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Navigating Game Development: Insights from Benjamin Gifford and uCool’s Success

In the fiercely competitive and saturated mobile game development industry, the path to success hinges on a company's ability to innovate, engage users, and adapt swiftly. Amidst a landscape cluttered with homogenized games, standout titles like Evony carve a niche through their unique positioning—such as its real-time war strategy gameplay—coupled with deep mechanics that challenge players and foster a sense of achievement. The key differentiation, however, lies in features like Evony's alliance system, which amplifies the game's social dynamics, significantly enhancing player engagement and community building. Thus, companies that excel by understanding market trends, leveraging technology, and prioritizing user-centered experiences and continuous innovation, are those that break through, setting new standards in the evolving gaming landscape.

Today I'm going to take two game development companies – & Inc. as examples of team management, marketing strategies, and values-driven mobile game development journeys.

Top Games Inc. – Boasting a robust presence in over 150 countries

Top Games Inc., established in 2015, has garnered global recognition as a video game developer catering to gamers worldwide. While mobile development remains their core focus, they occasionally venture into PC game creation. Boasting a robust presence in over 150 countries, the company is lauded for its technical prowess and unwavering commitment to delivering engaging and innovative content to its players. Top Games Inc. is dedicated to becoming the world's most user-centric interactive entertainment company, bringing joy to players worldwide.

CEO is a visionary and ambitious entrepreneur. Even before the mobile gaming trend took off, he foresaw the rise of mobile games and led a professional team to transition from primarily social media-based flash games to mobile games. With a user-centric approach and a grounded mindset, he consistently improved the user experience in all aspects of game development and team management.

“We aimed to create the best gaming experience possible and to cultivate long-lasting gaming communities that would continually enhance that experience,” says David Guo, Chief Executive Officer at Top Games Inc.

VP explains how his team created such a successful MMO title.

Typically, development teams focus on the idea of achieving perfection, and they won't let something out in the marketplace if it isn't 100% perfect. But Top Games Inc. realized that while understandable, pursuing perfection can often leave a game development team far behind the competition. That's why Top Games has made excellence, not perfection, the ideal and primary focus throughout development.

“Looking at the leading companies in your field, they might never own a perfect product or service. But what they do own is excellence,” says Benjamin Gifford.

To achieve excellence, the Top Games Team consistently, methodically, relentlessly, and persistently strives for constant innovation. This is how Top Games creates products and services better and delivers a continually improved gaming experience.

 “The team shouldn't limit themselves in job protection mode. Instead, they should stretch their capabilities and constantly grow without satisfaction with current success,” says Benjamin.

uCool – Unique Hybrid Style

Founded in 2012, uCool, Inc. stands as a distinguished independent video game developer and publisher in the United States, celebrated for its creation of Tynon. This game, known for its unique hybrid style, is part of uCool's portfolio of free-to-play strategy games that have captivated over 48 million players globally.

uCool has earned a reputation as a leader in the independent video game industry, offering some of the most popular free-to-play strategy games online. Their notable successes include not just Tynon, but also Heroes Charge. These achievements have garnered positive reviews from various gaming platforms and critics, highlighting the impressive gameplay and approachability of their titles.

In contrast to competitors who seek external investment and attempt to replicate uCool's model, the company prides itself on setting the standard for high-quality, free online games. uCool's offerings are distinguished by superior graphics, gameplay, and mechanics, allowing them to surpass traditional online games and command a significant global reach.

From the discussion of the two development teams above – Top Games Inc. & uCool Inc. , it's clear that for a game to become a hit, it must break through numerous barriers. This requires a deep understanding of what users truly enjoy, a precise analysis of user behavior, and a collective effort to enhance the user experience. These are the core values that drive both development companies to continuously and steadfastly focus on improving the user experience.