A Conversation with Colossi Games CEO Manuel Prueter
Founded back in 2020, Colossi Games is dedicated to creating immersive and innovative mobile RPG games. The studio has already released two successful titles: action-brawler Gladiators: Survival in Rome and action RPG game Daisho: Survival of a Samurai, which has recently surpassed one million downloads. We had the opportunity to sit down with Colossi Games CEO, Manuel Prueter, to discuss the challenges of game development, how smart studios can overcome them, and what lies ahead for Colossi.
Getting Started in the Games Industry
Manuel Prueter, CEO of Colossi Games, shares his unconventional journey into the games industry. Initially pursuing economics, Prueter stumbled into a customer service role for the German community of the beta version of Guild Wars. This unexpected opportunity led him to Brighton, England, in 2005. Over the years, he worked on various projects, including a failed MOBA game in Moscow in 2016. Despite the setbacks, Prueter’s passion for creating games that cater to players’ desires ignited, and he teamed up with his talented brother-in-law, a game designer with experience in top-grossing titles, to establish Colossi Games.
The Uniqueness of Colossi Games
Colossi Games sets itself apart with its diverse and remote team, asynchronous processes, and global talent. The studio was formed in 2020 with Play Ventures and EQT as financial backers. Due to the pandemic, the team had to work remotely, and only recently united in Cyprus. With team members spread across different locations, including Germany, Georgia, Bali, and Israel, Colossi Games embraces a unique mindset of hiring individuals who are passionate, respectful, take responsibility, and pride in their craft. The team’s familiarity and close-knit relationships contribute to their success.
Introducing Daisho: Survival of a Samurai
Daisho: Survival of a Samurai was developed with a focus on striking a balance between providing a great player experience and generating substantial financial returns. While Colossi Games’ debut game, Gladiators: Survival in Rome, enjoyed initial success, changing market conditions and limited resources led the team to make strategic decisions. Rather than investing heavily in advertising, they decided to build on their existing technology and create a game that would appeal to a broader audience beyond the familiar Roman Empire theme. Daisho’s popularity soared in Taiwan and Korea, highlighting the game’s international appeal.
Overcoming Challenges in Game Development
Colossi Games faced significant challenges, particularly the war in Ukraine and its impact on their Russian-speaking team members. With families and friends affected, the studio experienced emotional turmoil and reduced productivity. The financial implications included a 20% decrease in expected revenue, visa and housing costs for staff, and the inability to advertise effectively. However, the team adapted to the circumstances, prioritizing stability and receiving support from their investors. Despite encountering obstacles, Colossi Games remains grateful for the resilience and navigation skills demonstrated by everyone involved.
Bringing the Game to Market
Colossi Games’ marketing strategy focuses on visual and interactive storytelling to appeal to players’ desires. By translating their imaginative visions into engaging search results, social media ads, and editorial promotions, the studio aims to capture players’ attention and meet their expectations. The team utilized pre-registration pages, Google Ads, universal App Store Optimization, and PocketGamer articles to generate buzz around Daisho’s launch. With a small but dedicated marketing team, Colossi Games strategically chose marketing channels and adapted as necessary.
Adjusting the Marketing Strategy and Gameplay
With their second game, Colossi Games had the opportunity to experiment with their business model. Unlike Gladiators, which utilized an energy-based and content-driven model, Daisho’s gameplay mechanics underwent changes. These adjustments allowed the studio to cater to different player preferences and further engage their target audience.