How to utilize the voice of your players to optimize your game & player experience
What's this episode all about?
1. How Mytona attracts gamers' attention and their empathetic approach.
2. A description of how Mytona keeps their players engaged and creates a great player experience your personalization and customization:
Minute 08:55 - "we gave our players an opportunity to express themselves through our diverse and deep customization features. Starting from players' appearances to their home and restaurants they can customize everything, so everyone is unique here in the Cooking Diary."
3. Olga shares how the company gathers player feedback and the importance they give to it.
Minute 10:54 - "We're trying to gather all the information about our players from all sources. We also read story views, especially after events come out. We also read official and non-official communities to understand what our player needs, what engages them in the game, and what they don't like [...] because the main goal is to make our player's experience more fun, and we are using target audience motivations as a core for our creative strategies for each project."
4. We asked Olga about what would be her dream insight to get from players and her answer revelead probably something that all of us are looking for:
Minute 14:00 - "I think it will be like a first impression of the game. [...] What made our players stay and play? We have players who play our game, almost from the beginning. It means seven years for someone or four years and I would love to meet them and ask them this, it would be really exciting to know."
Minute 00:05 Natalie, Podcast Host
Hello, and welcome to a new episode of Let's Talk Customer Feedback. Today we have the pleasure of hosting Olga Koryakina, Head of Marketing, Creative at MYTONA. First, let's say hi to Olga. How are you doing today?
Minute 01:13 Olga Koryakina, Head of Marketing Creative at MYTONA
Hi, Natalie. That's my first experience with podcasts. Thank you for having me. I'm super excited.
Minute 01:21 Natalie, Podcast Host
Of course, we're super happy to have you here and before we dive into player insights, we would love to hear about you. Can you tell us how you got into the industry and where you are today?
Minute 01:33 Olga Koryakina, Head of Marketing Creative at MYTONA
Yeah, sure. I remember like it was yesterday and seven years ago at the same time. I joined the industry back in 2018 as a junior creative manager here in MYTONA and during four years of hard work and so many changes in the digital market, I've become a head of creative here at MYTONA and there are so many other things that I need to understand and achieve in the future. So, it's really exciting as well.
Minute 02:07 Natalie, Podcast Host
That's so exciting that you started there four years ago, and now you're the head of marketing creative. That's a great opportunity, actually.
Minute 02:15 Olga Koryakina, Head of Marketing Creative at MYTONA
Yeah, thank you.
Minute 02:17 Natalie, Podcast Host
So, thank you for sharing that and before we start with the questions, we would like to tell you all about a PR stunt that led to a big failure for Ubisoft back in 2014.
Welcome to tales from the feedback group, amusing explicit and horrific feedback stories gone well wrong. This story belongs to a true crime podcast, but we're gonna give it a shot. Let's set things straight. Being a journalist on a media outlet that covers games really pays off. You usually get free code straight again, sometimes even before launch, and really, really cool swag. In 2014 Ubisoft sent the journalist swag in the shape of a money safe posted along with a note telling the journalists to check their voicemail. Times were quickly raised. First, the journalists didn't really use voicemails. Second, it seemed like nobody else had received swag like this from Ubisoft and third, as curious in my opinion, the money saved people every time someone tried to open it. So, what happened next, they call the bomb disposal squad and the entire office building was evacuated. When the money safe was finally open, they found a copy of watchdogs a baseball cap and some other things. A crazy swag move. Yes, but thankfully, no explosive device. Thanks for listening and see you next week in tales from the feedback group.
Minute 04:01 Natalie, Podcast Host
So, with that story in mind, we can't wait to hear Olga's insights. So, let's start. Can you introduce us a bit to your role in your company? What do you do as the head of marketing creative and what does the company do?
Minute 04:13 Olga Koryakina, Head of Marketing Creative at MYTONA
Yeah, sure. I think let's start with an introduction of MYTONA. So, we are developers and publishers of Free to Play mobile games. We have two main titles. The first one is the best-hidden object game Seekers Notes and the second one is the best of course cooking time management game named Cooking Diary. This summer Seekers Notes turned seven years and Cooking Diary is already four years for from its global release. Yeah, and I welcome everyone to give these amazing games a chance. Going back to my creative team, our current goal is to understand and implement how we can efficiently acquire our target audience using Ads and store listings. To do so, we are working on formulating our marketing and creative strategies, researching the market, studying our target audience, of course, analyzing creative performance data, communicating with the product team and so much more.
