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European Gaming meets Gökçe Nur Oguz, CEO and Co-Founder of Playable Factory

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European Gaming meets Gökçe Nur Oguz, CEO and Co-Founder of Playable Factory
Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

Q: Tell us about how & why you came to found Playable Factory?

Over four years ago – when we founded the company – gaming was booming and it still is today. All our friends were working in the sector and we wanted to, too. We were new to it all. Monetization, LTV, CPI… sounded like another language to us but gradually we learnt from our friends and tapped into the scene. As we grew our understanding, we realised playable ads played an important role. If done well, they can add to the experience of gaming. But good ones were frustratingly hard to find. So, along with my co-founders, Berat and Omer, we started making them ourselves and the rest is history.

Q: What were you doing before that/what led to it?

After university, I completed a PhD in Fluid Dynamics, a subdiscipline within physics and engineering. There were a few gamification projects, like building games for people to play that would simultaneously have a background programme running to solve an operational problem. This part had me captivated. Outside of academia, I was always gaming and would gamify everything I did. Not just computer games, but card games, board games etc… So it felt natural to me to do something I enjoyed.

Q: Describe Playable Factory & Gearbox in a nutshell?

Playable Factory is a company that focuses on the creative needs of digital advertisers. The focus is mostly on playable ads and recently on video ads for gaming clients specifically. Our secret (or not so secret) weapon is Gearbox, an online editing and iterating platform for creatives. This is split into two: Gearbox Playable, create your own tailor made playable ads (create, iterate, download and repeat) and Gearbox Video, a tool that allows users to record gameplays easily and create/edit/tweak to their heart’s desire. You can generate hundreds of videos in an automated process with one click.

Q: What kind of support can a gaming developer (or brand marketer) expect from your
platform?

Gearbox is made for people who want to monetize their games. It’s a one-stop shop for advertising and promotional videos. No prior coding knowledge is needed so anyone can use it, which hasn’t really been done to this extent before – with full, fast-response, technical support. It’s like having the full agency experience on one platform. For developers, we provide them with market insights around playable ads, guiding them to the right concept in
a speedy manner. They can get creative with graphic filters, text to speech options, banners… and any feature that improves the performance of the playables or video ads.

Q: Who are your clients?

We work with top mobile game publishers: Zynga, Playtika, Dream, Voodoo, Lion Studios, Gram Games and lots more. Apps publishers like Funimate, Trendyol and Gopuff. And brands include Hasbro, LEGO, Unilever and L’Oréal.

Q: What is unique about the Turkish mobile market/why has it become known as the Silicon
valley of the mobile gaming market?

Turkey’s become a global mobile gaming hub. It’s amazing to watch it take off. Some of the best publishers and developers in the world are based here. I think it’s got a lot to do with the ability for rapid development. You’ll find teams of 4-5 young people making a steady stream of mobile games that they send out into the market. Thanks to home-grown success stories, the eyes of investors have turned towards us. But it’s also down to the culture here. Gaming is hugely popular in Turkey and you can feel the passion and drive among people in the
scene here. Local and global economic forces make international expansion lucrative and it feeds back into making the industry making it even bigger and better – and long may it continue.

Q: Have you always been passionate about gaming? When did you first get into it?

I’ve always liked games: console, board games, mobile games… For me, it’s cracking the puzzle that gets me hooked on a game. In my childhood, my younger sister and I were always inventing our own games. Now, business-wise, my co-founder Berat and I, enjoy gaming together and playing board games in our downtime. We actually got the licence for the hugely popular party game Codenames from Czech Games. Since then, we’ve published two more board games together. This was before we entered mobile gaming.

Q: What’s your favourite mobile game?

It has to be 2048. I like puzzles and numbers 🙂

Q: What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve overcome in your career to date? And greatest
success?

Without a doubt: building a company from scratch on a technology that we learned all by ourselves, with no training. I didn’t know how to build playable ads, I didn’t know anything about HTML5 gaming and coding so finding a good developer and establishing a business was the biggest challenge.

