Many of us have been fascinated with puzzle games since we were kids and we usually look for unique brain teasers to solve whether we are bored or need a break from work. Conceptis puzzles is one such venture which forayed into the puzzle business way before Soduko became popular. We interviewed the CEO of the company, Dave Green, who gave us a walk through their journey to the top of the puzzle gaming business.
1.Conceptis puzzles are doing great on the Play Store. We would like to know how did you manage to build your company from scratch?
Our venture started as a legacy business. After founding the company in 1997, we started our business by supplying language-independent logic puzzles to magazine and book publishers. These puzzles, and most notably Pic-a-Pix (which you can download from the Play Store), were invented and popular in Japan. This was way before the Sudoku boom, so it was a challenge convincing print-publishers around the world to use puzzles unknown in the West. Fortunately, this effort paid off, and by 2005 we had a considerable presence amongst print-publishers around the world which was perfect timing for when the Sudoku boom took off that year.
Our next step, after print-publishers, was to expand our business to online. Although we already had a simple website, we invested a great deal of time and resources to develop a paid-content website which is still serving thousands of paying members till today. Around 2010, when the app market started to become significant, we decided to expand our market and offer logic puzzles to the end users via this media. Our investment proved to be successful, and today we have 16 apps on both iOS and Android stores with millions of downloads in the last years.
2. Are you going to be focusing on gaming puzzles or are you going to diversify?
We are planning to diversify our product range, but still stay within the app gaming market. We plan to do this by offering logic puzzles in a different style, with different user experience and to a different demographic audience. As always, this is a risk so we will only know if it was worth while in the future.
3. Can you tell us about your early years and how did you develop the interest for making Apps?
There is a full story about the early years and how we made our first steps following this link. Enjoy!
4. What are the contributing factors that you think are upscaling the profitability of your Apps?
This is a tough question, and wish we knew for sure cause then we’ll be repeating it over and over. I can think of the following factors. First, we started our way in the legacy printed magazine market over 20 years ago. Back in those days, albeit not easy to achieve, this was the most effective way to get our name on the market.
I think that in the following years, when we expanded our market to online and then to apps, our success hinged on those initial loyal readers who helped us carve our presence in the tough app market. The second factor I can think of is professionality – both in the design and the development of the products as well as in the sales and marketing worldwide. Fortunately, our founding team had 20 years prior experience in these areas which was crucial to turning puzzles into an international enterprise.
5. How’s the current scenario for new App developers?
Hard for us to say, but with so many developers and so many apps, the entry barriers seem harder than ever.
6. Which App marketing tools do you use now? How do you track reviews and what do you think about ReviewsCollect?
We started with Flurry and App Annie back in 2011 and have been using both, alongside the native tools of the Apple and Google developer platforms ever since. We use Facebook Analytics daily as we utilize Facebook and Instagram as our main advertising channels. For the specific need of user ratings and reviews we use a combination of the native developer tools (App Store Connect and Google Play developer dashboard), App Annie and custom-made spreadsheets analysis.
Unfortunately, we did not have a chance to try ReviewsCollect yet. However, user feedback has been a crucial aspect of our business since the early days when our products were unknown in the West. We’ve been using our website forum, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for that, but today a large part of the feedback comes in the form of user reviews, and ratings, on the app stores. Therefore, we find ReviewsCollect an interesting venture and will be happy to give it a try.