|     Business

The Business, Marketing & Management Track seeks to educate and inform developers about the business of game development and ways in which their business can be improved.


Please note: this information refers to GDC Europe 2015, check back for updates.

Analytics in Action - Data in a Creative Culture
Phil Mansell (Jagex)
This talk will show how to use game analytics and player insights inside the creative process and discuss how integrating data can benefit development teams without undermining their creativity. Phil Mansell, studio head for stalwart MMORPG RuneScape, will lift the lid on Jagex's internal workings and show how analytics can be used as an essential resource which empowers creative decision makers. This talk will use case studies with real data from RuneScape and Jagex's in-house tools to give examples of how analytics and user research can assist in designing and tuning live games.
Unglamorous eSports: A Mount & Blade: Warband Case Study
Frank Elliott (TaleWorlds Entertainment)
In this talk, Frank Elliott will take a look at competitive game communities that don't have million dollar international tournaments, with a very personal, specific case study of Mount & Blade Warband's 6 year old amateur competitive scene. The presentation assesses why these communities exist, their actual importance and how game makers can respond to a community which organizes and competes all by itself. The place of amateur competitive communities, in the wider context of eSports as an exploding phenomenon, is also examined and cliché, but necessary comparisons are drawn with so-called "real sports".
Social Impact
Dmitri Williams (Ninja Metrics)
This session will recap the concept of the social impact of players on each other (Social Value), and then proceed to spell out which genres, mechanics and platforms are driving more or less of it. The data is presented in anonymized benchmarks from over 400m players across all genres and platforms. Also benchmarked are acquisition sources, broken down by publisher. Attendees will see which channels and appeals bring in quality social players. Countries are also presented, with a large difference in which have more (or fewer) influential players.
From Web to Mobile in the Kids Game Market
Clark Stacey (WildWorks)
Many companies' struggles in monetizing games for kids are well documented. How can developers create a monetization strategy for kids that is both lucrative and ethical? And just how big is this market anyway? WildWorks' experience taking their hit web property Animal Jam to mobile gave them a unique perspective and the freedom to experiment in this area.
How the Top 50 Use IAP That the Rest Don't
Mike Hines (Amazon)
Amazon has collected data about how users engage with IAP in games, and we have reviewed how the most profitable apps are using IAP to monetize successfully. We found data on two levels: HOW the top 50 did retention data, session length data, units sold and price data. We found WHAT they did differently to get those results. It turns out there are a handful of things that most of the top 50 do that other games do not do. We will share this research with developers in a fun, fast-paced session.
Growing Leaders from Within: A Practical Approach to Leadership Development
Joshua Howard (Denius-Sams Gaming Academy, UT Austin)
What are you doing to ensure your organization has a steady supply of future leaders? Being intentional about growing your current employees so they are ready to step into leadership positions as you need them is one of the defining characteristics of great video game studios. Having more people ready to step up only makes your studio better.Whether you are in a leadership position today and want to ensure your team's success into the future, or you are eager to grow into a leadership position yourself, this session is meant for you.
Saying No to the CEO: A Deep Look at Independent Teams
Adam Telfer (Wooga GmbH)
Truly independent teams within a game studio is an interesting idea. Wooga, Supercell and others have promoted having this type of structure. Each team having full ownership over decisions in their game. Teams saying no to the rest of the company when they believe in a product. This all sounds great on paper, but what happens in practice? Adam Telfer goes into details of the ups and downs of working in an independent culture. How Wooga has adapted its processes through the years. A culture where you have full control, but also full responsibility.
From Jam to Bread: How to Inspire Creativity Without Compromising Productivity
Henrique Olifiers (Bossa Studios)
In this presentation Bossa Studios will expose how it has leveraged its experiences over the first 4 years to build a unique development methodology which supports and empowers bottom up, rather than top down development. Whereby individuals are empowered and management act to support and protect, rather than dictate and micro-manage.
Launching a Free to Play Game: Strategy, Risks, and Pitfalls
Eric Seufert (Rovio)
This presentation will take a look at different strategies for launching a free to play title, given a studio's size, financial position, and commercial goals for a game. It will help developers determine where on the launch spectrum, from a large-scale, expensive, very visible game launch designed to achieve top downloaded chart position, to a launch that focuses entirely on campaign profitability that they should aim to achieve in a launch given the metrics they see in their game and their ultimate revenue goals.