Business interview with Accretion Studios Co. featuring A10 Arcade Shooter

For new viewers, this is our interview series where we take an in-depth look at the business side of game development and discuss some of the different strategies used by creative professionals within the gaming space.

The series is comprised of 6 set questions which should apply to the majority of creative businesses within the mobile gaming space. The questions are formatted in such a way that creative professionals may draw inspiration from the many different solutions companies apply to common problems.  

If you find this interview inspiring, please consider helping the creator by sharing this article or downloading their games linked in the text below.  

Let’s get started.

— Thank you for taking the time to talk with us today. We would first like to start things by asking who you are, what you do, and how you ended up working here in the creative gaming space?  

Hi, my name is Hector Serrano, I’m the sole developer behind A10 Arcade Shooter. I’m a latecomer to game development. Unlike everyone else I know, I started developing in my mid 40’s and was lucky to find a job as a full-time Unity Developer, because I know how to network. A10 Arcade Shooter stated as a Unity tutorial called Space Shooter but early in the tutorial, I envision what eventually became my game.  My game has a lot of features that a lot of other games I’ve played lacked, like the ability to easily pause, restart, mute, and exit the game. It has a minimalistic approach to its design and that is on purpose. The game was designed to be challenging but not frustrating so it is 100% winnable.

— Moving on, let’s talk about some of the games you have created. Could you please fill us in on some background regarding the projects you have worked on and where our viewers can try them out.

The only things I have worked that are on the public eye before A10 Arcade Shooter were two Game Jams. First was a game called “Fluid” at the Orlando MegaHealth Jam and second was a game called “The Last Programmer” at the 2018 Global Game jam at Fullsail University.

— Standing out in an overcrowded market. What are some strategies your company has used to promote your games in this vastly populated market and did those strategies work?

Well, I think the single biggest marketing difference between my approach and other developers is the use of paid advertising campaigns. My marketing philosophy is that you have to build up to a critical awareness mass before you can expect large Organic downloads of your game. So I don’t mind paying for initial exposure to build up my community. Aside from that, I’ve been spreading the word via the usual social media channels. Even before I advertised I had solid inquiries about myself and my studio. So yes, my strategy has paid off. 

— Some marketers suggest branding is dead. Firstly, do you agree or disagree with this idea? And is there anything your company is doing differently to keep players coming back?

Branding is not dead at all, but for it to matter you have to create a solid performing portfolio of products and or services to make the Brand worth something. Well to me quality and the player experience is king. I don’t compromise on either. I only make games that people want to play. A10 Arcade Shooter is a proven game style that people enjoy, but with enough of a twist to give it a fresh feel. 

— Monetization is critical to the success of your existing and future projects. Would you be willing to share some of the different monetization strategies used by your company?

While I did consider the very popular idea of Video Bonus Ad, I decided that to keep the gamer experience as clean as possible I would just offer Ads after the completion of each level. This would provide both a much simpler monetization strategy and give the player a quick break between levels. Recent market research has found that short Ads between levels are almost as profitable as Video Bonus Ads. So I’m not trying to maximize the game’s profitability potential because that would interfere with the player experience. 

— Lastly, we would like to hear your predictions for the future of the creative gaming industry. What changes do you expect to see in the way we play games over the next 3-5 years?

I think that for the most part things will stay much the same, except that emerging markets will become the new ground for smaller developers to explore and market their products to.  There is an opportunity in mobile games now and even more in the future, if you know how to tap into it. Broadband Satellite-based Internet access will grow the mobile market share of the game space by billions of new users in the next 10 years. That’s the new frontier.