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Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5 advent calendar: Day 24: Christmas special offer - 20% off!

Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5 advent calendar: Day 24: Christmas special offer - 20% off!

Here comes Santa Claus right down Pocket Gamer Connects lane! Okay, we know the lyrics doesn’t work that well but welcome to the Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5 advent calendar!

Much like actual advent calendars, every day we’ll open a digital door which behind them contains a delicious treat that reveals something about our fifth digital conference taking place on February 8-12, 2021.

Check back each day to find out more about what’s in store for you in the new year!

Get a 20% discount on indie, developer/publisher and non-developer/publisher tickets by using code CELEBRATE2020 and book now!

We’re also allocating a limited amount of free passes solely for small indie developers, enabling them to meet with investors and publishers, and learn from the industry’s biggest names. If you think you qualify, sign up here.

  1. Week-long conference
  2. Network with hundreds of games industry professionals
  3. Free meeting platform
  4. Matching developers with publishers
  5. World class speakers
  6. The Big Indie Pitch (Mobile Edition)
  7. Pocket Gamer Connects Careers Week
  8. Investor Connector
  9. Journalist Bar
  10. The Big Indie Pitch (PC and Console Edition)
  11. Meet The Media
  12. Incredible sessions
  13. Discord server
  14. Hear from our content manager about the speakers for our next event!
  15. Essential UA and retention techniques [FREE VIDEO]
  16. Get essential insights into pitching your indie game with our Big Indie Pitch manager (part one)
  17. Super Early Bird ticket prices end tonight
  18. 14 incredibly insightful tracks
  19. Your feedback from a year of events
  20. Get essential insights into pitching your indie game with our Big Indie Pitch manager (part two)
  21. Accessing conference sessions via meeting platform
  22. How to get in free
  23. See what Pocket Gamer Connects achieved this year and hear new plans for the future from our very own CEO
  24. Christmas special offer - 20% off!

Click here to view the list »
  • 1 Week-long online conference

    Week-long online conference logo

    Welcome to the first day of the Pocket Gamer Connects advent calendar!

    Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5 goes live during the week of February 8th to 12th, and will attract over 1,500 industry professionals from all around the world - including Europe, Asia, North America, South America and the MENA region.

    Each attendee of our digital conference will learn from more than 200 of the world’s leading authorities in the games industry from the likes of Facebook, Bandai Namco, Square Enix, King, Microsoft, Ubisoft, SEGA and more all throughout the week.

    These expert speakers will share their expertise, advice, thoughts, analysis and experiences on 14 conference tracks. Our conference tracks contain a whole host of content such as essential UA and retention techniques, global trends, hands-on game development insight, investment advice, the art of publishing, and beyond.

    Throughout the week, each attendee will have access to the MeetToMatch meeting platform, enabling them to organise and conduct meetings over the internet with incredible efficiency. Additionally, each attendee will also have access to the conference Discord server where they can connect with industry peers immediately and even catch up with speakers after they have conducted their sessions.

    Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5 also plays hosts to several amazing fringe events which will take place on different days throughout the week of February 8th to 12th, but we don’t want to give away too much too soon - all the more reason to check back with the advent calendar every day!

    A festive discounted offer

    Get a 10% discount on indie, developer/publisher and non-developer/publisher tickets by using code DECKTHEHALLS10 and book now!


  • 2 Network with hundreds of games industry professionals

    Network with hundreds of games industry professionals logo

    It’s the second day of the Pocket Gamer Connects 2020 advent calendar, and now it’s time to open the second door!

    On February 8th to 12th, over 1,500 games industry professionals representing 680 companies from 75 countries across the world will log on their computers to virtually attend Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5.

    Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5 kicks off our event series for 2021, so why not start the new year in style and start your networking early by joining us online!

    Everyone and anyone

    At our conferences, we have a wide variety of industry professionals who join us each year, from C-level executives to students and lone developers. In 2020, over 6,000 industry professionals attended our conferences, with 69% of attendees being game makers (developers/publishers).

    At Pocket Gamer Connects, we pride ourselves in connecting you with the entire games industry. Through our free online meeting scheduler - free to all attendees - you can make the connections that are crucial for your business out of those 1,500 attendees. Additionally, every attendee will gain access to the event Discord, enabling you to connect with industry peers and speakers immediately.

    Also, there are networking and matchmaking sessions such as the publisher SpeedMatch sessions, which pair developers and publishers together speed-dating style, and the Investor Connector, which sets pre-selected applicants who are looking for funding up with investors in a series of one-on-one meetings.

