Yaoqi Guo Initiate MVP Strategy Versus uCool's Focusing Strategy

Yaoqi Guo once said in an interview in his early years that his original intention of founding Top Games Inc.


Evony Buzz

6/14/20243 min read

Yaoqi Guo once said in an interview in his early years that his original intention of founding Top Games Inc. was to make a truly user-centric game. To this end, their team has tried many methods and made many products over the years. Currently, Benjamin Gifford, VP of Top Games Inc., said in an interview that Top Games Inc. now uses MVP tactics for simple and fast testing. uCool believes that focusing on a single product is more conducive to game creation. So, how should we view the pros and cons of these two ideas? The analysis in this article may help independent game developers make a choice.

"The information reflected by the MVP strategy can motivate the R&D team to innovate and learn from each project. The only way to grow is to go beyond what you can do and know," says Ben.

Yaoqi Guo's MVP Strategy at Top Games, Inc.

The full name of MVP is Minimum Viable Product. As a product development strategy, its core concept is to verify the feasibility of the product concept in the shortest time and in the simplest way possible.

In the early stages of product development, market research cannot determine a lot of uncertain factors. Top Games Inc. uses this strategy to expose its primary products to real users and the market. In this way, they can obtain more direct and real feedback and data. Many of their products, such as Salon Superstars, Infinity Clan, and Mafia Origin, have adopted this method. According to insiders, their subsequent new products will also continue to use this tactic. Their flagship game, Evony: The King's Return, even brings this thinking into creating new game features and activities.

Through their practice, we can see the advantages of MVP. For example, it can quickly verify product concepts, provide practical market and user data, and reduce risks and costs. However, this strategy also faces certain challenges. Excessive pursuit of efficiency may cause new products to ignore the construction of non-core functions or sacrifice the user experience. In response to these risks, Yaoqi Guo gave their solution, which is to continue to pay attention to user feedback and iterate. They believe that as long as they can balance speed and quality, they can overcome the challenges brought by this method.

"Get a great product or update out as quickly as possible, gain and listen to feedback, polish and iterate. You can quickly pivot if things aren’t working, and moonshot if things are doing well." Guo & Ben share.

uCool: Focusing Strategy

The focusing strategy mentioned here refers to the company's deep cultivation of a product or focusing on providing products or services in a market segment. It can better meet customer needs and thus gain partial competitive advantages. uCool's concept is fundamentally different from Top Games, Inc. The basis for TGI's use of MVP is its diverse product lines. From Evony TKR to Salon Superstars, they span multiple different market categories. Relatively speaking, uCool's product line is more focused. Since they created Heroes Charge. they don't seem to have entered other fields. According to their official works, they have focused on the real-time strategy game market in recent years.

Through this strategy, they can focus more resources on one or the same series of products. This can also improve the user experience and enhance the sense of product value. As they delve into a specific market, their ability to acquire customers will also be enhanced. But this method also makes uCool feel a certain amount of pressure in the fast-paced and fierce competition. If the entire demand base cannot support profitability, then over-focusing on a certain category may lead to a risk vortex. Once there is a phenomenon of sluggish demand for a market segment, companies adopting this strategy may need to switch tracks or reconstruct demand.

Top Games Inc. adopts the MVP strategy so that each project can resonate with Yaoqi Guo's mission to enhance user enjoyment. uCool adopts a focusing strategy to focus on one game category. The reason they adopt different strategies is because of the differences in their product lines. When multiple product lines from different categories are parallel, MVP is an effective means to quickly judge different market segments and user needs. When the product line is concentrated in a small number of market segments, it is necessary to pay more attention to the quality of individual products.