two & a half gamers session #94 – Pocket Champs live review: Exceptional growth, Clever game design, Ads playbook w/Arthur Michel

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This is no BS gaming podcast 2.5 gamers session #94. Sharing actionable insights, dropping knowledge from our day-to-day User Acquisition, Game Design, and Ad monetization jobs. We are definitely not discussing the latest industry news, but having so much fun! Let’s not forget this is a 4 am conference discussion vibe, so let’s not take it too seriously. Today with special guest: Arthur Michel!

The Team:

Jakub Remia⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠r- Game design consultant

Felix Braberg⁠ – Ad monetization consultant

⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Matej Lančarič – User Acquisition & Creatives consultant

Join our slack channel here: SLACK CHANNEL

Takeaways
Pocket Champs features strategic decision-making in gear selection and offers a balance between player input and automated gameplay.
The game’s progression systems, such as the trophy road and events, provide short and midterm objectives for players.
Matchmaking in Pocket Champs is challenging due to the low skill involvement, but efforts are made to create a meaningful player experience.
The game’s monetization strategies, including offers and battle passes, are designed to provide value and maintain a robust economy.
Continuous iteration and risk-taking are essential for game updates to keep the player base engaged and the game fun for the long term. Game development teams should have ownership and control over their games.
When adding new features, it is crucial to consider their purpose and how they connect with the existing game.
Finding features that make sense and enhance the player experience requires time, iteration, and creative work.
Passion is essential in game design and development.

Agenda:
00:00 Epic Intro and Background
02:04 Discovery and Initial Impressions of Pocket Champs
04:09 Game Design and Core Gameplay Mechanics
09:52 Progression Systems and Collection Building
16:47 Matchmaking and Player Experience
23:49 Evolution of the Game and Key Features
28:20 Improvements and Challenges in Progression Systems
32:52 Interstitial Ads and Ad Monetization
33:52 Rewarded Placements and Clever Design Features
35:20 No Banner Ads and Focus on In-App Purchases
37:25 Controlling Interstitial Ad Frequency and Bid Floors
39:19 Estimated Ad Revenue and ECPMs
40:57 Experimenting with Interstitial Ads
47:05 Indirect Integration of Ad-Related Missions
49:03 Positive Feedback on Creatives and Innovations
50:28 Gates Creatives and Unique Icons
53:28 Exploring Deeper Progression System
56:06 Ad Networks and Spend Estimates
57:41 Long-Term Retention and Future Plans
01:02:59 Overall Assessment and Room for Improvement
01:06:51 Game Production Philosophy and Purposeful Feature Integration
01:07:27 Finding Features that Enhance Player Experience
01:08:14 Passion and Creativity in Game Design

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