Revolutionising game publishing: Paraag Amin on SuperScale’s successful strategy
SuperScale, known for transforming the game publishing landscape, operates with a unique twist, enabling game developers to retain 100% control over their company and intellectual property. In this exclusive interview with Adgully, Paraag Amin, Chief Financial Officer, SuperScale, delves into the company’s innovative approach, shares success stories, and discusses the pivotal role data analytics plays in navigating the ever-evolving gaming industry. From achieving unprecedented revenue highs in aged games to the strategic use of predictive analytics, Amin sheds light on SuperScale’s commitment to driving commercial success while prioritising player experience and community engagement.
SuperScale is known for reinventing the business model for publishing video games. Could you elaborate on this and share some specific examples of how you’ve achieved this?
We like to see ourselves as a business partner to any game developer or studio, helping with games at any stage of the lifecycle. At the core of SuperScale’s expertise is a market-leading data analytics platform, complemented by a full suite of in-house services. These services do indeed replicate the functions of publishing - but with the unusual twist - that our partners keep 100% of their company and IP.
We work closely with our partners to help them achieve their business goals, including game portfolio optimization to maximize revenue (and profit) by taking on full management of the games in their portfolios which are: 1) not of focus; or 2) where we can drive a higher ROI than our partner, through our investment of resources. Through all this, we recoup our investment through a revenue share on the additional profit above a baseline, that the game generates. A prime example of success is NimbleBit’s Tiny Tower, where our team worked in conjunction with NimbleBit developers to more than double the game’s overall revenue and catapult the game up over 100 places in the App Store rankings.
How is marketing in the gaming industry becoming more data-focused, and what role does SuperScale play in harnessing data for game success?
Data is at the core of modern gaming marketing. At SuperScale, we leverage our dedicated analytics engine to predict actions that drive commercial success. This technology integrates and connects internal data sources held within the game seamlessly, ensuring teams have full transparency over which aspects of the game can be improved. Our dashboards, tailored specifically to games of all sizes, empower us with actionable insights with which we use to ensure profits are maximized, without compromising the gameplay experience.
SuperScale uses data analysts to spot promising opportunities that large companies may have previously discarded. Can you share a success story where this approach led to significant game growth?
Certainly, one prime example of this approach is again, our work with NimbleBit’s Tiny Tower. By identifying promising opportunities through data analysis, we were able to substantially increase the game's revenue and the game's performance across a variety of key metrics including +30% revenue within the first three months of LiveOps (not just short-term spikes, but a general increase of the revenue), +32% DAU (Daily Active Users) and a 24% increase in Google Search traffic. We adjusted and optimized various aspects, resulting in a significant growth across the board, giving the game more visibility on Google Play Store Explore by over 706% and jumping over 100 positions in App Store rankings. This success story showcases the potential of data analytics in maximizing the growth, success and potential of ‘legacy’ games that have been released and experienced previous success but were no longer performing to past levels.
Raising capital can be challenging, especially in a down-market. What strategies has SuperScale used to secure investment and grow the business effectively?
We’ve successfully secured investment through private channels, bolstered by our business model and demonstrated through revenue growth and industry recognition. This approach allowed us to navigate the market dynamics and effectively raise capital, enabling us to grow awareness of our offering, execute for our partners and continue to build on our cutting-edge technologies. Our financial performance alongside our market reputation over the past seven years has played a significant role in attracting investment and fueling the growth of SuperScale. This led to the company recently raising $5.4million in private funding.
SuperScale has achieved all-time revenue highs in 12-year-old games. What are some tips and tricks you can share for maintaining and increasing revenue in older games?
As part of our game management strategy, legacy game management is about maintaining and boosting revenue in older games. Our strategy involves continuous analysis, adjustment, development, and scaling. I wouldn’t say there are any specific ‘tricks’, but we are extremely focused, methodical and data-driven in our approach in order to ensure we get the most out of each game we work on. Our strategy includes full games´ performance and data analysis, the creation of an agreed-upon success roadmap, which can include elements such as the development of new and refreshing content, and strategically implementing industry proven marketing tactics to scale user acquisition. Through the repetition and perfection of this process we’ve managed to breathe new life into aging games, achieving exceptional revenue highs.