Minute 05:19 Natalie, Podcast Host
That is so interesting. That is amazing how you grow into this position and MYTONA and I really would love to see these two games, and I can't believe there have been in the market for so long. That's really cool and can you tell us how player feedback influences your day-to-day position and MYTONA?
Minute 05:40 Olga Koryakina, Head of Marketing Creative at MYTONA
Okay, here at MYTONA, our first core value is to provide the best possible experience to our players, and we are so grateful for everyone who took the time to leave feedback. It makes us so much better and stronger. And going back to day to day, working with the player's feedback that we have for each project, we have a special channel on Slack, where our support team is sharing feedback from players, and we read and take into account every one of it.
Minute 06:16 Natalie, Podcast Host
Wow, that's impressive, and do you analyze it also with tools, or do you go into other platforms to check what your gamers are saying about you?
Minute 06:26 Olga Koryakina, Head of Marketing Creative at MYTONA
I can share more of analyzing a bit later. Yeah, because we have so many sources about where we can get our players' feedback and how we can implement it in our work.
Minute 06:39 Natalie, Podcast Host
Of course, I would love to hear that. So, we can't wait! And as the head of marketing creative, what do you think about the story I told you at the beginning about Ubisoft, there were definitely many things that needed to be done better. So, what types of campaigns do you create to attract people's attention to MYTONA games?
Minute 07:00 Olga Koryakina, Head of Marketing Creative at MYTONA
Yeah. I said "Oh my gosh", I think like, five times, because it sounds really scary and nowadays, cases like this are really terrifying and not appropriate at all. Talking about the messages that we create to our ads are mostly for performance and branding campaigns. So, we're trying to be as polite as possible in all triggers because if you check what is happening in the casual mobile games market, I mean, on the ads market, all that [Inaudible 07:39] poor things, marketers will understand me what I'm talking about. It's all about fighting for precious player's attention and according to numbers, we do understand that these hooks are catching our target audience's attention. But I think it's more of a way of sympathizing with the fictional characters to try to help them escape from real-world problems for a while.
Minute 08:12 Natalie, Podcast Host
Well, I really like what you just mentioned, and I agree. I get tons of ads all the time and I understand the hooks that you mean and how people will get the attention by that. But I agree that sometimes being empathetic may get you further. And can you tell us a bit about how MYTONA optimizes the published games? How does the company try to pursue and create the ultimate player experience?
Minute 08:42 Olga Koryakina, Head of Marketing Creative at MYTONA
Yeah, talking about our titles, I can say that our developer teams are brilliant because Seekers Notes has been a leader in a genre and loved by millions of players. Our main audience is beautiful ladies. A lot love arts and a good story. Good mysterious stories. They are trying to stay active and sharp-minded. So, we try not to disappoint them with our monthly events.
And Cooking Diary is loved by a younger audience comparing it to the Seekers Notes and comparing to other cooking time management titles we gave our players an opportunity to express themselves through our diverse and deep customization features. Starting from players' appearances to their home and restaurants they can customize everything, so every one is unique here in the Cooking Diary.
Minute 09:41 Natalie, Podcast Host
That is impressive. Do you have a really cool story or something like customization in terms of the persona or the restaurants like what's the place to stay about this?
Minute 09:54 Olga Koryakina, Head of Marketing Creative at MYTONA
They love to share their appearance in Cooking Diary and also we have pets and they can make their avatars look with their pets.
Minute 10:05 Natalie, Podcast Host
That is so cute.
Minute 10:07 Olga Koryakina, Head of Marketing Creative at MYTONA
And also have guilds in Cooking Diary. So, sometimes in guilds, they have some fun tasks. So, this week everyone should wear funny hats or something purple or something like that and everyone's...
Minute 10:22 Natalie, Podcast Host
Oh, that is so engaging. That is such a good idea.
