"The casual audience is fed up with mislid creatives," Ivan Kozyev from Crazy Panda about the main thing for 2022

Summed up the results of the year together with Ivan Koziev, COO of Crazy Panda studio. He talked about how he managed to keep most of the team, shared a new challenge that faced the company, and noted a drop in coverage among mislid creatives.

What was the year for you personally, where are you now, were there any things that you finally managed to realize and are proud of?

I don’t know if there is anyone in my environment who has had a wonderful year. In any case, terrible things did not happen near my house, like some friends and colleagues, so I can answer the question about how the year went by “acceptable”. I planned the move more than a year ago, selected the location and prepared the documents. The location changed to Cyprus, the dates and circumstances of the move too, but in the end the move happened.

From the point of view of achievements, I would single out a small, but for me significant professional growth to the position of COO in our company. I’m still getting used to it, but I’ve already started to look at many things differently. Well, the decisions of his mentor and predecessor in this post, the reasons for which he did not understand before, received many explanations.

What was the year like for the company? What have you done, implemented, and what in general would I like to highlight in terms of achievements?

It is also difficult to answer this question with anything other than “acceptable”. We have not fired half of the teams, the preservation of people has been and remains a very important task for the company. We transported employees to different countries, understood tax and legal bases, learned how to work with people from different parts of the globe when one team member had the morning earlier and the other had the beginning of the night. And so on, so on, so on, which, probably, almost every company in our former region can tell now.

Speaking of achievements, I would single out two. The first is saving most of the commands. We did not save everyone and I am very sad about this “not all”, but at the same time, I consider the preservation of teams and employees a great achievement. The second is that, despite all that has happened and the ongoing nightmare, we were able to produce games. Three new titles (one in the release, the second and third only in the softlonch) — in my opinion, it’s incredibly cool!

How has the situation changed for the company in the gaming market? What new challenges from the point of view of development and management have she faced?

At conferences, they are now confidently saying that the mobile games market has lost (depending on which calculation method is used in each report) from 15 to 20 percent of revenue relative to 2021. As a former analyst in a sense, I see not only the difficulties in the economy, but also the high base of 2021. So the situation is probably not as catastrophic as it may seem. In any case, people spent less on entertainment and, probably, we will not soon return to the not so bad 2020-2021 years (from the point of view of the mobile games market).

The set of tasks that you have to work with every day has also changed. I mean, of course, not tasks in jira, but solutions like “how do we hire a person living in a Latin American country correctly” or “how the hell do we send merch from Georgia to Portugal”. In 2020-2021, I remember writing that we learned how to work remotely with our teams. Now I am very afraid to write like this again, fearing new challenges, but it seems that now we need not just to be able to work remotely, but to be able to work remotely with people from different parts of the world and with different mentalities. A big task, frankly speaking.

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

To be honest, it’s hard for me to single out local changes in genres. It looks like the casual audience is fed up with mislid creatives. It becomes more difficult to find a successful approach, and the reaction to unsuccessful ones becomes tougher, which is reflected in a drop in coverage and the ability to attract users.

As an individual, I think this is good, but from a marketing point of view it is, of course, a negative trend.

I can note the idea recently expressed at one of the conferences that there is a gradual shift in monetization — advertising monetization is actively developing even in a genre that can be described globally as a casual casino. Two years ago, games of this genre received 1-3% from advertising (naturally, this is a very rough estimate, since I do not know a reliable tool for evaluating advertising revenue) from his full income, now this figure has grown to 3-5%. This is clearly a consequence of the search for new markets like Latin America or India, where the IAP model is not very successful. However, in traditional markets like the United States, this trend is also noticeable.

What are the company’s plans for next year?

Make more new, cool games and, of course, grow qualitatively and quantitatively!

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