"The number of employees of the company has exceeded 100 people," Vyacheslav Utochkin from Geeky House about the main thing for the year

On the eve of the New Year, App2Top continues to publish a series of “Results” materials, in which it interviews top managers and experts of the gaming industry (and related ones) about how the year has passed for their company and the market. Next up is an interview with Vyacheslav Utochkin, co—founder and general producer of the gaming company Geeky House.

What was the year like for you personally?

Personally, I realized that it is necessary to prepare every spring for something that will completely change the picture of the world. A few years ago in the spring, it started with easy things related only to the gaming industry, such as changing the rules in the game marketing market with new requirements in the field of privacy, then a world-changing pandemic, and then on the increase. Here, I think, maybe next spring we should already wait for aliens?

Nevertheless, global changes make us stronger: adapting to the new reality, we overcome difficulties, harden up and continue to develop. This year, together with the Geeky House team, we managed to reach a new level: more than two million users around the world are already playing our games, and the number of employees of the company has exceeded 100 people.

I am glad that this year, despite everything, the Center for the Development of Competencies in Business Informatics of the Higher School of Business of the HSE has successfully launched the 15th and 16th streams of the educational program “Game Project Management“, of which I am the head. The program has been helping people from other industries to switch to game dev for more than seven years. And the graduates’ successes are very pleasing.

In general, in 2022 there were many educational initiatives in which I took part, and in the new year I will continue to do this.

Well, speaking of the case that finally managed to be implemented, at the very beginning of this year, as a result of many years of efforts, the book “I want to go to gamedev. Basics of game development for beginners“. It was written together by me, Konstantin Sakhnov and a large team of good people. Special thanks to the book publishing house “Bombora“.

What was the year like for the company?

It’s been a year of growth and change for Geeky House. Despite the difficult situation in the world, our company already has more than 100 people. We focused on improving professional work processes, developing a powerful internal analytics system. Among other things, we managed to build an effective publishing direction, rebrand and make a new company website.

Thanks to the work of our excellent team, a number of early accesses took place this year, the results of which inspire us, and the Minetap game, which has been in the softlonch for a long time, has overcome the threshold of self-sufficiency and has begun to appear on new platforms. We continue to develop it, and we are very pleased with the positive ROAS.

It was curious to see how someone made and launched a clone on Google Play for us, only without deep study of each part of the game and almost without meta.

A separate area in which we have been actively working this year is virtual reality. Recently, our first experiment with virtual reality, the Tiny Island game, was released for early access on Steam. The project is niche, in it we go towards casual VR, without violence, with kindness and with a soul. Let’s see what happens. We see especially great interest in the project from Asian partners. In our difficult world, I would like business interests and obtaining a positive ROI to coincide as often as possible with a positive intention to bring creativity and kindness into the world.

How has the situation changed for the company in the gaming market?

The year 2022 has significantly changed the mobile games market. On the one hand, due to the rampant M&A of the past years, there are fewer independent developers. On the other hand, desktop AAA companies have become increasingly active in mobile. Competition has grown, the entry threshold has also increased, as a result, the quality of products on the market is also growing. Therefore, we set the bar for ourselves at 10 out of 10 for our games, which we will bring to the softlonch next year. We aim to enter the Top 5 best games of the merge genre.

Is it possible to talk about a change in user behavior?

User behavior changes constantly, even more often than once a year. Among the trends and events of this year , we can note:

  • AI, which has already been used in game development, has reached a new level this year. I am sure that in the next few years this technology will greatly change the entire gaming industry, as it was once changed by the Internet, smartphones, social networks, working with big data. And now we are at the very beginning of a new technological breakthrough;
  • the rise and fall of p2e-crypto games. Nevertheless, I personally believe that the crypto market is cyclical and a new growth cycle will begin after the crypto winter, which will be larger than the previous one. I actively play dozens of crypto games myself;
  • high-profile launches of traditional desktop AAA titles on mobile (for example, Apex Legends Mobile from EA and Diablo Immortal from Blizzard Entertainment);
  • gradual withdrawal of players and developers from hypercasual to casual and hybrydcasual.

I also recommend watching the TV series “Peripherals“. So far in the real world, the words “3d printer” and “game dev” do not evoke associations with each other. But there is something to think about.

What was the year like for the genres in which you work?

Despite the fact that for the first time in many years, the game development market is not growing, but even falling slightly, the genres we work with (casual + meta and midcore) continue to show excellent results.

What are the company’s plans for next year?

As a publisher, we plan to release already signed titles and find new partners with interesting and promising games, help them make a noticeable and earning product.

As a developer, we plan to release our own mobile games about once a quarter. These are the projects that in the current and last year were at the stages of pre-production and production, and in the new year they are moving to the launch stage. There are also plans to actively develop new games.

A separate direction remains the creation and launch of games using virtual reality technologies. We believe in this market and in its development.

Also in our strategy there are a number of things related to the development of internal infrastructure, developments related to artificial intelligence and blockchain technologies, the development of game development tools and others.

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