White Nights Moscow 2018 Recap
White Nights Moscow 2018 Recap
October 31, 2018
The global games community makes the trek to Moscow to benefit from the quality networking and content that make White Nights Moscow (WN Moscow) a must-attend conference. The show draws a large number of companies from across Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States - and this time Yeahmobi attended as well. Paul Callan, Senior Director of Publisher Relations at Yeahmobi, was on location at the show, excited to connect with the companies and eager to share some of his first-hand observations.
At first glance, White Nights is set up like many other conferences in the space, offering a pre-show party where attendees can meet up, followed by two days of conference tracks where attendees can learn ways to do their job better and a VIP networking party to cement their new relationships. But dig deeper, and White Nights is more than another conference. The rare opportunity to connect with and learn from fast-moving companies in this space makes this an “ROI positive” trip on all levels.
Setting up for success
The value this conference starts long before you get in the door. (A high-five to Nevomedia for a great job all around!) In addition to organizing a top-notch lineup of speakers and sessions, they also made sure attendees were well prepared for the show. Meetings and meet-ups were a breeze thanks to an easy to user attendee directory and meeting planner. And, the online conference program was enabled with a handy 1-click feature to add sessions to your calendar. Another plus: live translation of the sessions to enable a really valuable exchange of ideas and experiences.
And while we’re calling out the attention to detail that made White Nights such a high-caliber event, we have to note that the pre-party (hosted at the beautiful Bar 25:45) was well attended and provided a great networking opportunity to kick off conversations we could continue at the show the next day at the venue--the beautiful and historic Hotel Ukraina, known today as the Radisson Royal Moscow, a 30-minute walk from Red Square.
Hot topics and deep insights
The White Nights events attract influential game industry professionals and take place three times a year in February (Berlin), June (St. Petersburg) and October (Moscow). Every year more than 4,000 visitors altogether attend the conference. At the Moscow show discussion and debate covered many trending industry topics including 3 main topics that caught our attention:
- Demand for ad monetization visibility continues to grow. Following the global trend of seeking more visibility in ad monetization, there were several sessions covering how to increase publisher revenue through parallel-bidding, mediated waterfalls and elimination of ad exchange buyer’s fees which often increase existing campaign costs and can feel like the ad networks are “double-dipping” from the revenue stream.
- eSports follows the audience--and the money. Mobile gaming research firm Newzoo tells us the mobile eSports industry is on the move, and poised to benefit from explosive growth impacting the entire mobile space--an industry Newzoo reckons will account for 51% of global gaming revenues in 2018. Little wonder that eSports companies in attendance at White Nights said they are working on strategies to get the most mileage out of this global mega-trend. An example is ESL (one of the top influential global sports brands), which is doubling-down to develop a larger fan base, highlighting star players to drive more fan engagement and developing new venues and arenas where they can hold the live events that are drawing thousands of enthusiasts and driving millions in revenues. For many others, it’s early days in eSports. Some are searching to identify which game has the biggest prize purse, and many developers are in search of title sponsors to fund the big prizes.
- RU & CIS markets are more local than global. The games industry in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent offers massive opportunity. But a review of the companies on hand during the event shows many the players may be large, but their reach isn’t. In fact, many ad networks, publishers and attribution providers operate only in RU and CIS, with little interest in expanding in the global market. In contrast, global publishers show a strong interest in this market. Mobile midcore games and eSports stand out as game genres offering huge potential and the possibility to win big.
White Nights is more than a great show to take the pulse of the gaming industry in markets bursting with potential and opportunity; it’s also a rare opportunity to connect with the companies and publishers making their mark. Yeahmobi did both at White Nights in Moscow--and we will be back for an encore next year. If you want to catch up or meet up, contact us here.