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#PGCLondon 2016 speaker IPC Ventures' Shelley Lau on why we can expect more M&A in 2016

#PGCLondon 2016 speaker IPC Ventures' Shelley Lau on why we can expect more M&A in 2016

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.

  • LK Shelley is a Managing Partner at IPC Ventures, a VC investor in mobile-first tech startups.

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

LK Shelley: IPC Ventures is a venture capital investor in early stage startups primarily in mobile ecosystem; mobile gaming is part of it.

Shelley is the managing partner of the firm, overseeing all the investment activities as well as managing portfolio companies defining strategy, closing partnerships and driving growth.

Shelley has been in the industry for over 16 years and has extensive experience in startups, investment, and operations; she has covered different stages of the venture investments from seed to late stage, to M&A.

She also started a number of ventures herself with a couple of exits.

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

2015 was an exciting year seeing enormous advance and penetration of mobile device/smartphones, connectivity and infrastructure technologies not only in developed countries but also in emerging markets.

The speed of the success of Kabam's Marvel: Contest of Champions is a good sign

There are a couple of takeaways from 2015:

  • The advances stated above are crucial drivers and enabler for a market shift for mobile as a platform for casual gaming to the more sophisticated and high quality mid and hard core gaming;
  • Another development which indeed is a growing pain - a great divide in the competitive mobile gaming landscape; while revenue and market size continues to increase especially for the established and experienced studios/developers, the ever growing UA cost will force the independent and small developers to take other paths such as the premium model which isn't always a wise option.
The ever growing UA cost will force the independent and small developers to take other paths.
LK Shelley

At the same time, the high marketing cost will drive down the margin for even the bigger developers with successful games; e.g. the success of Kabam's latest hit, Marvel Contest of Champions passing $100M revenue in less than 12 months is a positive sign.

However, the high spending to scale up to that level - especially in marketing - would be a challenge for all.

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

2016 will see more in one trend among many which has started in the past couple of years: diversification and consolidation.

The prime example is Activision's acquisition of King.

Each of them is a giant of its own domain and had been trying to diversify and expand into different game genres, generally from casual to mid/hard core gaming and vice versa.

Historically, it has been challenging for studios with one or two big titles to repeat successes in a new game or genre.

As a result, the quest for diversification drives the consolidation activities; there will be many more deals happening in 2016 mainly with the mid-size studios.

Another one to highlight would be more cross-border acquisitions will happen among the eastern buyers and the western developers. The other way around would be true as well but not at same pace and volume.

Ray has been an enthusiastic gamer since the age of 5 and has seen his work published all over the internet. He is a proud iPhone 4S owner and absolutely adores working for 148apps. He also plays a mean game of Jetpack Joyride.

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