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Coming up today’s guest is the Chief Commercial Officer at Lockwood Publishing, the creator of the virtual 3D world AVAKIN LIFE. We do a complete deep dive on live ops for games and examples that would work even for casual games. Also, he shares his thoughts on why indie devs are the future of the app economy.
Oliver Kern is the Chief Commercial Officer at Lockwood Publishing, the creator of the virtual 3D world AVAKIN LIFE. Next to that, he is board advisor for a number of mobile games companies and mentor at Game Founders.
What is Live Ops?
Live Ops, in general, is the start of the whole product lifecycle when you launch an app. Oliver works in game companies and they see the launch of an app as the starting point when the app is pushed into a life operation and life service.
This is the time when the players enjoy the app and discover it years going forward. This doesn’t stop in the coming years.
For instance, Candy Crush and Clash of Clans are still active after five years and they are completely a different game than how they were when they were launched. Everything that happens in that period is a life operation.
How to Approach Live Ops?
Live Ops is also kind of creating new stories. So, if you create a game-like episode, Life Ops is creating a daily soap format. You have to create more chapters into that endless storyline.
For example, for Lockwood, over the last few years, they have already published around 15,000 virtual items that users can wear as an avatar including sofas and a kitchenette to decorate the apartment.
Their life ops, to a large degree, include publishing new content twice a week. For instance, their users know that every Thursday, they will see something new in the app.
Why Are Indie Devs the Future of the App Economy?
Oliver believes that real innovation can only come from Indie developers. However, there’s a condition – he only believes to indie developers that don’t clone.
For Oliver, if you want to be a true Indie, you have to have the ambition to innovate something. Try something new and try something different because gamers want new experiences, too.
There will always be small teams that will seem to hit gold out of nowhere, but they don’t actually come out of nowhere. They are those who tried the routes which none had taken yet.