Interview

2012 in review: Robert Weber, W3i

2012 in review: Robert Weber, W3i
As we consider the trends of the past 12 months and muse about the next 12, we've asked the great and the good in the mobile gaming industry for their opinions.

Robert Weber is the co-founder and SVP of new products at iOS and Android app discovery, distribution and monetisation outfit W3i.

Pocket Gamer: What do you think was the most significant event for the mobile games industry in 2012?

Robert Weber: I think it was the continued massive success of tablet sales globally, and how it is adversely impacting traditional game consoles.

This widespread adoption will start attracting a plethora of successful core games focusing on tablets, which will further cause traditional game consoles from Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony and others to see sluggish performance.

What was the most significant event for W3i?

The most significant event for W3i was getting our monetisation platform to over 66 million monthly active users and 14 million daily active users.

We now have scale which was really important for us to achieve this year.

What was your favourite mobile game of the year?

I spent more time playing Imangi Studios' Temple Run than any other game. There was a point earlier in 2012 when dozens of folks at our W3i office were all competing every day for the highest score - my high score was 9,655,842! Imangi's also been a great partner for us.

I got hooked on some many mobile games this year; two other favorites that come to mind are Redtribe's Hairy Balls and Bass Pro Shops: King of Bucks (I am from the Silicon Prairie in Minnesota after all).

What do you predict will be the most important trends in 2013?

In addition to the trend towards core gaming in mobile, we'll see a lot of the big players continue to invest very heavily in real-time gambling.

What's your New Year's resolution and what resolution would you suggest for the industry?

Next year, we are looking to really disrupt the app ecosystem with innovative new services that engage users. We see a big problem in mobile advertising where users just don't see value in the vast majority of mobile ads being shown to them. There is just not enough perceived benefit to the users to engage in ads.

As we solve this cost-benefit problem, we will drive incredible value for app advertisers, and generate strong financial performance for game developers.

Game developers need a stronger ecosystem to support them. The platforms don't seem to really get it. I hope they'll start to figure it out in 2013.

I'd also like to see Microsoft bring back Bill Gates as CEO. The mobile games industry would benefit from a stronger Microsoft.

Thanks to Robert for his time

editor-at-large

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon can turn his hand to anything except hand turning. He is editor-at-large at PG.biz which means he can arrive anywhere in the world, acting like a slightly confused uncle looking for the way out. He likes letters, cameras, imaginary numbers and legumes.

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