"We are no longer just a publisher of GK games," Ivan Fedyanin from Ducky on the main thing for 2022

We continue to sum up the results of 2022 together with top managers and experts of the gaming industry. Next up is an interview with Ivan Fedyanin, co—founder of the Ducky publishing house.

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

I really don’t want to say “shit he passed.” It’s clear that it’s bad, but for many it’s much worse, so my “bad” doesn’t seem to count.

I moved to Cyprus in February, and I live there. I see my son on vacation.

Previously, there were some goals for further growth (both personal and company growth) I connected it, among other things, with moving from Russia. And then it happened in the wrong order. But it happened! So we need to get over it and go ahead with new introductions.

From personal achievements, I gained a lot of weight under stress, and then I was able to lose it and even drop six kilograms below my usual level, so, funnily enough, but now I’m in better physical condition than ever.

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?

We realized, perhaps, two things.

First: we primarily work with teams, not with projects.

What does it mean?

The usual way a publisher works:

  • they bring him a project;
  • they look at him through the magnifying glass of the examination and advise him to do something there;
  • is something getting better for the project or is it not getting better;
  • the project will either scale or not.

Simplistically, with banter, but this is what a food producer does if he exists separately from the team.

We never believed in it, but here we formulated that we are doing the same thing, but with teams:

  • a team comes to us;
  • she and I do some amount of work together;
  • through our expertise, we understand what they lack in order to achieve results, we advise them to change it in one way or another;
  • the team is improving or not.

The approaches are both very similar and not. In our case, we get teams that are equal partners with us, who are able to learn and grow above themselves. They have better results, and it is a hundred times more pleasant to work with them.

The second “awareness”: the further into the forest, the more we are not only a publisher of GK games.

At the same time, the GC will never die. People both played while sitting in the toilet, and will continue to do it — therefore, for us as the direction of the GC (for now) remains. We understand it, we know it, we know how.

The realization came in terms of the fact that we can use all the best practices for working with teams, for iterative testing, but already in the conditional midcorn and casual directions, where our producers, like the founders, have a huge amount of historical experience.

So since the end of the summer, we have started working with new teams in new directions for Ducky. I hope we will soon please ourselves, the teams and the public with the first results.

Has the practice of working with developers changed, perhaps the developers themselves, their requirements, desires, the level of proposed projects have somehow changed?

Nothing that would have been incomprehensible a year ago.

What happened globally?

Everyone (well, except the smartest) was increasing capacity, expecting that the GC would grow by 40% as usual. It only grew by 5%. Moreover, half of this increase was provided by old projects released back in 2021.

To simplify, something like the following happened: you are a GC-publisher, you have conditionally 1 billion installations per year. You invest in teams (PPP, burnarate), competing with other publishers in the hope that next year you will have 1.4 billion. Instead, you have 1.05 billion, and of them from new projects — zilch.

All this stopped the “race for the developer”, which turned out to be very sharp and painful for the latter. Now a huge number of developers who grew evolutionarily the wrong way, either have already stopped working, or are about to do it. My opinion is that it will only improve the market.

As a result, it will be “less, but better”. Everyone in the average hospital will have a better understanding of the market, business, projects, processes. And therefore it will be more interesting to play in the end. I love GK games and I will be very happy with new projects.

Speaking about the games that game teams are developing today, are there any trends in the areas that they choose and offer?

If you read about a trend somewhere, then you are already late for it! But we need to look for these trends, this is the first thing we teach the teams that work with us.

The tools for rapid testing of other people’s projects (CTR tests) died out at the beginning of the year, no successful alternative was invented.

We’ve had calls from very dishonest producers from different publishers. They offered to buy the test results of their projects. We did not undertake such a thing, but I saw these “stolen” results. They won’t be able to help someone.

The right way — very boring — is to know your audience and where and what they are watching/playing. Take ideas from there and combine them.

What are the company’s plans for next year?

We have a lot of tasks, more than we can do, but, probably, it is necessary.

The most important thing: I want to launch a scale game in the midcore-casual direction.

There are other tasks, much wilder and more interesting. As always, it is better to talk about them when they are at least half ready. I really hope that I will write about this in the next December message!

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