The rise of the east – and of the hardcore mobile gamer….

Many things can be learnt from looking east.

One thing I truly believe is the future for mobile gaming.


And in this regard the following lady is a bit of a pin up of mine. Just as GungHo is a poster child of mine company wise.  But it looks like now Hoolai could be up there too.

This interview is with Xiang Lin – who wonderfully says – its better good than lucky in mobile gaming. Whilst she chats about the “Rapid Growth on the Cutting Edge”

“With the rapid growth of the mobile internet, mobile gaming is a sector everyone is watching intently,” Lin said. “Even celebrities are signing their names off on branded mobile games these days.”

(Dan adds – this is where I truly see a huge opportunity if we can bring down the costs of developing games – branded mobile games being a little like website were 10 years ago – not quite wordpress and free – but not costing £2000 to produce to a high quality.)

Lin was attracted to the mobile business when she recognized that it was a business model ripe for innovation, especially in China. She had her pick of mobile Internet startup opportunities, but decided to join Hoolai in June 2011.

“If you enjoy riding wave after wave in a fast-paced industry, games are where you want to be,” Lin said.

“Three Kingdoms” Kills It

When she joined Hoolai, it was a company of 80 people. Later that year, the company was propelled from small game studio to a “real” game company, when Hoolai’s Three Kingdoms became the top grossing Chinese iOS app that same year. A year and a half after that, Hoolai now has more than 600 employees.

Three Kingdoms

Three Kingdoms became the top grossing Chinese iOS app the year Xiang Lin joined the company.

“You can never get bored with an industry when innovations in gaming are announced on a near daily basis,” Lin said. “And, of course, Hoolai’s continued growth helps.”

Avoiding the One-Hit Wonder

Lin firmly believes that the mark of a successful studio is avoiding becoming the dreaded one-hit wonder. Hoolai may have seemed to be this when it became the #1 social game on Tencent’s Open Platform, and then Hoolai followed up Three Kingdoms on Tencent’s Open Platform with its iOS app. It became the top grossing iOS app in China, and Hoolai soon proved its staying power. The next hit for the company, War of Immortals, reached the top of Tencent’s Open Platform; it remains one of the top three on the charts. This success has now been followed by the launch of an Android version.

War of Immortals

War of Immortals reached the top of Tencent’s Open Platform.

The Secret…

“The way to work through challenges,” Lin tells us, “is to listen to your fans.” Though it may seem obvious, it is important to reach out to the fans that are willing to contribute to the vision of the game. Gamers regularly discover strengths and weaknesses in a game that the developers had never thought of. They will let you know what type of content they would like to see in the next iteration, or they will tell you why they like one game over another.

Lin believes we are already seeing hints of the future with smartphones giving consoles serious competition; PC may not be far behind. With the portability of mobile devices and the advances in new hardware technology, the mobile platform is the developer’s opportunity for experimentation. It provides breathing room for developers to exercise their creativity.

Hoolai Wall Art

Creativity blossoms at Hoolai.

Anticiptating the Mobile Hardcore Gamer

“The latest advances in auxiliary device inputs — such as Apple’s support for game controller technology in iOS 7 — and touch screen interactions are allowing mobile hardware and software to catch up to the developer’s fantasies of PC quality graphics and immersive mobile game experience,” Lin said. “Expect to see more hard core gamers picking up a smartphone, which may contribute to mobile gaming revenue rivaling console gaming revenue in the future.”

Amen to that – the rise of the hardcore mobile gamer – I can see it already.

5 Common Pitfalls When Setting Up Mobile Game Analytics

5 Common Pitfalls When Setting Up Mobile Game Analytics

A great article written by who as a games analyst for W3i, has had the unique experience of going through a plethora of analytic mobile platforms his  has witnessed nearly every analytics provider’s capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses.So here are his hints and tips for us mobile games analytics pros.

Continue reading

Big Data is something which has the potential to change the world forever.

Not just in scientific reasoning and mathematical equations (if you can say “just” around such a point) but as John Taysom (Harvard fellow and main speaker at the Technology Strategy Board sponsored event I went to) rightly pointed out ….

…..something that if we get it wrong, people will die.

Continue reading

Global Gamification Market Study Shows Driving Need to Engage Consumers

Reported in a new global Gamification Market Study Shows Driving Need to Engage Consumers

Thanks to Kevin Shane for this – and he is right – it is time to get marketing to be more active. In fact, this is one of the letters in the BE GREAT system. A = Active marketing.
And he is so right. Brands can no longer just expect to be consumed. We must get out there and add value with #greatmarketing and one very powerful way is to be gamification especially through the mobile experience.
TechNavio, a research wing of Infinity Research, released a 40-page marketing report in November 2012.  The study examines the expected role of Gamification in the North American, European and Pacific Rim areas. The purpose of the research was “to aid decision makers’ understanding of the present and future landscape of the market.”

And the landscape’s terrain is populated by social media and networking.

The market report projects that worldwide dominance of social media and other networking sites (e.g., Facebook and LinkedIn) will continue. Further, social networking, collaboration and sharing of content continue to “gain traction in the global Gamification market.”

Businesses worldwide are expected to hop on board the Gamification train.

As social media marketing begins to spread as an enormously cost-effective market outreach and advertising platform, look for social networks to add Gamification apps to attract and engage their customers. Why? Because social network applications with Gamification apps are more engaging to customers “in a collaborative and meaningful conversation in real time.” In short, they are simply more fun and interesting–and occurs in the present.

Businesses need to work on customer engagement.

What’s driving the global Gamification trend is that, as e-commerce becomes more and more robust and popular, businesses need to work more on transforming customer participation from passive to active.

What does Gamification do for the business? As customers become active participants in Gamification apps, the enterprise gleans, among other things, real-time insight and information on just what the customers want to buy now and in the future. It’s all about marketing strategies and bringing the products to the forefront by continually engaging the consumer.

So many options, but what is the solution?

The report does not cite any quick fixes in achieving more customer engagement. Global Gamification is but one of the tools available to marketers in the volatile world of e-commerce. However, Gamification will remain in the mix of the wide variety of solutions as the world business leaders continue to cope with challenges and the flow and ebb of e-commerce.

Nevertheless, the future of Gamification in marketing and advertising is bright. One researcher, Mind Commerce, predicts that the Gamification product market will reach $3.6 billion in the next five years. They also estimate that within that same time period, 80 percent of Global 2000 enterprises will use Gamification apps or processes.

Embedding gaming in marketing and advertising will continue to follow the upward trend of social networking. Gamification is definitely a promising strategy to increase customer interaction and loyalty.

China’s massive mobile gaming opportunity…

Looks like my trip to SE Asia – was a clever move – into China next 😉 as turnover of the market may reach more than 14 billion yuan by the year 2015

China’s mobile gaming market surged nearly 25 percent in the fourth quarter of last year, registering the fastest growth since 2011, industry research revealed.

Continue reading

It’s all about the gaming… especially on mobile :0


I was at The Web Summit last week – an amazing time – meeting people like Amer Mohammed who makes Healthy Heroes over in Sweden. A mobile game which gamifies health and action. An idea I had in a drunken row (heated discussion) with someone in Manchester about 5 years ago.Read on…

Continue reading