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2013 In Review: Legendary Games' Ewan Lamont

The year when Microsoft 'ate humble pie'
2013 In Review: Legendary Games' Ewan Lamont
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As 2013 fades into memory, we're sneaking in a final look back at the events that dominated the last 12 months in mobile gaming.

As such, we've asked the industry's great and good to give their take on the last year, as well as predicting the trends that will come to pass in 2014.

Ewan Lamont is the CEO and a co-founder of Legendary Games, a UK-based HTML5 studio with a focus on bringing online strategy games to the emerging social web.

Pocket Gamer: What do you think was the most significant event for the mobile games industry in 2013?

Ewan Lamont: One of the most significant events in the mobile games industry over the last year has been the failure of Microsoft to significantly disrupt the mobile app industry.

This I think has been a really positive development not because I enjoy Microsoft getting a kicking, far from it, but I think it has really forced them to reconsider past attitudes and they have the size and talent to come back.

When the Windows 8 Consumer Preview arrived, a lot of people who downloaded it were shocked at the major changes it came with and how radically different it was compared to its predecessors but they came back fast with 8.1 reacting to a lot of the concern.

After the questionable Xbox One reveal, ut had to do a lot of sucking up to consumers that it was perceived to have been previously superior to. How is it going to react in the mobile space?

Microsoft has eaten its fair share of humble pie recently, and I think a new humbler more consumer-focused Microsoft will be a considerable force in the industry and a force for good at that.

What was the most significant event for your company?

Attending The G-Star gaming festival in Korea was a major event for Legendary Games in 2013.

If you truly want to understand the Far East gaming market, there is nothing better than going out there and experiencing it for yourself and seeing what they're all about. What we learned there significantly influenced our platform, pricing and partner policy.

The biggest event for us though was a big tech breakthrough.

We have spent the last three years largely developing new technology and we had a major breakthrough on solving the problem of synchronous multi-player online play on mobile devices, so we are looking forward to using this in out games being published in 2014.

What was your favourite mobile game of the year?

My favourite game of 2013 was the racing game, Blur Overdrive.

I'm not usually a fan of racing games but I am a fan of shooting stuff and I know the guys who made it.

I tend to prefer strategy and I'm still engaged in a lot of older games that were released ages ago like Clash of Clans, Legendary Heroes, and Hero Academy.

Blur Overdrive

What do you predict will be the most important trends in 2014?

I think that this will be the year we start seeing massive market fragmentation and platform convergence.

At the moment there is a cosy duarchy between Android and iOS, and I think in 2014 or early 2015 that's all set to change! As I mentioned before, I don't believe Microsoft and Nokia will be content with the market share that they have and will come back fighting big style.

When Samsung eventually brings out its own operating system and app store, this will totally undermine Android's position so we can expect in the near future there to be four or even five horse race to happen rather than the two player dominance we have now.

We will also start to see massive convergence; games like Candy Crash can be playable on every device with the same account and all the traditional browser based operators are looking to follow suit and come on to mobile and tablet.

We should start to see the opposite happening more with smart device app studios working how to port their games to console, PC and TV. Everyone needs to start planning a multi-platform strategy.

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

Same for us and all: Make more games and make them available on more platforms!

Thanks to Ewan for his time.