Dr. Hanno Fichtner is co-founder and managing director of The HitFox Group, the self-styled 'world's first game distribution company builder'.
Pocket Gamer: What do you think was the most significant event for the mobile games industry in 2012?
Hanno Fichtner: Mobile took the pole position. There has been a huge shift from other platforms to mobile - but there is still huge potential for growth in 2013.
If you look at traditional players such as EA, it has seen similar shifts happening three times, just within the last few years. First, the industry shifted to browser games, then to social, and now to mobile.
And all the publishers are becoming faster at adapting. For instance, Gameloft made more than half of its revenue with mobile games for the first time in the second quarter of 2012. But there is still plenty of room.
What was the most significant event for the HitFox Group?
We took the market opportunity and launched two mobile portfolio businesses, AppLift and Game Finder. We plan to add further companies to our portfolio in 2013 and it is likely that they will be mobile related as well.
HitFox AppLift is a mobile affiliate network, exclusively focused on mobile games. It is the first of that specific kind and has had a successful start.
And at the same time we launched HitFox Game Finder which helps gamers to discover quality games via full-featured applications for iOS and soon Android.
What was your favourite mobile game of the year?
Tower Defense from Com2uS - that one kept me up numerous nights. It has nice graphics and sound but first and foremost great gameplay!
What do you predict will be the most important trends in 2013?
It will get serious! There are a number of trends that will considerably heat up the market:
- Tracking and performance: We see that many game publishers are only now starting to measure and track the success of their marketing campaigns appropriately. So there will be a trend to more serious analysis of marketing activities - a closer look at CPI and ROI and more relevance of performance marketing.
- Marketing will get tougher: With the increasing DAU bases of big mobile players like Storm8 (6 million), the capability to cross promote a new game becomes stronger. At the same time, getting new players will become more difficult for new entrants with the growing power of the existing players.
- Growing leaders: The market share of the leader in the mobile games market is below 10 percent at the moment. While the market share of leaders on older platforms like Facebook is around 50 percent - we will see consolidation on the mobile market in 2013.
- More focus on tablets: Tablets will become cheaper (Google is even subsidising the Nexus 7) and the tablet install base will increase significantly. This will be the basis for games with better graphics, developed especially for tablets and not just adaptions of mobile games.
- Core games and competition: Incumbents like EA will become more important in mobile gaming. It will bring more core games to the growing tablet landscape and compete more aggressively for market share.
What's your New Year's resolution and what resolution would you suggest for the industry?
As studies show that most (88 percent) of the people who set a New Year's resolution fail, I should be careful about what I wish for, for me and for the industry.
As we saw with our own discovery app HitFox Game Finder...
- The quality of mobile games must increase. Our editorial team only listed 800 out of the 100,000 games in the App Store in our Game Finder. More exceptional games - this is what I wish for the industry.
- App discovery is still very immature. This is where you will see HitFox help gamers find mobile games and where you will see HitFox help game publishers find the best quality gamers
Thanks to Hanno for his time.