Interview

#PGCLondon 2016 speaker Rovio's Eric Seufert foresees a top 5 grossing apps chart devoid of games

#PGCLondon 2016 speaker Rovio's Eric Seufert foresees a top 5 grossing apps chart devoid of games

Pocket Gamer Connects London will kick off 2016 in style on 18-19 January.

Tickets are still available.

So to give you a hint at what you can expect, we're shining the spotlight onto our speakers to provide a deeper look at the personalities who will be taking the stage.

  • Eric Seufert is VP of User Acquisition at Angry Birds developer Rovio.

PocketGamer.biz: Tell us about your company's role in the mobile games industry.

Eric Seufert: With Angry Birds, Rovio showcased to the world just how massive an audience a product can reach on mobile, and how a brand/IP that debuts on mobile can percolate across the entire entertainment ecosystem.

2015 was another hectic year for the industry, what were the highlights or most important developments you saw?

One of the most important developments I witnessed was the increasing significance of advertising, not only as a source of revenue but also as an apparatus for enticing engagement from users.

A big part of this was the shift to video that has been taking place within the mobile advertising industry since 2014; that shift continued apace in 2015 and I don't anticipate that it will slow down in 2016.

If anything, I can see rich media becoming an ever more important part of gameplay on mobile, providing even more opportunities for advertisers to get their products in front of a mobile audience.

For me personally and professionally, the highlight of the year was the launch of Angry Birds 2, which enjoyed a tremendous debut, reaching 20 million players within a week of its release.

We may see a Top 5 Grossing list completely devoid of a gaming app at least once during 2016.
Eric Seufert

For the industry, I think the highlight of the year was either the massive success of Crossy Road (although it was released at the very end of 2014), the acquisition of King by Activision Blizzard, or the hype and rapid plunge into obscurity of the Meerkat app.

All three of these situations exemplified how inscrutable and capricious the mobile app economy is.

PG Connects kicks off 2016, give us a prediction or two of what we can expect to see in the new year.

Two predictions:

  • I think as some of the bigger non-gaming, mobile-first companies get serious about UA and build out strong UA teams (hiring primarily from mobile gaming companies), we may see a Top 5 Grossing list completely devoid of a gaming app at least once during 2016.
  • I think we'll see a handful of viral phenomena in the vein of Crossy Road and Trivia Crack come from unlikely locations in 2016 (ie. not traditional technology hubs).

Features Editor

Matt is really bad at playing games, but hopefully a little better at writing about them. He's Features Editor for PocketGamer.biz, and has also written for lesser publications such as IGN, VICE, and Paste Magazine.

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