The overheated market. How Candy Crush has crushed the Ukrainian game


The market of simple online games close to saturation. The most interesting projects have already been bought by publishing giants. The cost of attracting users grow

Major Ukrainian developer of online games, Nika Entertainment dismisses virtually the entire state. About this reported yesterday the profile resource The owner of the company Maxim Slobodyanyuk informed his employees that the business ceased to be profitable. In fact, the development of the project is frozen indefinitely. Of the 130 employees will be only about 10 of the departments support.

Such news can at least be alerted. After all, such a direction in IT, as the development of online games in Ukraine in the last 3-4 years is developing at a very steady pace. Besides Nika Entertainment is not a stranger. She has successfully launched 7 projects. Offices in Kiev, Kharkov, and earlier - and in Lviv. The leaders in attendance of the game Atlantis adventure and Magic Kitchen are averaging more than 24 and 18 million downloads, respectively. They are published on such global platforms as Amazon, Appstore, Google Play, Facebook, Vkontakte, Odnoklassniki and even on some Japanese sites.


October 2015: the company was two years old

Chip Nika Entertainment was game genre Match 3 (collect three items in a row). As they say on the website of the company, in this genre its games are in the tops of the largest social networks and mobile stores, bringing in revenues of millions of dollars.

Even the description this doesn't seem like unpromising unprofitable business. What happened actually with Ukrainian developer? And what should you be wary of similar such projects in Ukraine tens?

ЛІГА.net with the help of experts in the industry of game development has got the answers to these questions.

As tell in the company of Nika Entertainment, there was a complication and appreciation of the processes of promotion of games in the international markets. The details of the company did not disclose. What could it mean?

Got under a skating rink of the world's giants

Geymdev-expert Sergey Galyonkin explains that online games for social networks and mobile platforms is a very dynamic market. And now it is saturated. "The process of consolidation of companies," he notes. Small by world standards, market players need to have enough working capital to promote new products. They are becoming harder to stay afloat. "The market monopolisieren. Big companies absorb the small. Especially in the market of casual (simple) games. And who owns accessible to Internet traffic, owns and profits", supports the founder's of the company Eforb Games Anton Ustimenko.

Interlocutor ЛІГА.net, close to Nika Entertainment, speaks in unison with the experts: "In recent months greatly intensified competition. To create new products for many game companies have to spend more and more financial resources. Some games are starting to consume more resources than the company earned."

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In simple terms, you need more money to attract new users. For example, about $2 you have to spend to acquire a single player on Facebook. And not the fact that the investment will pay off. Especially if the principles mechanizacia the game is not yet well thought out, and it's just an experiment.

Small Ukrainian companies is becoming harder to compete on the quality of the game, its marketing with market leaders. Speaking directly about this genre as Match 3, the money in the world leaders join huge. For example, the company Activision Blizzard late last year bought developer of the most popular game in this segment of Candy Crush for $5.9 billion the number of users of this line of games is a monster compared to Ukrainian peers. She's in the third quarter of 2015 was 474 million users. About investments in the Ukrainian game Studio is rarely what you hear. Except that you can recall, recently, about that Digital Future, the investment company has invested a year ago in Lviv developer Nravo $200 000. Amounts are not comparable.

The ability to stand out

"Games of Match 3 genre can be and a hundred pieces of good quality. But will play in the version, which is better brittle. And it will be heard", - said Volodya. So rich partners, who also often have their own major online site (and hence a constant source of Internet traffic), play a very important role in promoting the local games studios.

An obvious solution for the Ukrainian games developer - time to find and cooperate (for example, to sell a stake or share revenue) with a major international publisher. There are only about a dozen in the world. For example Chillingo, best known for playing Angry Birgs, or Big FishGames. "For example, we have just signed a nondisclosure agreement, and soon one of our games starts with one of the very largest of publishers included in the TOP 3," says Volodya.

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According to him, this agreement was "a very long long and thorny path". Need to find new principles of operation of the game and to interest the publisher. And since most developers now use the same templates (collect three items in a row puzzle, bubble shooter, tower defence, zuma), they all essentially very similar. Games of different publishers differ except that the graphics and images. "The basic ideas of just two and a handful," - said the expert. New basis of the game, according to him, the publisher can offer, but need it to be not just new, but still cling to the user. Another way is to abandon the very simple games and to shift to more complex, in which the player even more involved in the process. In such a case, and options for earning will be more.

"The Ukrainian market is overheated. Everybody is talking about it. We are not so advantageous in development. The salaries of the developers are approaching the European level, and the quality of the games and in understanding the market, unfortunately, we have not grown so much," sums up Artyom Ustimenko.