In November the Global Mobile Game Confederation (GMGC) host their next event in China (Chengdu), the Mobile Game Developers Conference. IGA.biz spoke with one of the main business driver behind GMGC, Teddy Florea. Recently Teddy took over from Maxim de Witt, who left GMC this summer.
IGA.biz: Recently you took over from Maxim de Witt as GMGC`s Head of International Business Development. Please introduce yourself.
Teddy Florea: I have recently taken over from Max de Wit in heading the international business development team at the Global Mobile Game Confederation (GMGC). As you know, GMGC runs Asia’s most attended mobile games conferences and events in Beijing, Chengdu, and South East Asia on tour. It also is the leading platform of consultancy for Western companies targeting Asia, and runs an executive membership club of over 300 C level top execs industry people which includes the decision makers at Tencent, 360, Baidu, Linekong, VNG, Bluestacks, and over 280 other companies across Asia and the West.
IGA.biz: What are your main tasks and how you want to drive the GMGC event´s strategy?
Teddy Florea: Our founder, David Song, and Maxim de Witt have worked for years in building a first class platform for events and consultancy. Thanks to their effort, GMGC has become the de facto connector between businesses with its goal of creating relevant long term partnerships that help both the companies involved, as well as the entire mobile games ecosystem worldwide. Coming from a media and events focused background acquired my long term experience at Pocket Gamer, my role is to drive the international side of GMGC towards bringing in exciting new business, and demonstrating how GMGC becomes the actual bridge between the Western world and the Asian gaming industry. While GMGC is widely known in the East, I focus now on increasing its Western visibility by evangelizing our company throughout the multitude of events that I attend in Europe and North America. I am responsible for bringing exciting speakers, and securing the strategic partners that can further promote us worldwide. I am also taking a strategic role in furthering GMGC’s event services so it can provide both ground breaking lectures, and the match making events needed for companies to benefit fully from our experience. Since my arrival, we have partnered with large media organizations such as Venture Beat, Aruba Events (the organizers of Respawn and Quo Vadis conferences), Nordic Game (Norther Europe’s largest conference), Game Connection, and I am now exploring further opportunities with IMGA, IGDA, and many more other viable organizations. At GMGDC Chengdu, we will also bring for the first time a meeting system in order to create a more Western and efficient direct business exchange approach within Asian conferences. My role has a long term focus, and my goal is to further portray GMGDC as the conference not to miss on anyone’s calendar – the place where you can meet both the largest publishers or platform owners as well as a myriad of of indie developers actively searching for buyers and exposure for new exciting games.
IGA.biz: Next months will be the Mobile Game Developers Conference in Chengdu? How is the status Quo in terms of topics and speakers?
Teddy Florea: GMGDC Chengdu will take place on 19th-21st November, in the vibrant tech hub city of Chengdu, China. We expect over 10,000 attendees coming from a highly heterogeneous background with a mix of both big names, and the indie scene attending the conference.. The event will feature Ted talk show alike inspirational sessions which will provide a learning environment that can be applied in the mobile games long development work process. With over 70 speakers coming from many places across the world, a large games awards ceremony – the Tianfu Awards, and the side networking events, I predict as a huge success. The topics range from practical ones focused on the game design process, PR, and best lessons in pitching your game to publishers to investors to more meta-comparison analysis between the Asian mobile gaming industry and the Western world.
We are currently still accepting speakers’ requests by maintaining a clear mandate in bringing exciting and (r)evolutionary content that can directly benefit and inspire our audiences. For any new speaker requests, anyone can contact me to discuss how and where we can place them in the program. Once again, the focus here is on bringing clear value for developers so we try to minimize company branding approaches but look instead for suitable knowledge sharing experiences.
IGA.biz: What are the three main reasons to attend the Mobile Game Developers Conference in Chengdu?
Teddy Florea: 1. Relevant networking via our Pitch and Match Meeting system. We went a step ahead, and we do not only provide an online meeting request platform but we have actually reserved a separate Pitch and Match area at GMGDC where the matchmakers will be on site, and help the audiences connect even during the event.
2. An overall learning experience via our lectures as mentioned above.
3. New exciting business opportunities for anyone that wants to meet Western or Eastern clients.
IGA.biz: What kind of business and take-away can expect attendees from that event?
Teddy Florea: Since the event has a multi-fold approach, and welcomes both the largest worldwide publishers and platform owners as well as the indie crowd, we expect the buyer-seller synergy to be the driving force of the conference. The GMGC international team will be on site, and will happily try to connect you as well via our match makers.
IGA.biz: Why GMGC chose Chengdu as the place of the conference and not Beijing or Shanghai?
Teddy Florea: There are already conferences taking place in Beijing and Shanghai including our flagship one in China’s capital city celebrating its 5th anniversary in March next year. Despite the international prominence of the two major cities, most people outside China do not know that Chengdu has become the Chinese Silicon Valley city with the biggest Chinese studios having their production units there. It has indeed become a major centre for startups with over 900 tech companies being present. Even Western giants like Ubisoft opened regional offices there while the city owes its prominence in the gaming industry following the huge success of Tap4Fun who has managed to top the Apple’s Mobile charts with their game Galaxy Empire back in 2012. The local government is also very supportive for new international and Chinese to open offices in the city, and the trend has grown steadily, and shows strong signs of upscale. As mentioned below, we expect 10,000 attendees with a good percentage coming from Chendgu itself.
IGA.biz: As you have business in Europe and Asia, what are the main differences in terms of mobile game development and publishing / distribution in both of the regions?
Teddy Florea: In Asia, culture seems to play a major role in game development which triggers a strong base for driving downloads in the given territory but also acts in isolation to other external markets. Freemium is the dominating business model on the Asian continent. Local publishers tend to dominate the market already with an advanced business model but falling behind in production quality as compared to the West. On the other hand, in Europe and North America it is difficult to isolate a market as the English language is conducive naturally towards global users. The client based F2P games are still embryonic to an extent but social games are generally taking over. Another area of huge difference is PR. While in Asia, it is somewhat expected to pay and be featured in the media, in Europe, there is never a guarantee the press will pick up your game – it must be interesting and newsworthy to be featured. There is a lot more to be said here as this topic could be presented even as a PhD thesis so I will stop here but such questions will be discussed and debated during our lectures and panels in Chengdu.
IGA.biz: Do you have any time to play games? What are your favourite games and why?
Teddy Florea: To be honest. I hardly have anytime to play games myself but if I choose oneI will always love to play (even on mobile!), it is GTA (San Andreas). I also enjoy trying out racing games, Asphalt being a top one. And yes, I do prefer premium games, as I always search for quality and excitement, innovation being the key word here.