Interview

Ben Liu on why 2016 is the year of dreaming big for Pocket Gems

Ben Liu on why 2016 is the year of dreaming big for Pocket Gems

As 2015 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 2016.

  • Ben Liu is the CEO of US developer Pocket Gems, which received a $60 million investment from Tencent in 2015.

PocketGamer.biz: What was the most significant mobile gaming news of 2015?

Ben Liu: The most significant news has to do with the continued growth of the industry.

Mobile games have become an incredible outlet for creative expression with all the amazing products being released on a weekly basis. Mobile games have also become a big business as shown by the Super Bowl ads and King acquisition.

How did the focus of your business change in 2015?

We ended last year in heavy R&D mode, working on a lot of new things that hadn't been released yet.

During this year, we launched War Dragons, one of the first multiplayer synchronous 3D games ever made. We also charted a new exciting course for Episode based on connecting millions of readers and writers worldwide.

War Dragons

Our hard work and investment is starting to get traction and we believe the best is yet to come.

What do you predict will be the most important trends in 2016?

2015 is going to be an incredible year. We think it will be the year that new types of core games on mobile will gain steam, dues to a combination of tech advancements, developers trying new things, and greater player interest.

We are also excited by the rise of the China market and globalization of mobile games.

What was your favourite mobile game of the year?

I spent the most time this year with our own products, War Dragons and Episode.

War Dragons is beautiful and represents a first step towards synchronous multiplayer gameplay on mobile devices with lots of other players.

Our resolution is to dream big and to take our shot at innovating building the world's most widely played, most commercially successful game.

Episode is the first native mobile storytelling format and the beginning of a new platform for readers and writers.

Outside of that, I really enjoyed some of the mobile games from the world of PC like World of Tanks, Hearthstone and Fallout Shelter as well as some of the great games from overseas like WeFire and RuneStory.

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

Building off our new Tencent partnership, our resolution is to dream big and to take our shot at innovating building the world's most widely played, most commercially successful game. The resolution I'd like to enforce is to do build things that haven't been done before.

I also have a personal resolution to spend more time just simply being a fan. There are so many great things being done in the world of entertainment that I want to make time for.

You can check out all of our 2016 in Preview interviews here.

Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at PG.biz which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.

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