Minute 10:25 Olga Koryakina, Head of Marketing Creative at MYTONA
Yeah. [Cross talk] It's like a family for me.
Minute 10:31 Natalie, Podcast Host
That is amazing and the people share these kinds of things on social media after?
Minute 10:35 Olga Koryakina, Head of Marketing Creative at MYTONA
Minute 10:37 Natalie, Podcast Host
Wow, that's a super engaging feature. I love it and as the head of marketing creative, do you feel you put the players' voices at the center of your strategy? How do you gather this feedback and create strategies that cater to their needs?
Minute 10:54 Olga Koryakina, Head of Marketing Creative at MYTONA
This is the question that I said that I will talk about later. We're trying to gather all the information about our players from all sources. We also read story views, especially after events come out. We also read official and non-official communities to understand what our player needs, what engages them in the game, and what they don't like, because, yeah, sometimes we do make mistakes and I will talk about that later and yes, so the main goal is to make our player's experience more fun, and we are using target audience motivations as a core for our creative strategies for each project. I take this opportunity to thank our players one more time for their ideas. They're so good and for every feedback, we really do appreciate it.
Minute 12:05 Natalie, Podcast Host
That's important. Actually, companies today that are player-obsessed or customer-obsessed, I think are the ones winning the market. So, I think that it's super important. First of all, you show your players you truly listen to them. And what role do you think the analysis of player feedback has to do in player retention?
Minute 12:27 Olga Koryakina, Head of Marketing Creative at MYTONA
Huge, of course, because our players are our customers, as you said, and their opinion is an order for us. So, there was a case like, this year, we had a, we decided to improve some hidden object locations in Seekers Notes, the old ones because arts were really old. They looked old. So, we tried to improve the visuals and we got complaints about them previously. So, that's why we decided to change. But after receiving negative feedback from our players that they didn't like the new location, we changed everything back.
Minute 13:15 Natalie, Podcast Host
Wow. That's crazy. First of all, like, why were they [Inaudible 12:31] feedback if they were already thinking about, like, the fact that they wanted these visuals to change? Maybe they were used to it already.
Minute 13:21 Olga Koryakina, Head of Marketing Creative at MYTONA
Yeah, I think that location was my favorite as well. So, I was with the players who were complaining, why did you change?
Minute 13:40 Natalie, Podcast Host
Wow, that's insane and now you're back to the old version because there's one and that one, right?
Minute 13:46 Olga Koryakina, Head of Marketing Creative at MYTONA
Minute 13:47 Natalie, Podcast Host
Wow, that's amazing that you truly listen to your players and with that, that leads us to our last question of the podcast and if there will be a dream inside you could get from your players, what would it be?
Minute 14:00 Olga Koryakina, Head of Marketing Creative at MYTONA
That's a really interesting question. Well, I think it will be like a first impression of the game. Like, Seekers Notes, Cooking Diary, the first one, and what made our players stay and play? Like, because we have players who play our game, almost from the beginning. It means seven years for someone or four years for someone and I wanted to meet them and ask them. Maybe they remember the first day in the Cooking Diary and the first day in Seekers Notes. It'll be really exciting to know.
Minute 14:46 Natalie, Podcast Host
Actually, that's amazing and I think that's where qualitative data comes in and tells you the why behind the what the numbers of why people stay there for seven years and feel love to play it and the importance of the feedback, which is amazing. So, it was a really perfect ending to this episode, and I want to thank you so much, Olga for taking the time to participate in today's podcast. It was super interesting to learn about your take on the importance of player feedback and how to utilize it in the field of marketing in the games industry.
Minute 15:20 Olga Koryakina, Head of Marketing Creative at MYTONA
Thank you so much for having me again and also, I will be speaking on Gamescom Asia in Singapore here in on October 21. If someone will be there, please find me. Let's talk.
Minute 15:36 Natalie, Podcast Host
That's awesome. We wish you a lot of luck at Gamescom and we hope to meet you in person one day outside an event.
Minute 15:43 Olga Koryakina, Head of Marketing Creative at MYTONA
Yes, sure. Thank you so much.
Minute 15:45 Natalie, Podcast Host
Thank you, Olga, and that's it for today.