Eric Seufert has a great blog post in which he provides advice for the typical indie game developer he meets. The post is solid gold for an aspiring game developer, outlining the necessary steps required to get a great game to the top grossing charts.
Eric’s central point is that while making a great game is essential to success, it’s no longer enough. Developers also need to tune their game for both retention and monetization, then use that information to launch intelligent acquisition campaigns that acquire users profitably.
This is time-consuming and expensive, requiring both a technology platform and experts who know how to interpret the huge volumes of data you can create. Eric also outlines a few alternatives, such as working with a publisher or emerging development partners like Tilting Point.
Think Gaming’s take: we’re seeing the emergence of a new type of publisher, one that uses math to create value. Finance and advertising have seem dramatic shifts to quantitative approaches in the last decade. Expect to see the same in free-to-play gaming.