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Gameloft's Quest To Be The Mobile Leader


October 26, 2011 Article Start Previous Page 3 of 4 Next
 

When you speak of marketing, how strongly do you market, as a company? A lot of mobile companies don't do a lot of strong direct-to-consumer marketing.

GDV: So from the beginning, when we started distributing our games -- that was the feature phone business, Java and Brew -- we had our own store from the beginning, so that we were able to talk directly to the consumers, to get their feedback.

And so we've been continuing this initiative. Plus, in the last three years, we've been building our community of fans through digital media like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. So we announced recently that we reached the one millionth fan on Facebook -- so that was a pretty significant threshold that we achieved.

We have worldwide presence with marketing people, talking to the community, talking to our media partners -- so that we announce our different launches across the world, and it's a pretty significant part of our investment.

You have games that target different audiences, so you must have very different strategies for reaching casual and core audiences with your games.

GDV: It's true that it's different; it's a different strategy. What we try to build is communities around different game genres and appetites. But it's true that it's very different audiences, and it's a different acquisition strategy.

On the casual [side] there are so many titles out there that you need to invest in media more, so that people see the game. Whereas maybe on the gamer side, the quality of the game would make it that the buzz can be created around the title. So it's different media and marketing strategy for different game genres.


Modern Combat: Sandstorm

Are all your games developed in your own studios?

GDV: From the beginning, we are a very internal company, and that's for the sake of quality. We've been building franchises -- let's say Asphalt, N.O.V.A., Modern Combat -- and it's the same team that have been working on the new editions. Having them internally makes that you capitalize on them year after year, or every two years, depending on the releases. So yeah, it's been an internal play from the beginning -- even on the Java side, we've been there.

Where are your studios located?

GDV: We have, we have New York, we have them on different part of the globe. So Americas, it's New York and Montreal, we have Buenos Aires in Argentina, we have Paris, we have Bucharest, we have Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu. We have Auckland, we have Seoul. So we have many different locations, and so we try to bring some diversity in our creations.

Do you have internal engines, internal tools, internal technology?

GDV: Yeah, we use mostly internal tools. We announced we were licensing the Unreal Engine, so it happens from time to time that we use external technologies that really bring something to our game development. But most of the time it's internal tools.

What advantage do you as a company find in keeping internal technology?

GDV: I think we are assessing different tools, but we develop so many games, maybe, that we find that it's more beneficial to share our learnings. If we are doing only a couple of games per year, I think we have enough resources to improve the engine year after year, and to recreate. We have the internal resources to do so.

Also, financially, when you don't have to pay the royalties, as long as you can bring as good quality, you do it. And that's why, I think, we licensed Unreal, because we thought that it could really help us bring a better experience to consumers.

Obviously, there's been a lot of commentary about how many of your game concepts are unoriginal, and seem to really very closely be inspired, let's say, from existing franchises from other publishers. What do you say to that?

GDV: What we've already, said and what I'll tell you again, is that we think that, in the video game industry, there are some key genres like World War II -- that type of a shooter game, and futuristic shooters. As we want to be targeting the mass market, we are covering these genres. We try to improve it, and bring our, I would say our "touch of creativity" on this.

If you look at even in the regular console video game business, there are some game genres where you have five or six titles competing with one another in the same category, and if you look deeply into them, they learn from one another -- the experience, the features that they bring, and everything. So we think it's pretty much the same.

What is different there is that it's a new platform, and we are pretty unique as a game publisher, bringing these types of titles to this platform -- meaning we are the more prolific iOS publisher, in terms of gamer titles. So we are more attacked on this [than if] we were publishing on another platform, where there are already certain titles like this. It's because it's a new platform -- that's why people are seeing it more.


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