    A festive discounted offer

    Get a 10% discount on indie, developer/publisher and non-developer/publisher tickets by using code DECKTHEHALLS10 and book now!


  • 3 Free meeting platform

    Free meeting platform logo

    Over 1,500 games industry professionals will virtually attend Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5 - that’s a lot of potential contacts!

    Pocket Gamer Connects prides itself on connecting the global games industry together, and one of the biggest ways we do that is by providing each attendee with access to the MeetToMatch platform.

    Meet MeetToMatch

    Previously used at our last digital events, as well as other industry events such as Nordic Game, GIC, Quo Vadis and more, the MeetToMatch platform is a much-trusted networking service that promises not only amazing functionality, but also reliability, so you can get your meetings organised and conducted with no bumps along the way.

    It has an advanced search function and integrated video conferencing. It matches your needs to those of other delegates, and then automatically schedules a conversation with just a couple of clicks in your browser. A calendar view enables you to keep track of your scheduled meetings as well as the talks and panels you’re planning to watch.

    You can specify what video meeting platform you want to use for your meetings. For example Zoom, Skype, or stick to 8x8 which is the default. Once that’s set up, you can use the advanced search to find other attendees who match your business interests. When you’ve found somebody you want to connect with - or if they find you - the system will automatically schedule a virtual meeting and generate a link. The links become visible 30 minutes before your scheduled meeting, so don’t worry if they don’t appear right away - and make sure your time zone is correct (your calendar needs to be set to your local time zone: it’ll warn you if you haven’t set that correctly!). There’s more information at the official Pocket Gamer Connects FAQ page.

    A festive discounted offer

    Get a 10% discount on indie, developer/publisher and non-developer/publisher tickets by using code DECKTHEHALLS10 and book now!


  • 4 Matching developers with publishers

    Matching developers with publishers logo

    Whether you’re a developer seeking help on releasing your game, or a publisher scouting up-and-coming talent, the Publisher SpeedMatch sessions are right for you!

    Alongside Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5’s meeting platform, the Publisher SpeedMatch runs as a curated session which pairs developers and publishers together in a series of speed-date style meetings. These short meets aren’t designed to close a deal, but enable an initial introduction that can be followed up with a longer meeting during or after the conference.

    The Publisher SpeedMatch sessions are open to all qualifying attendees of Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5. There’s no additional charge, but there is a filtering process. So if you’re a studio looking for somebody to bring your game to market, or a publisher looking for new talent, sign up to the Publisher SpeedMatch now!

    If you’re not registered for Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5, then make sure you take advantage of our…

    Festive discounted offer

    Get a 10% discount on indie, developer/publisher and non-developer/publisher tickets by using code DECKTHEHALLS10 and book now!


  • 5 World-class speakers

    World-class speakers logo

    Ever since the beginning of the Connects international series, Pocket Gamer Connects has established a reputation for presenting the finest speakers, industry leaders and big brands from the mobile games industry and beyond. And with Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5, that statement remains true.

    Over 200 of the world’s leading authorities from the games industry will share their expertise, analysis, advice and thoughts on 14 conference tracks, streamed live and recorded for on-demand viewing.

    Notable speakers include:

    • Bandai Namco, Karim Farghaly
    • DICE, Fawzi Mesmar
    • King, Sabrina Carmona and Luke Jackson
    • Marvel Entertainment/Lucasfilm, Cavan Scott
    • Microsoft, Tara Voelker
    • Rovio, Gustavo Viegas
    • SEGA Europe, Bobby Wertheim
    • Square Enix, Albert Custodio Martinez
    • Ubisoft, Aileen Bergman and Kurston Timothy
    • Wizards of the Coast, Lynn Hogan

    In the build-up to the event, we’ll reveal more of the incredible speakers joining us for our fifth digital conference. Keep an eye out for speaker announcements on our official site.

    A festive discounted offer

    See these speakers deliver their amazing sessions by taking advantage of our 10% discount on indie, developer/publisher and non-developer/publisher tickets by using code DECKTHEHALLS10 and book now!


  • 6 The Big Indie Pitch (Mobile Edition)

    The Big Indie Pitch (Mobile Edition) logo

    Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5 is our first conference of 2021. The event features many fringe events to connect the global games industry together. One of these fringe events includes our beloved pitching competition - the Big Indie Pitch.

