Michael Bauer, the CFO and CGO of Greentube, plays a unique dual role in the company. While this may seem contradictory at first, Bauer explains that his positions actually complement each other. As the CFO, he oversees all finance matters, while as the CGO, he is responsible for the strategic direction of the games portfolio, including production, sales, and operations. Interestingly, these roles are usually separate in the industry, but for Bauer, they are linked by a strategic thread.
Bauer’s background in finance has equipped him with the skills to handle strategic aspects of operations, such as M&A activities and entering new markets. This has been crucial as Greentube continues to expand into different markets around the world. For each market, Bauer devises a business plan, assesses the competitive landscape, and sets revenue and sales targets. His expertise in analyzing game performance has also been invaluable in designing games for different player cohorts.
In terms of game development, Bauer agrees with the sentiment that “content is king” and “data is queen”. Greentube sets aside a percentage of its new game and platform development budgets for innovation, even though this can be risky. While copying successful games from competitors can generate revenue, Bauer is more interested in pushing the boundaries and defining how the market develops through innovation and new mechanics.
Despite the demanding nature of his roles, Bauer places a strong emphasis on work-life balance. Having a fun job is important, and Bauer believes that a boring or unsatisfying role can eat into one’s free time. With three kids, he limits work-related travel to what is necessary, striking a good balance between work and family life.
Aside from game development and financial matters, Bauer is also passionate about responsible gaming. He emphasizes the importance of setting clear and strict rules for responsible gaming, affordability, and marketing promotions to minimize problem gambling.
Looking ahead, Bauer sees significant opportunities for Greentube, particularly in the North American market following the repeal of PASPA in 2018. He believes that success in this market will be driven by local content, networks, and relationship building. However, he also acknowledges the challenges and patience required in the US, from licensing to signing contracts with clients.
As for the future of the wider market, Bauer admits that technological advancements and new competition could prompt sudden changes. He speculates on the potential disruption if mega brands like Microsoft, Google, and Amazon were to enter the gaming space.
Overall, Michael Bauer’s dual roles at Greentube have allowed him to merge his financial expertise with his passion for game development, driving the company’s expansion into new markets and innovative game design while maintaining a focus on responsible gaming and work-life balance.