Q: What’s one piece of advice you’d give to start-ups in the gaming industry?

I never truly understood the importance of a team before I started working in gaming. PhDs involve mostly working solo and it misses the team spirit. The pressure is high because the success of your work is always dependent on you, and you alone. The gaming industry is totally different. Success reflects on the team who built the game. I wish I’d known that before joining the industry. So, my advice would be to evaluate your team, and believe in them because that’s the only way to reach success. If you don’t like the people you work with, it’s often much harder for you to fulfil your full potential. When your motivations align with your team’s, you can combine forces and focus to get the success you deserve.

Compliance Updates

Portuguese Regulator Approves Crash Games

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Portugal’s regulator has approved a draft regulation that will allow crash games to be played in the country.

Portugal’s Gaming Regulation and Inspection Service (SRIJ) announced the approval on May 19. It took effect on May 20, with the country’s Legal Regime for Online Gaming and Betting amended to include crash games in the legislation.

Crash games are house-banked games that allow players to play against the operator. They are based on a multiplier, which increases from 1 throughout the game to a maximum of 100.

Players aim to withdraw their bet before the game ends, receiving their initial stake times the multiplier if they do so. If they fail to do so, they lose their stake.

The legislation states that the multiplier will go from 1x to 100x. Additionally, the return to player cannot be less than 80%.

Licensed operators in the country may now apply for permission to offer the games.

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Gaming

GUCCI AND FACEIT PRESENT GUCCI GAMING ACADEMY, DESIGNED TO EMPOWER THE NEXT GENERATION OF ESPORTS TALENT

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GUCCI AND FACEIT PRESENT GUCCI GAMING ACADEMY, DESIGNED TO EMPOWER THE NEXT GENERATION OF ESPORTS TALENT
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

The World Health Organization (WHO) to provide expertise and support on health topics

Gucci and FACEIT have joined forces to debut the Gucci Gaming Academy, the first initiative of its kind created by a luxury fashion brand, envisioned to empower young esports talents, while creating a healthier playing and competition environment. The development program has been designed to provide support and enhance soft skills – through dedicated coaching sessions and teamworking activities – and help the next generation of esports talent to navigate the increasing amount of mental and physical issues coming from the pressure of in-game performance and online scrutiny.

The Gucci Gaming Academy is kicking off with four CS:GO players who are already competing in the FACEIT Pro League (FPL),  a competitive, moderated online league which has proven the springboard for the careers of some of esports’ most decorated pro players, with the intention of growing this number over time. Candidate selection will not only be based on in-game performance, but also on interviews to assess applicants’ personal values and soft skills, including their aptitude for teamwork and approach to conflict resolution. Players will be part of the Academy for up to one year, or until they are signed to a team, thus turning professional.

The Gucci Gaming Academy is filling a much-needed role in the future of the esports talent pipeline, facilitating the shift from amateur to pro in a similar vein to the academy programs seen in traditional sport.

Nicolas Oudinot, EVP New Business and Gucci VAULT CEO said “Gucci is at the forefront of the luxury industry’s foray into the world of gaming and as part of our mission to build meaningful relationships with communities in a genuinely authentic way, we are dedicated to supporting the up-and-coming generations of players to help manage the challenges they may face as a result of participating in esports. Understanding the issues that are relevant to them and learning about these from the people they affect are at the core of this collaboration.”

We are proud to announce the launch of the Gucci Gaming Academy. Together, we identified a need to create a new initiative that would aid the development of new talent. The Academy will offer a clear path to pro structure connecting the dots between the FACEIT Pro League, education and well-being,” commented Co-Founder & CBO of FACEIT, Michele Attisani. “The physical and mental demands on players looking to compete at a professional level are high. Players have rigorous training schedules, compete in high-pressure tournaments and immense pressure from fans, so it’s important that new talent entering the space are equipped with the right support structure at an early stage in their development. Supporting and empowering young esports talent is at the core of FACEIT’s values and through our shared vision with Gucci, we hope the Academy helps equip the role models of tomorrow.”

