Gram Games是最成功的独立游戏工作室之一。他们的休闲游戏《1010!》，《Merged!》和《Six!》都在世界范围内吸引了广大注意并共创造了1亿多的下载量。最近我和该公司的战略合作伙伴关系负责人Alexander Willink共同讨论了该公司的盈利策略，VR以及他们用于培养开发者社区所使用的前瞻性策略。
我们都知道Gram Games提供给了开发社区很大的回馈并致力于培养当地的人才，例如编程马拉松和2Tons Accelerator Program。你们从这一行动中获得了怎样的结果？
Gram Games是一家以独立开发起步为傲的工作室，所以我们觉得有责任继续去推进这种类型的开发。我们的2Tons Program便不断获得成功。2Tons是Gram Games面向独立游戏开发者所进行的支持与开发活动（游戏邦注：现在主要在英国和土耳其）。我们希望提供给那些想要在手机游戏世界留下自己印记的人提供帮助。
最近我们刚发布了一个名为The 22% Project的活动，即致力于将更多女性带进游戏开发中。该活动将超过60名女性吸引到了我们的伊斯坦布尔工作室，他们将在此专注于特定的研讨会与交流中。而对于2Tones，我们也希望能够带给更多觉得自己不可能在游戏产业中获得成功的人们鼓励与帮助。
Secrets to indie success: a conversation with Alex Willink, Head of Strategic Partnerships at Gram Games
by Mark Rosner
Gram Games is one of the most successful indie studios out there. Its casual games 1010!, Merged!, and Six! have been worldwide hits to the tune of a collective 100 million downloads. I recently sat down with Alexander Willink, Head of Strategic Partnerships at Gram, to talk about the company’s monetization strategy, VR, and forward thinking strategies the company has deployed to cultivate the developer community.
In terms of monetization, most of your revenues comes from ads. What do you think the tricks are to pulling off a successful campaign that relies exclusively on ads?
The majority of our revenue comes from a mix of interstitials and standard banner ads. To get this right, you need to pace the volume of ads displayed to the users. Too many ads, and the retention will drop off a cliff, not enough and you won’t be monetising at the optimum rate. For casual games, the formula is pretty simple: portrait games can easily justify a banner during gameplay on larger devices and there should be an interstitial at the end of a game. A great trick is to pace interstitials on newly found users to slowly introduce the interstitials, so as to not overwhelm or agitate the user.
What is the most important tip you would share with indie devs just starting out?
Build monetisation into your core game loop. Understand how to make it a part of the user experience. When it comes down to it, in-gaming monetisation is a relationship and understanding you have with your users. If they feel the game is fun, they will appreciate a certain level of in-game advertising. We are passionate about making games and love to offer them free, but there needs to be some form of monetisation for us to continue producing world class games.
With VR now starting to creep into some mobile experiences, do you consider working on that medium? Do you think it has great potential for monetization with games?
VR is an extremely exciting platform that presents incredible new ways to add to the gaming experience. However, as it is a new platform, it’s risky to place your bets on one particular device and so it doesn’t make sense for us to focus on now, but that could change. Monetisation can be built into anything that grabs a user’s attention — VR certainly does that. It has great potential but first we need to see user adoption.
Gram Games has a great reputation for giving back to the dev community and fostering local talent, as with hackathons and 2Tons Accelerator Program. What are some of the results you’ve seen from that priority?
Gram Games is a studio that prides itself on having grown out of indie development, and so we feel a certain responsibility to continue to foster that sort of development. Our 2Tons Program continues to be a huge success. For those who haven’t heard of it – the 2Tons is Gram Games’ support and development program for indie game developers (in England and Turkey, for now). We want to provide support to those who, like us, want to make a mark in the mobile gaming world.
Participation in the 2Tons gives indie gamers access to the full range of services and support Gram Games can provide, as well as to our incredible team’s expertise. We try to be there alongside these indie developers, from solving base-level technical problems, all the way through the design and development process. And the best part? We don’t expect any financial commitment — all we hope for is the success of the indie gamers around us.
We also recently launched a program called The 22% Project, aimed at getting more women into game development. The workshop will bring in over sixty women to our Istanbul office, and will engage them in topic specific workshops and chats over the course of the day. As with 2Tons, we really hope that this will help encourage a segment of gamers or game producers that would perhaps feel otherwise disenfranchised to succeed in the gaming industry.(source:gamasutra)