Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?
We decided early on that we would go for a MVP rather than work on a full-fledged version of the game. We felt that the latter would take too long, be too expensive, and too difficult to change.
Eventually, the result was a complete but simplified version of the game that was released only in one market to test the interest of users. It received only very limited traction, and we quickly stopped the Facebook and Google Mobile Ads marketing campaigns. I was personally convinced that the game needed more features to get users involved beyond the core gaming loop. We are now working on an enhanced version and have prioritized a number of next steps.
What distinguishes MLSDev from other providers?
I don’t have much experience working with different providers so I can’t really say. But overall, MLSDev was well organized, followed their internal rules and procedures, and carried out the development step by step.
Is there anything MLSDev could have improved or done differently?
I would have appreciated a more critical approach from their side, particularly in the design phase. In my opinion they went too straight to the final design, which was efficient but lacked constructive trials and back and forth discussions.
As a solo entrepreneur, I would have appreciated more guidance and consulting on an ongoing basis and not just a consulting session at the beginning. While I had a clear vision of what I wanted, and could carry on with purely operational conversations every week with the project manager, I would have appreciated another layer of conversation on the product, users, positioning, and so forth to help with the brainstorming and idea generation. Given how knowledgeable about the product the MLSDev team became, I think their opinion should extend beyond purely operational details.
Also, I had several issues in the process because of a high turnover at MLSDev. The consultant I worked with quit at the end of the process, as did the sales manager in charge of my account. Next, my product manager was fired and the second one quit after a year or so. I understand these things happen, and the follow up was usually quite well managed internally, but still every time you have to get acquainted with a new person, it takes time.
Finally, there was a period when I was working with the second product manager—who was an improvement from the product manager who was fired—when he became very unresponsive, very uninvolved, and generally difficult to work with. This lasted a few months and was a very difficult period for me. I was really thinking about finding another company to work with. Eventually he left MLSDev, and I got a third product manager who was pleasant and efficient to work with.