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.
- Manish Agarwal is the CEO of Nazara Technologies, the Mumbai-based publisher behind the first Indian game to top local Google Play download charts, and also working with ZeptoLab to culturalise Cut the Rope in 2016.
PocketGamer.biz: What was the most significant mobile games news of 2015?
Manish Agarwal: The rise of local games in India is the most significant news of 2015. More and more people are playing locally-made content by Indian developers.
A market which was ruled by international developers and their games is now topped by Indian games and this will only boost the confidence of local developers in the Indian gaming ecosystem.
How did the focus of your business change in 2015?
Our focus has always been that there should be simple, casual games that first time users can play and relate to.
Look at the Indian film industry - it has been, and will always be, dominated by Indian content. The case will eventually be same for the Indian gaming market.
Look at the Indian film industry - it has been, and will always be, dominated by Indian content.Manish Agarwal
We have signed the biggest kids' IP, Chhota Bheem - it's bigger than Disney in this market. We've signed the captain of the Indian test cricket team.
Our belief in simple casual games with mass IPs has been vindicated by them reaching number 1 spot in Google Play in recent months.
We stopped worrying about what game reviewers and critics say about the simple casual games and we went with our understanding of fulfilling the Indian consumers' needs.
What do you predict will be the most important trends in 2016?
For the Indian gaming ecosystem the most important trend of 2016 will be local indies developing more and more games for the Indian market.
What was your favourite mobile game of the year?
My favourite game personally is Chhota Bheem Jungle Run, and not because it was published by Nazara, but because it shows that if you have sharp understanding of the target audience and power of IP.
In India, if you don’t fall prey to temptation of developing game for yourself, you can be highly successful both in terms of revenue and recognition.
What's your New Year's resolution and what resolution would you enforce on the industry?
To let Indian developers stop lamenting the lack of revenues in India and demonstrate that games made for India are topping the grossing charts.
I believe the this alone would inspire many indies to think of India, and force a change in thinking from Google and iOS to solve the last mile friction in micro payments.
You can check out all of our 2015 in Review interviews here.