ads in all of my games to boost user acquisition. I have a website and Facebook page which I keep updating at least weekly, so I can utilize my existing fan base at a new release. Blogging and newsletters can also be efficient tools to keeping your existing players engaged. Reaching out to review sites is important too. At a new release I try to focus most of my resources for the first 1-4 weeks and generate as much exposure as possible.

What is the biggest struggle that you find in acquiring new users for Windows Phone and Windows games?

The biggest struggle I found in user acquisition was localization. Publishing your game in English only is not enough anymore. You can reach only 20% or less of the potential users if you ignore other languages. My advice to other developers would be to localize at least your store content and game. Of course the more content you localize the more chance you have to acquire users. This includes your advertising campaigns too. A localized app or game has higher chance of being reviewed by local review sites too.

Can we expect any new apps or games of yours to be released in near future? If yes, are you going to try any new marketing strategies?

Yes, I plan to release at least 2 new games in 2015 which are currently in development. One of them is 2D casual game and the other is a 3D resource management game. I’ll publish more details about the games later, so if you’re interested in stay tuned at Obumo Games Facebook page.

I’m really excited about AdDuplex Interstitial ads and I’ll definitely try it out. Furthermore, Microsoft announced Video ads for Windows 10 last week at BUILD which opens up lots of possibilities for developers.

Thank you Zoltán for sharing your experience. It will be really interesting to hear how did it go with your new games!

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