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ZiMad strikes past jigsaw puzzles because it expands cell sport publishing

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It’s arduous to imagine that jigsaw puzzles could be a defensible and large moneymaker in cell and PC video games. However that’s how ZiMad constructed its basis as a cell sport developer and writer. It began in 2009 and now has greater than 300 staff in 20 international locations.

How the corporate is in acquisition mode, stated Aleksey Tishakov, chief advertising and marketing officer, in an interview with GamesBeat. The corporate can be hiring distant employees within the U.S. and Europe.

Based mostly in Miami, the self-funded firm’s hottest sport is Magic Jigsaw Puzzles, which debuted in 2011 and has greater than 100 million downloads. Founders Dmitry Belotserkovskiy and Oleg Muza began the corporate in 2009. All informed, the corporate has had greater than 200 million gamers throughout cell, social networks, and desktop PCs.

As a writer, the corporate has had a wide range of different hits, like My Museum Story, Dig Out, Domino On-line, Magic Cross Sew, Magic Colour by Quantity, and Magic Solitaire. Every title took off as a result of they’d new gaming experiences and mechanics and supplied unique content material to the style.

Alexey Tishakov is chief advertising and marketing officer at ZiMad.

The success has led to partnerships with Sony Photos, Disney, Nationwide Geographic, Pixar, Marvel, Cartoon Community, and Nickelodeon, stated Tishakov.

“We develop and publish our video games and likewise we’re deeply occupied with making acquisitions path proper now,” Tishakov stated. “So we’re observing the market and looking for new initiatives and new studios which might be attention-grabbing for us.”

The CEO is Dmitry Bobrov, who is predicated in Miami. The corporate just lately opened an workplace in Serbia, the place Tishakov is predicated, and there are a selection of positions open. Bobrov says having the precise group with good expertise is half the problem of constructing a profitable sport.

Magic Jigsaw Puzzles took off as a result of it was one of many pioneers in cell gaming on the time, and it now has the most important assortment of digital puzzles on the earth, the corporate stated. The title is free to play with in-app purchases.

Magic Jigsaw Puzzles has stayed on high as a result of the corporate is consistently updating it with new content material and including new mental property, resembling Disney’s Pixar content material. The content material additionally appeals to a special sort of gamer, round 50 years outdated, that aren’t focused as a lot as different demographics.

“This helps us differentiate from the opponents and to provide distinctive content material for our gamers,” Tishakov stated.

The corporate additionally spends lots of time recognizing new traits and doing market analysis, looking for niches and genres so as to add to its portfolio.

Within the workplace at ZiMad.

“We’re all the time observing traits and markets. We’ve got a product advertising and marketing division, which is accountable for observing the traits, to see what’s new is coming and to be actually versatile,” Tishakov stated.

With the coronavirus, individuals have been making loads fewer purchases. Advert monetization is turning into difficult and so it needs to be balanced with in-app monetization, Tishakov stated. As for hypercasual, it feels just like the market is dying now, he stated.

“We by no means really labored with hypercasual video games as a result of when the development has began, we analyzed it and understood that it’s not for us as a result of we had been engaged on extra deep merchandise,” Tishakov stated. “We work on initiatives individuals play for a very long time, like Magic Jigsaw Puzzles. Individuals play for years.”

ZiMad’s video games from the previous 13 years.

And a part of the reply, throughout a time of market weak spot and heavy competitors, is to give attention to mental properties such because the companions like Disney the corporate is working with.

The corporate watched the hypercasual video games market take off after which stagnate because of adjustments within the advert market (Apple’s give attention to consumer privateness over focused adverts). Tishakov noticed this as one of many greatest adjustments of 2021, because it “severely modified the layouts in promoting monetization and the acquisition of visitors on the platform.”

He added, “However that gave us a transparent imaginative and prescient that we have to (do in merging) monetizations fashions.”

That massive change underscored the significance of diversification throughout platforms in pursuit of informal avid gamers, in addition to the necessity to look past advertising-based enterprise fashions. Meaning in-app purchases or subscriptions. Additionally it is creating experience in shops past iOS and Google Play.

“I might additionally like to notice the gradual strain on the platforms, which results in a lower in commissions for in-app purchases and subscriptions, in addition to the emergence of latest alternatives for utilizing third-party billing,” Tishakov stated. “This will increase the significance of purchases within the lifetime worth construction (together with in our area of interest of informal video games). It’s not tough to foretell that the strain on the platforms on this context will improve, which ought to result in different trade easings.”

As with all cell sport firms, discovering income in a crowded market might be ZiMad’s problem. It can face platform adjustments and challenges in consumer acquisition. And there may be growing focus as consolidation by way of acquisitions continues at a speedy tempo. The corporate is contemplating its personal acquisitions, and it’s increasing its publishing providers throughout numerous shops.

Again in 2020, ZiMad was trying to purchase an informal sport that may seamlessly match into its portfolio of board video games. It acquired Domino On-line, and since that point it tripled Domino On-line’s participant depend and elevated its advert income fivefold.

ZiMad’s workplace.

It encourages builders to give attention to designing video games for a core viewers in addition to testing the sport ceaselessly. To search out and dangle on to customers, it has to have interaction in app retailer optimization methods, paid advert campaigns on all platforms, and re-targeting campaigns for higher engagement. The corporate is beginning to develop its community on TikTok.

All monetization strategies are labored out forward of time in sport improvement. The corporate is implementing extra monetization fashions in some merchandise. It’s actively testing the subscription mannequin for purposes resembling puzzles and coloring books.

“Different issues we love are the mixture of the standard of the product, its uniqueness, the connection between its traits, and the pursuits and motivations of the gamers — making nice video games is all the time a superb answer to any world issues – individuals like to play video games of a superb high quality with their households, reduction stress and really feel extra relaxed,” Tishakov stated.

The corporate has about 5 merchandise within the pipeline, a pair which can launch in informal gaming markets in 2022. As it really works with inside and exterior groups, it emphasizes that choices aren’t made by a single boss, however somewhat groups of specialists from a wide range of key departments. Past buying a product, the corporate will contemplate co-financing of improvement, promotion and advertising and marketing providers.

As for the recession, Tishakov stated, “We face new challenges fairly bravely, as we all know that, yr to yr, we’ve got collected a group of market professionals who may very well be agile and versatile to deal with any market adjustments.”

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