PG Connects speaker spotlight: Ken Asakura, Adways Interactive

Ad networks need to improve their transparency

PG Connects speaker spotlight: Ken Asakura, Adways Interactive

It's just weeks to go before Pocket Gamer Connects 2014.

Our first conference will be held in London on 20-21 January - you can find out more details here.

So to whet your appetite, we're finding out more about some of our speakers.

Ken Asakura is CEO of Adways Interactive, an app advertising agency specializing in games. It works with over 300 game companies including Namco Bandai, Nordeus and Game Insight in terms of their global app user acquisition needs.

Ken began his career as an ADSL communication engineer at multinational Swiss engineering firm ABB, before working on MMORG Ragnarok as a global marketing manager. He joined Adways in 2011 to spearhead its US expansion.

What do you think has been the most significant event for mobile games during 2013?

Ken Asakura: Softbank and GungHo acquiring Supercell. We work with a lot of western developers trying to get into Asia so this was a great example of a western game developer and success in attacking Asia.

What do you think will be the biggest challenges and opportunities in 2014?

In terms of advertising, the lack of transparency. Ad networks are integrated with each other so it is becoming more difficult to get transparency into your media buy. This trend will likely to continue as the app advertising business gets more competitive.

How will indie developers fare? Any advice?

Tough and it may never get any easier. The rich will become richer so funding needed to get quality users, which are becoming more expensive.

Indies need enough funding to test and market their game for at least three months until hitting success.

How big do you think the East-meets-West opportunity is, and which markets are you most excited about in 2014?

Asia will continue to grow. 2012 was the year when a lot of Japanese developers looked at the US market. 2013 has been the opposite. I expect this trend to continue into 2014. European developers with great online experience are an exciting bunch.

What are you expecting to learn from attending Pocket Gamer Connects?

I expect to meet more EU developers who are interested in the Japanese and American market. Hopefully we can help them out.

What were your favourite mobile games of 2013?

Marvel Puzzle Quest and Candy Crush Saga.

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

There needs to be more transparency in media buying. Advertisers not knowing what they are buying is a problem for the industry.

Plus, I need to find a girlfriend and settle down a bit.


Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at 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.