SuperScale has supported over 150 mobile titles and worked with industry leaders like Electronic Arts, Lego, and Big Fish Games. Can you describe the key ways in which you help game developers and publishers achieve their goals?
At SuperScale, we offer a unique partnership model which we believe is a win-win for our partners and for us. Our teams use a combination of tech analysis, product positioning, in-game economy, game design, game art, LiveOps and growth marketing, to provide a one-stop solution to developers and publishers. Our in-house expertise and tailored approach empower them to achieve their goals, maximize their games and game portfolio performance, and drive success in a highly competitive gaming landscape.
We bet on collaboration and partnership, our entire business model is built around empowering the parties to focus on what they are best at. Developers/ publishers keep complete control over their IP as together we focus on maximizing portfolio value.
SuperScale has offices across Europe and has contributed to over two billion worldwide game downloads. How have you managed to expand your global presence, and what challenges have you encountered in the process?
Our expanding European and North American presence is the result of successful collaborations with mobile game makers, enhancing our skills and expertise. Challenges primarily stem from the diverse nature of games and studios. Each requires unique strategies and actions, making meticulous analysis and adaptation crucial. Within continents, countries and organisations there are stark differences on how a game is made, managed and marketed. Through assembling a highly experienced and specialist team, we've learned to navigate these challenges by focusing on understanding how these companies operate, the complexities of different cultures and the missions behind why the founding team created this game. Only after these nuances are fully understood and goals have been agreed upon can the results and success follow.
What trends do you foresee in the gaming industry in the coming years, and how is SuperScale preparing to adapt and stay ahead of these trends?
AI integration across game development and marketing is a significant trend we foresee, especially within the big data analysis and forecasting side of the business. At SuperScale, we're actively implementing aspects of artificial intelligence into our workflows to improve accuracy, efficiency, and productivity. By harnessing AI, we aim to enhance our services, ensuring our approach remains innovative and aligned with industry trends, ultimately benefiting our clients and driving success in the rapidly evolving video games industry.
Monetization is a critical aspect of game success, but it must be balanced with providing a positive player experience. How does SuperScale approach this delicate balance?
The good news is that we are all gamers here at Superscale and we would not get away with over compromising player experience for the sake of monetization - finding the right balance is a priority at Superscale. We carefully analyse the game´s performance before developing a fully tailored monetization strategy. In addition, we are continuously iterating to ensure players have a positive and engaging experience while generating sustainable revenue streams for game developers, achieving a harmonious balance. You can’t just make initial changes and leave it there, the game, the gamer and their experience evolve and therefore the marketing strategies should do too.
Predictive analytics is a cornerstone of SuperScale's services. Could you explain how predictive analytics are used to drive commercial success for games?
The selective use of predictive analytics are fundamental in driving commercial success for games. At SuperScale, our data team utilizes predictive analytics to forecast player behaviour, monetization trends, and future game performance. By accurately predicting outcomes, we can repeatedly test and optimize strategies. Through the continual adjustment of fundamental game elements it leads to informed and data-backed decisions that maximize commercial success, enhancing the overall performance and profitability of the games we work on for our partners.
How does SuperScale support game developers in building and engaging with their communities, and why is community engagement important in today's gaming landscape?
Community engagement is pivotal in the modern gaming landscape. At SuperScale, we support developers by integrating strategies for building and engaging with communities. This includes effective use of social platforms, forums, and tailored communication to keep players engaged. Engaging with communities not only fosters a loyal player base, it's also crucial to receive valuable feedback from those closest to the game and its mechanics (the players) for further game enhancements. And last but not least, when players feel like they are being heard and valued, they are more likely to stay playing and spending time within a game.
What's on the horizon for SuperScale? Are there any upcoming projects or initiatives that you're particularly excited about?
There are multiple projects and partnerships in the works with SuperScale. Unfortunately, due to our confidentiality clauses, none that we can go into too much detail on. However, we can disclose that SuperScale continues to work with more partners across the globe and we will be managing more games than ever over the coming year and beyond.