Both myself and my cofounder were working in gaming. It’s really an exciting and wonderful industry -, there are worse things than waking up every day and working on things that will make people happy. But with the change in the economics of the industry and the massive proliferation of mobile devices, we began to note a huge problem when it came to engaging families fairly. I grew up playing in the living room on a PC or a console and my parents could take a glance and see what I was up to.
Now, it’s a wild west where kids are glued to devices and a generation of parents are faced with the challenge of what to do about portable and often times expensive fun.
As content creators, making “free” content isn’t easy. Making any content is hard. And with customer expectations now set to try anything without commitment, the industry is beset with the hard problem of how to survive where content is ubiquitous and fun is an expectation and not necessarily always a product.
At the same time kids should play. It’s awesome. But how can we make an app store like an arcade and a fistful of quarters we asked ourselves?
Things came to a head when my co-founder, a bearded gentleman and pocket square aficionado walked into my office where I was VPing threatening to flip tables. He had formerly worked in lottery and I had convinced him to leave the Dark Side to join us in the pursuit of fun without worrying about those customers that miss mortgage payments due to addictions.
He wagged his finger and told me the tactics had changed with free to play, he was now using player segmentation and tactics perfected by the gambling space to cajole players into spending money on so called free games. He worried about kids, he worried about players, he worried about the industry.
This nagged us for weeks and months. After leaving my post and working as a consultant, we revisited the conversation.
We asked ourselves: What if we helped gaming studios understand the pricing sensitivity of their customers? What if we enabled better relationships between players and gaming studios? What if we gave players and parents the ability to manage, to control, to understand their consumption?
We called gaming studios, producers and analysts. We listened to the struggles of finding a players, getting them to play and stay in game. We listened to the stress and impact on creativity when burdened by the complete unknown of predicting player behavior and spend. That’s when we knew that we could be of use. That we could actually make things better.
It started with a napkin and raising money on the East Coast of Canada, an area perhaps best known for poutine, lobster and fiddlers and not for deep pockets. Slowly but surely we amassed a rag tag team to assemble some of the elements that would become Itavio. Like trying to swim in quicksand it was an arduous process, as a saint somewhere once said “Geography is destiny.” But we remained vigilant eventually securing fundings from some amazing partners (see here link to PR on NBIF and Hearst). Learn more about the fun of raising in part 2 of this series next week.
With Itavio, we’re here to put players back in the game. We’re here to shake up the gaming industry. We want to help gaming studios access their players, and improve content for kids. We want to remove that dinner table argument over the tablet and create an environment where parents have the tools they need to feel confident about play. Because we believe the only way to solve the monetization problem faced by content creators and the anxiety and disconnection parents experience is to connect them. To turn contention into cooperation and allow gaming companies to safely access an audience with the most disposable income and an audience that drives tech adoption and who previously (those 14 year olds who are now in their 40s) built the gaming industry we know and love today.
Learn more about us here, and the audience we want to connect you to. And get in touch, we’re an interesting bunch.
At Itavio we can help you with those tools. Download our white paper now to get started.
About The Author: Melani Flanagan
Melani is the co-founder of Itavio. She's a self-proclaimed Bad Dance Enthuasist.
More posts by Melani Flanagan