The program comprises group and individual activities to improve the esports athletes’ skills, within and outside the spheres of their respective game titles, as well as additional benefits, such as:

  • Group sessions facilitated by psychologists who specialise in esports from Mindwork; topics include “Performance under stress”, “How to deal with the spotlight”, “Teamwork” and more
  • Individual sessions with specialised psychologists who will provide support for players as they pursue their competitive journeys
  • Digital training plans designed specifically for each player, supplied via the Gucci Education platform
  • Participation in community-driven experiences coordinated through the Gucci Changemakers Volunteering program
  • Access through FACEIT to professional coaches who will provide training for improving in-game performance and offer practical strategies for how to compete professionally while maintaining a healthy mindset
  • Virtual educational sessions teaching the basics of player contracts and personal branding.
  • Top-of-the-line gaming PCs and monitors for optimal performance and personalised selection of computer electronic peripherals from Logitech G for high-level gameplay and to facilitate learning
  • Access to the vast Gucci and FACEIT esports network for the players’ entire careers

Representing the values of the Gucci Gaming Academy are the ambassadors, commentator James Bardolph, Counter-Strike legend Christopher “GeT_RiGhT” Alesund and trailblazer for women in esports Stephanie “missharvey” Harvey. The ambassadors will also act as mentors to the academy players, having 1-on-1 mentorship sessions with each talent monthly.

Gucci Gaming Academy has been designed by Gucci and FACEIT alongside some of the world’s leading mental and physical health organizations and legal minds to ensure every element of the curriculum has been informed by experts.

Significantly, as part of the program, Gucci and FACEIT will also work with the World Health Organization to find ways to support all gamers involved to improve their gameplay while prioritising health and safety. This includes mental and physical health, fighting misinformation online, among other essential topics.

“We welcome efforts by Gucci and FACEIT to encourage their large online communities to take the necessary steps for better health and well-being,” said Andy Pattison, Team Lead of Digital Channels at the World Health Organization. “We need to continue to reach people with lifesaving health messages where they are, in the palms of their hands.”

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Gaming

World’s largest arcade platform offers retro gamers Epic deal – giving access to over 1300 Games

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World’s largest arcade platform offers retro gamers Epic deal - giving access to over 1300 Games
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The world’s largest library of retro games, Antstream Arcade, will be slashing the price of its annual premium subscription to just $19.99 as part of Epic’s Spring Mega Sale. Between Thursday 19th May to Thursday 16th June, this discount will be available on the Epic Games Store and across all other platforms, giving retro gamers around the world ad-free access to over 1300 games. 

This world leading library of games includes retro classics like Mortal Kombat, Pac-Man, Space Invaders, Monkey Island and Earthworm Jim – all of which can be streamed from the cloud without the need for additional downloads or for microtransactions. 

Players from around the world will also be able to compete in Antstreams global tournaments, moving up the global leaderboards and engaging in game exclusive  “Challenge Modes” – modes that put new spins on old classics. Like Pac-Man Hide and Seek, or Mortal Kombat On The Ropes challenges. Players will also be able to enjoy Antstream’s new “Giant Slayer” feature – where players can challenge the global Antstream community to beat their high score in a game of their choice – bringing the joy of the classic Arcade to the modern gaming audience.

Steve Cottam, CEO at Antstream Arcade, said: “Our goal as a company is to bring some of the greatest games ever created to a global community through the medium of cloud gaming. Unlike other cloud gaming platforms that might have only 100 games, Antstream currently offers players over 1200 titles – with a price tag that sits well below our competition. And with this latest deal alongside Epic’s Spring Mega Sale, we are excited to make retro gaming more accessible than ever”.

Outside of the premium subscription option gamers are still able to access their favourite retro games on their computer, mobile, tablet or other devices through the free, ad-supported tier. Antstream Arcade features fully licensed and fully playable retro games from publishers including Disney, Warner Brothers, Taito, Atari and Bandai-Namco, as well as a huge range of smaller indie developers and IP owners from the arcade era and beyond. 

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