Headquartered in Europe with studios around the world, Wargaming is famous for developing popular online battle simulation games such as World of Tanks. Recently, the Seattle-based studio, DropForge Games (creators of Loot & Legends), was officially brought into the Wargaming fold as WG Cells, which will be the company’s dedicated mobile games division. Wargaming has invested in the studio for years, but DropForge was regarded as independent until now. Bringing the studio in puts it under the Wargaming banner, and WG Cells will have access to its resources for creating and promoting games.
[a]listdaily speaks to WG Cells’ marketing director Mike Schmid to find out how WG Cells will help grow the Wargaming brand on mobile.
What led up to the decision to make DropForge Games into WG Cells, Wargaming’s mobile games division?
Wargaming and DropForge have been working together since day one, as they were our sole investor. More recently, it was decided that it was time to unify Wargaming’s mobile strategy under one Wargaming branded banner; WG Cells. To be clear, WG Cells is not only DropForge, but also Wargaming’s mobile studio in Kiev, developers of the soon-to-be released World of Tanks Generals.
What is the importance of having a dedicated mobile games division like WG Cells as opposed to keeping it all under the main Wargaming brand?
Wargaming has built an incredible brand that conveys immersive, realistic and historically accurate military experiences on desktop, console, and mobile. WG Cells allows us to venture outside of this space and explore mobile game genres and styles that may not fit properly into the Wargaming brand.
World of Tanks Blitz, Wargaming’s first entry onto mobile platforms, already has over 35 million downloads. How will WG Cells expand on that kind of success?
One of the key benefits of being a part of the greater Wargaming organization is access to the incredible in-house resources. For instance the Marketing, Business Development, Art, and BI teams from Wargaming will provide immense value to the WG Cells teams we are building in Seattle and Kiev. Leveraging the learnings and relationships we’ve made from building Blitz and our other titles will absolutely be part of our strategy moving forward.
What are the challenges of marketing a mobile game compared to a PC or console game?
Mobile is different. It’s hard to say one platform is more challenging than another but it’s safe to say you need expertise in the specific platform in order to market a game properly. And more so than any other platform, mobile game marketing, and more specifically free-to-play, is extremely data driven and focused on performance. We have already built a marketing team that is focused on performance advertising, creative optimization, and our relationships with our platforms. These areas are the keys to successful mobile game marketing, which differs greatly from our PC and console brethren, who still need to leverage more traditional media like press and print.
Unfortunately for us, press does not equate to installs for mobile games. But it’s still incredibly important to building our brand, and we are very grateful of the positive relationships we’ve built with outlets like [a]listdaily. We are also keeping a close eye on how influencers will impact mobile game marketing, and are already diving deeper into that.