AppLovin hosts Amplify workshop in Berlin to empower indie game devs (Part 1)

by Lewis Leong on Sep 11, 2018

In a crowded and ultra-competitive mobile games market, it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd. AppLovin’s goal is to empower indie game developers of all sizes, and one way we do that is by hosting workshops across the world to meet the developers we work with every day.

This August, we brought our Amplify workshop series to Europe for the first time. Over sixty indie developers from all over the world met in Berlin, Germany. The event was our first full-day workshop where indie devs got to hear stories of success (and failure) from Gram Games, Nanobit, Green Panda Games, Zeptolab, Outfit 7, and Tabtale. The event also dug deep into more specific topics about testing and using ad monetization to fuel user acquisition strategies.  

Amplify Berlin pillows

On the first night of the event, we welcomed guests to Berlin with a reception party at the rooftop bar of Hotel AMANO. Guests enjoyed cocktails and appetizers while meeting with other indie devs from around the world.

With everyone well-rested the following morning, Simon Spaull, AppLovin’s Managing Director for EMEA, took to the stage for the workshop’s opening keynote. Spaull warmed up the audience with jokes and a personality test and encouraged attendees to treat the event as an open forum. One of the benefits of having these smaller workshops is that our audience can ask questions that may be lost among the crowd during bigger industry conferences.

Simon Spaull Amplify Berlin

How to scale your indie game without losing your soul

With the keynote done, we dove right into our first panel: How to scale your indie game without losing your soul. The panel featured Green Panda Games’ Vice President of Marketing Shreyas Rajagopalan, TabTale’s Senior User Acquisition Manager Nimrod Klinger, and Fluffy Fairy Games’ Director of Business Development Nate Barker. Moderating the panel was AppLovin’s Senior Manager of Business Development Carl Livie.

AppLovin Amplify Berlin workshop

The panel offered the indie devs in the audience real stories about how to scale a game, advice on identifying what makes indie dev studios lose their way and how to avoid it, and how to recover from failure. Other topics we covered in the panel included:

  • Advice and considerations for indie devs before deciding to scale
  • The process for scaling a game
  • Understanding your potential when scaling
  • Whether the saying “you need to go big or go home” is accurate
  • How to recover from failure and fixes for common indie dev mistakes

“Amplify Berlin delivered a powerful array of content, drawn from the experiences of both seasoned industry veterans and precocious indies,” said Barker after the event. “The format encourages frequent knowledge sharing with like minded peers. Additionally, we loved the focused content, directly tying it to revenue opportunities.”

How to take your game global

For many indie devs, going global is a must, as their home countries are just too small to reach a substantial audience. While the US and China are obvious markets to target, there are countries that are gaining substantial momentum, like Vietnam and Turkey.

AppLovin Amplify Berlin workshop

Our panel, Growing beyond your borders: How to take your game global, sought to help indie devs who are interested in going global. The panel featured Ketchapp’s’s Chief Revenue Officer Christian Calderon, Outfit 7’s’s General Manager Anel Ceman, Gram Games’’ User Acquisition Manager Kerem Alemdar, and Nanobit’s’s Head of User Acquisition Farhan Haq. AppLovin’s Oksana Afonina, Director of Growth Partnerships, was there to moderate the panel. Among the topics covered were:

  • What markets to think about when going global
  • Test and launch strategies
  • Stories about running UA campaigns in China, Japan, and other APAC countries. Anel spoke about the unique challenges in China due to app store fragmentation.
  • The importance of localization beyond just translations
  • Differences in monetization strategies for each geo
  • Emerging markets like India, Brazil, and Vietnam. While emerging markets may be difficult to monetize, targeting high-end devices can help increase monetization.
  • Mistakes to avoid when going global

“This panel really focused on the how, why, where and when,” said Farhan. “Developers got some real insight into how to make an impact on their business.”  

The audience was engaged during both panels, asking a lot of smart questions. For the second half of the day, attendees participated in breakout sessions focused on testing and using ad monetization to fuel your UA. These sessions were broken into smaller groups for a more intimate setting where developers could really explore the details of each topic.

In part two of our coverage of this event, we’ll go over each breakout session to see the skills and insights participating indie devs left with.

Lewis Leong is AppLovin's Content Marketing Manager.