    A Big Indie Pitch sees indie developers engage in a speed-dating-styled pitching competition, where participants can win bespoke promotional packages worth thousands of dollars.

    It’s a fun but hotly contested event that has proved a genuine game-changer for teams in the past. It provides a rare opportunity to participants to learn from some of the industry’s leading authorities as they vote for the most original, entertaining and polished games.

    All entrants also get a free ticket to Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5!

    So if you’re an indie developer working on a new mobile game and want a shot at fame and glory, sign up to the Big Indie Pitch now!

    Stay tuned for more details if you’re a non-mobile indie developer...

    A festive discounted offer

    If you’re not an indie developer, then you can get a 10% discount on developer/publisher and non-developer/publisher tickets by using code DECKTHEHALLS10 and book now!


  • 7 Pocket Gamer Connects Careers Week

    Pocket Gamer Connects Careers Week logo

    The games industry, by its nature, is always in a state of flux, even more so due to the COVID-19 crisis. In order to support jobseekers during this difficult time, we’re hosting another Pocket Gamer Connects Careers Week to run during our fifth digital conference in February.

    Since debuting at our second digital conference, the Pocket Gamer Connects Careers Week will feature again at Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5, enabling jobseekers to find the next step in their career in the games industry.

    What can you expect from the Careers Week?

    • A digital jobs board listing on the main event channel
    • A mail-out of key vacancies to all attendees
    • A daily ‘recruitment hour’ in the Discord channel where recruiters and job-seekers can gather
    • A virtual jobs fair (match-making event where we connect job seekers with recruiters)
    • Focused ‘recruitment’ talks, panels and roundtables
    • Supporting editorial coverage on PocketGamer.biz

    How can I get involved?

    1) Jobseekers join us for free!

    We are making a number of jobseeker tickets available free to people currently out of work due to the current climate and looking for a new role.

    This will not only give you access to the specific recruitment opportunities, but also all other aspects of Pocket Gamer Connects Digital Digital #5 including five days of professional talks and panels, the meeting platform and more!

    So if you’re a jobseeker looking for their next opportunity, you can apply for a pass to Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5 right here.

    2) Recruiters welcome!

    We have a range of free and paid opportunities for businesses looking to hire new talent.

    If you would like more information about premium recruitment opportunities, sponsorship or get involved in some other way, please contact chris@steelmedia.co.uk.

    Contact us by using this form to share your vacancies with the games industry.

    Not a jobseeker? Take advantage of our festive discounted offer

    If you’re not a jobseeker or want guaranteed access to Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5 - including Careers Week - you can register for your tickets now and get 10% off by using code DECKTHEHALLS10. Book now!


  • 8 Investor Connector

    Investor Connector logo

    The popular match-making event returns to Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5 in February 2021. The Investor Connector pairs game companies - or individuals - with investors looking for opportunities to spend the right kind of money in the right sector.

    The Investor Connector isn’t designed to close a deal, they enable developers and investors to make initial contact which can be followed up with a longer meeting during or after the conference.

    Let us know how much funding you’re looking for using this form, as well as a little about your company vision, who’s on the team, what the business model is and what you would use the money for.

    If you make it through the approval process, we’ll line you up a one-to-one slot with an investor. After that, it’s up to you.

    And if any investors would like to get involved, you can sign up by using this form!

    The Investor Connector is only open to registered attendees of Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5.

    Notable investors taking part include:

    • 1Up Ventures
    • Initial Capital
    • LVP
    • 1Up Capital
    • Makers Fund
    • Transcend Fund

    Festive discounted offer

    Get a 10% discount on indie, developer/publisher and non-developer/publisher tickets by using code DECKTHEHALLS10 and book now!


  • 9 Journalist Bar

    Journalist Bar logo

    We’re on day nine of the Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5 advent calendar today, and behind this door we have a special shoutout about the Journalist Bar!

    If you’re a developer working on a game, one of the most valuable benefits of joining over 1,000 professionals at the leading digital mobile games conference is the chance to meet the press.

    Luckily at Pocket Gamer Connects we always have you covered, our whole editorial team from PocketGamer.com, the longest-running and leading b2c mobile gaming site will be present at the conference all week long. If you’re an indie developer working on a game, this could be your chance to get it on the experts’ radar.

    The Journalist Bar will run every day between 2:00pm to 3:00pm UK time.

    Please note: the Journalist Bar is only available to registered attendees of Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5, so on that note…

    A festive discounted offer

    Get a 10% discount on indie, developer/publisher and non-developer/publisher tickets by using code DECKTHEHALLS10 and book now!


