Interview

2012 in review: Keith Andrew, PocketGamer.biz

2012 in review: Keith Andrew, PocketGamer.biz
As we consider the trends of the past 12 months and look forward to the next 12 months, we've asked the great and the good in the mobile gaming industry for their opinions.

Fuelled up on coffee and nicking the best ideas from the interviews published so far, PocketGamer.biz editor Keith Andrew has also given his views.

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

Keith Andrew: I'd say a fundamental shift in the way we monetise games.

Neither free-to-play nor crowdfunding began life in 2012, but both became the norm. In the years ahead, it's likely developers will better understand just when they should be utilised, and the games that result will improve accordingly.

The problem we have at the moment is people are looking for a one-size-fits-all solution.

It's going to take time for people to realise that different games will have to adopt different strategies, and just because both free-to-play and crowdfunding are taking off doesn't mean traditional paid games will be wiped out.

What was the most significant event for your company?

I can't say for the company as a whole – though the acquisition of 148Apps probably tops the bill – but personally, being made editor of PocketGamer.biz on the same day a piece of work I'm the most proud of was published is something of a high.

The last few months on the site have been as exciting as they have packed. 2013 already looks like it'll offer much more of the same.

What was your favourite mobile game of the year?

I can't pick one. Seriously, just one is daft. I think the most interesting release of the year is probably Angry Birds Space.

Not only is it a brilliant title, but it was also proof that Rovio could follow up Angry Birds with an equally skilled release – just different enough to attract new players, but not so different that those already on board were alienated.

Also really enjoyed CSR Racing – another pretty important release – and I spent many a toilet break sat playing Super Mole Escape. Proved there's much life left in the endless runner. Or endless digger, if you like.

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

I think we're coming to the point where iPhone has peaked. I was tempted to say this last year – both 4S and 5, in my view, were particularly lacking, and iOS continues to look stale compared to the competition.

More than likely, iPhone 6 – or whatever it is called – will be equally as big, though it's hard to see where, hardware wise, Apple can take iPhone next. We've had the bigger screen, but there doesn't seem room to do much more.

Indeed, it's iOS that needs the big overhaul, but I'm less and less convinced that Apple is willing to take the risk.

Also, an app-equipped Apple TV has to come this year, too. Problem is, I think Apple is equally scared about launching that. While convention suggests it needs to tap into the App Store to have any competitive advantage, smartphone games really aren't going to play well on the TV. This is one area where Apple's rivals may actually be ahead of the game.

So, all in all, this is going to be a massive year for Apple. A lot depends on the decisions it takes over the next 12 months.

What's your New Year's resolution and what resolution would you enforce on the industry?

I said last year I was going to learn German. Work meant that didn't happen – though I'd still like it to.

Overall, I think I'd like the industry to be more open to change. As before, don't think everything is either the solution to all our ills, or absolutely terrible.

An open mind when it comes to freemium would be advisable, as well as to platforms outside iOS and Android – there's a lot of good stuff going on at the fringes.
Thanks to Keith for his time.

Contributing Editor

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.

Comments

4 comments
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Christopher Kassulke
ok learn german from germans - best would be go to germany for some time ;)
jon jordan
Wunderbar!!
Keith Andrew
Ya!

(Or nein. Maybe.)
Fraser Ross MacInnes Product/Design Director at Danke Games
Du kannst ich als deutsche lehrer haben Keith, du musst mir nur fragen! ;)
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