Casual Connect: Developers, don’t waste your soft launch period

James Brightman, Friday, April 12th, 2019 8:03 pm

The mobile market is incredibly crowded but opportunities for business are huge. There have been numerous mobile games that have surpassed $1 billion in revenues in recent years, including Fortnite, Summoners War, and Pokemon Go, to name a few. Before studios go global with a new title, they usually soft launch in one particular region to gain necessary feedback and test the market. This is a vital step that cannot be overlooked, and at Casual Connect London (May 28-30), leading mobile studio Zeptolab (Cut the Rope, Pudding Monsters) will offer developers key advice on the ins and outs of a proper soft launch. 

Dylan Tredrea, Head of Publishing at Zeptolab, will be giving a talk specifically on the opportunities and risks in doing a soft launch, the fundamental forces teams should understand, and the high-level strategy for soft launch planning.

“I’m speaking at Casual Connect on a topic that’s very close to my day-to-day work at Zeptolab and the work I’ve done throughout my career: how to run more effective soft launches. I chose this topic because in my opinion too many free-to-play mobile games ‘die’ in soft launch because developers don’t appreciate how markedly different soft launch is from ‘regular’ live operations,” Tredrea explained.

Dylan Tredrea, Zeptolab
Dylan Tredrea, Zeptolab

He added, “My job at Zeptolab is to find developers who have a history of making extremely high quality and engaging games and partner with them to make games featuring the Om Nom IP. Believe it or not, I’m most passionate about how a maturing, more crowded mobile games market is creating opportunities for more innovation, higher quality experiences. The work isn’t getting easier, but it certainly is always getting more interesting as players demand better and better games to capture their limited play time.”

Tredrea said he’s observed too many mobile developers either wait too long to get their soft launch up-and-running, or possibly worse, they’re squandering the soft launch by “not using that limited time to make big, risky changes which maximizes the chance for a positive impact.”

With easily accessible tools, it’s easy for almost anyone to launch a mobile game in 2019, but finding success is much, much harder. Tredrea said that attendees to his talk will hopefully understand ‘rules’ of the F2P market, strategies for F2P games during soft launch, how to prepare and plan for soft launch, how to make product/priority decisions in soft launch, how to incorporate qualitative feedback into decision making, and how to manage risks — or as he put it, “respect players while still staying in business.”

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