INTERVIEWS

Unveiling Cheat Codes of Gaming World With Boris Gavrilov, CEO Playcore

July 22, 2021

Boris Gavrilov is the CEO of Playcore Publishing, an aspiring mobile game publishing company. Incepted in 2020, PlayCore is a subsidiary of Fmedia, a leading performance marketing agency in Europe, with its headquarters located in Saint-Petersburg, RU. He is a serial entrepreneur and innovation leader working with advanced technologies for the last 10 years. Boris spent more than a decade in the gaming industry delivering maximum performance and improving operational efficiency with his business intelligence and marketing strategies. In his exclusive interview with MobileAppDaily, Boris will be discussing his experience and trends in the mobile app industry so far.

Full Interview

1. Hi Boris, tell us a little bit about your personal background, and who or what has shaped who you are?

I’m lucky to have worked in the game industry for more than 10 years. I started as a marketing specialist in ZiMAD, then I worked with mobile games at i-Free and Zillion Whales. I’ve also been on the other side of the barricade and worked in Propeller ads, a huge ad network. I have been the head of the newly found Playcore Publishing since summer 2020.

2. Give us a quick overview of Playcore. When and how did you begin this journey, and what motivated you to get started with Playcore?

Playcore is a part of Fmedia Group, a company that has expertise and projects in different aspects of mobile marketing, but there are also products, one of which is Playcore. We are young and aspiring mobile games publishing. I was invited to the project at the very beginning (July 2020). Since that date, we have analyzed and reviewed more than 800 projects, held a competition for indie developers, and finally released our first game.

3. Did you start the venture alone?

We started as a team of four. However, we have grown significantly and not our team consists of more than 25 game design, user acquisition, marketing, business development, and design professionals.

4. Which markets do you operate in currently, and which markets are you planning to enter soon?

Our main role is to help our clients (mobile developers) reach the global market. We make sure they find their player in any region of the world, which includes localization and support for the tricky Chinese market. Our user acquisition expertise helps us handle both Tier 1 and Tier 3 countries and get to know any game’s worth quickly and almost painlessly:)

5. How do you plan to expand globally?

We have already expanded globally, the only question is the total number of users for the projects we publish. The thing we’re working on right now (and always) is finding the projects that are capable of taking over the world with our help.

6. How have you attracted users, and with what strategies have you grown your company from the start to now?

We try to be fully transparent for our clients who also are our partners. Since they are partners, we do everything to make sure they reach their goals. Our success and their games’ success are tightly bound.  Our company mission statements say: ‘’We don’t take advantage, we help”; “When your goal is game’s success, it’s catch-as-catch-can” and “You show us the game, we do the rest”. I think that all of the three quotations best describe us as a company.

7. What do you think it takes to succeed in the game industry today?

If we speak of game development, it’s important to understand your future game’s target audience. 90% of the games we review have troubles with that. Many talented developers do not think of the people they write code for, what games they like, what bores them, etc. Our publisher’s challenge is to help them figure that out and find the right approach to the players. Moreover, it’s crucial to follow the latest market tendencies. If a product, its idea, and its mechanics are original and follow those tendencies, the game is bound to succeed.

8. Can you tell me about a tough day you had at work and how you pushed through?

We work with games and it’s incredibly satisfying. It’s hard to remember a really hard day, any of them has its own beauty. We have the best job in the whole world!

9. A recent NYTimes report asserted, Coronavirus means bigger gaming sales but less production. How do you address the challenges and opportunities in the global health crisis?

Surely, COVID-19 has influenced our lifestyle heavily. The outdoor entertainment industry is through dire straits, but human demand for entertainment hasn’t dwindled. Those who “stay home” tend to spend more time gaming. We think of this situation as the opportunity for our projects to gain greater reach and we hope that our product helps people survive these uneasy times as happier human beings.

10. How did you manage the COVID crisis? Are there any advantages to remote work?

We were launching the project almost at the lockdown peak. Our team members are in different cities in several countries but that isn’t a problem. The whole line-up of modern communication methods, tack tracking systems, etc. let us work with the same efficiency we’re used to normally, although, honestly, we miss offline corporate meetups and team buildings. We hope for the restrictions to be lifted soon to throw a huuuge corporate party!

11. What do you think are the biggest challenges our industry will face in the next 5 years?

We’re expecting a change in the hypercasual game’s trend. It’s getting more and more complicated to promote that kind of project, especially with the new Apple and Google ad policies. The market is cyclic, so it’s only natural to forecast the casual, and after that mid-core market growth.

12. What advice do you have for newcomers wanting to get into game development?

The market entry threshold is significantly lower these days. Almost anyone can create a simple game in two weeks using Unity-like engines. The most important thing, though, still is not to forget why and for whom you are making those games. Build your strategy on someone else’s fun in the first place (though your satisfaction is important too), and, by the way, there are not many things as satisfying as loads of people enjoying your work of art. At least you need to do that if you intend to make it your business rather than a hobby.

13. What are the top-three books or movies (TV series) that changed your life and why?

If we speak of gamedev books, I’d name David Freeman’s Creating Emotion in Games: The Craft and Art of Emotioneering от David Freeman. It gives you a glimpse of how to create a project with a heart, as opposed to life-in-plastic-is-fantastic clones. As an executive I would recommend Mastering Change by Isaac Adizes, that is my table book. As I am also a mass culture consumer, I’m a huge fan of Rick and Morty.  I have watched all of the seasons several times and I’m looking forward to the new season. I’d ask you to please watch it as if I’m sure it will strike a chord in you, even if you end up not liking it.

14. What would you like to be remembered for?

I take games as an art. Many modern games are statements and/or manifests. I dream of ending up in history as one of the creators of a game which could raise questions and improve people’s life as people answer them, apart from entertaining.

15. How do you keep yourself motivated every day?

A team of more than 25 people has faith in me. I and my decisions impact their professional future. For me, this motivation is enough to justify the confidence reposed in me:)

16. Any weird "behind-the-scenes" stories you can share?

No stories! (doesn’t mean “no fun”, though!)

17. We have heard that you have a very joyful work culture, so can you share some fun pictures of your workplace with us?

As I have already mentioned, we’re longing for the lockdown to end to party for all those days, so the photographs are yet to be taken!

Takeaways!

  • Playcore’s mission says, “We don’t take advantage, we help”; “When your goal is a game’s success, it’s catch-as-catch-can” and “You show us the game, we do the rest”.
  • Boris revealed, “If a product, its idea, and its mechanics are original and follow those tendencies, the game is bound to succeed.”
  • Breaking the chain, Boris had words on the post-COVID opportunities in the gaming industry. “Those who “stay home” tend to spend more time gaming”.
  • He perceives the new Apple and Google ad policies, as a new challenge in hyper casual game trends.
  • Boris shared the success mantra for budding entrepreneurs,” At least you need to do that if you intend to make it your business rather than a hobby.” 
  • He recommends the game dev book - Mastering Change by Isaac Adizes. Also, he is a huge fan of Rick and Morty.
Twinkle <span>Product Strategist</span>
Written By

She is a writer and content marketer at MobileAppDaily. Her knack around the mobile apps is merely splendid. Her experience in the tech industry has assisted her in churning out the best and more importantly, unbiased mobile app reviews.

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