As 2014 begins to fade into memory, we're taking a look back at the events that have dominated the last 12 months in mobile gaming.
As such, we've asked the industry's great and good to give us their take on the year, as well as predicting the trends that will dominate in 2015.
Jude Gomila is the co-founder of Heyzap
Pocket Gamer: What was the most significant news in 2014?
Jude Gomila: The biggest news of 2014 was definitely the King IPO.
The multi-billion dollar valuation signaled the increasing maturity of the mobile games industry, and growing consumer demand for mobile games, but highlighted the areas that studios need to improve upon.
How did your business focus change in 2014?
Heyzap launched transparent mediation to help developers focus on making great games instead of building their own advertising technology.
Our unique Mediation Insights tool visualizes ad prioritization decisions, providing a big picture summary of the relative performance of each ad network by geographical region.
We can expect high-quality 'idle' type games, which maximize the player's effort-to-rewards ratio.Jude Gomila
For the first time, developers can see how we harness their data to make informed choices about which ads to show to deliver the most revenue. Developers should be in control of the monetization process from beginning to end, top to bottom, and we're helping them to do that.
What was your favourite mobile game of the year?
Vainglory is one of the best games of 2014.
The real-time multiplayer functionality and unprecedented console-quality graphics make it a true game changer in the world of mobile gaming.
The studio that created Vainglory, Super Evil Megacorp, is definitely one of the most interesting developers to watch in 2015.
What will be the most important markets in 2015?
The most important markets for Heyzap developers will continue to be the United States and Europe.
What do you predict will be the most important trends in 2015?
Higher production value (as shown by Vainglory and SimCity) will drive even hardcore gamers towards mobile.
Real-time multiplayer mechanics are also going to change the way games are distributed and bring back virality to the gaming industry.
We can also expect high-quality 'idle' type games to emerge on mobile as well as a new genre to casual players. Idle games maximize the player's effort-to-rewards ratio, i.e. the user makes very few moves causing large changes in gameplay.
What's your New Year's resolution and what resolution would you enforce on the industry?
Personally, my resolution is to test out more exciting platforms beyond mobile (e.g. new VR companies).
For the app industry, I recommend three resolutions:
- 1) Shift our thinking about mobile monetization from eCPM and fill rate to ratio dollars-per-day over effort.
- 2) Kill the banner ad once and for all. I think everyone would love to see this low-quality ad unit eradicated in 2015.
- 3) Don't allow pressure to stifle creativity, as we saw with Sony initially calling off The Interview.
Thanks to Jude for his time.
You can check out all of our 2014 in Review interviews here.