  • 10 The Big Indie Pitch (PC & Console Edition)

    The Big Indie Pitch (PC & Console Edition) logo

    Earlier on in the advent calendar, we revealed that the mobile edition of the Big Indie Pitch is returning for Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5. Now, we’re excited to reveal that the PC and console edition of the Big Indie Pitch is also returning!

    A Big Indie Pitch sees indie developers engage in a speed-dating-styled pitching competition, where participants can win bespoke promotional packages worth thousands of dollars.

    Since 2018, we’ve been accepting PC and console pitches into the Big Indie Pitch to cater towards a huge variety of indie developers.

    It’s a fun but hotly contested event that has proved a genuine game-changer for teams in the past. It provides a rare opportunity to participants to learn from some of the industry’s leading authorities as they vote for the most original, entertaining and polished games.

    All entrants also get a free ticket to Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5!

    So if you’re an indie developer working on a new PC or console game and want a shot at fame and glory, sign up to the Big Indie Pitch (PC and Console Edition) now.

    A festive discounted offer

    If you’re not an indie developer, then you can get a 10% discount on developer/publisher and non-developer/publisher tickets by using code DECKTHEHALLS10 and book now!


  • 11 Meet The Media

    Meet The Media logo

    We welcome the specialist and mainstream media to our shows, giving you the chance to raise awareness for your project out into the world of the games industry.

    The editorial teams from all our websites will be on hand, with the opportunity to get professional feedback in person on your work in progress from our games journos at the Journalist Bar.

    These brief consultations give you access to expert industry knowledge that would cost hundreds of dollars on the open market. You don’t need to book either - just drop by the Journalist Bar on the Discord server with your demo ready to go!

    And if you work in the media, you can apply for press accreditation right here!

    A festive discounted offer

    Get a 10% discount on indie, developer/publisher and non-developer/publisher tickets by using code DECKTHEHALLS10 and book now!


  • 12 Incredible sessions

    Incredible sessions logo

    At Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5, over 200 expert speakers will share their knowledge, analysis, experiences and insights with more than 1,500 games industry professionals across 14 conference tracks.

    Pocket Gamer Connects has established, from the very beginning, a reputation for presenting the finest speakers, industry leaders and big brands from the mobile games industry and beyond.

    In the build-up to the event in February, we have been revealing some of the world’s leading authorities joining us throughout the week, with more yet to be announced. We’ve highlighted some amazing speakers and their talks you won’t want to miss at Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5:

    • Graphite Music, Inder Phull, Director and Head of Music and Innovation: How brand partnerships and celebrity collaborations can drive growth for your titles
    • King, Sabrina Carmona, Executive Producer/Senior Director, Head of Farm Heroes Saga: What I have learnt in 10 years in game development
    • Imperia Online, Aleksandar Ivanov, Marketing and Business Development Specialist: Live Ops and its importance for your game
    • Melanin Gamers, Annabel Ashalley-Anthony, Founder: Gaming and Activism
    • Microsoft, Tara Voelker, Game Accessibility Program Manager: Creating accessible gameplay in PC/console games
    • Paladin Studios, Kay Gruenwoldt, CEO; Ubisoft, Aileen Bergman, UA Expert; Funday Factory, Kristian Bang Nørgaard, CEO and Partner; Whatwapp Entertainment, Martina Gianfreda, Co-founder; Wargaming, Tom Putzki, European Spokesperson: What 2020 taught us and what to expect now
    • StarBerry Games, Antti Hattara, CEO and co-founder: The Hail Mary move: turning an idle game into a merge puzzle
    • Wizards of the Coast, Lynn Hogan, Creative Lead: Art + Publishing

    You can find more about some of these expert speakers here and here, or bookmark the official site and keep an eye out for any announcements.

    A festive discounted offer

    Get a 10% discount on indie, developer/publisher and non-developer/publisher tickets by using code DECKTHEHALLS10 and book now!


  • 13 Discord server

    Discord server logo

    Earlier in the advent calendar, we mentioned how each attendee of Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5 will have access to the MeetToMatch platform, enabling them to organise and conduct meetings with potential new contacts.

    Now, we want to shout about another tool where attendees can do that and more! Introducing the Pocket Gamer Connects Discord server.

    The Discord server features dedicated track channels for all of our great content where you can discuss talks and sessions. Plus other chat channels to talk about everything from development, publishing, investment and even shameless plugs.

    The Discord server is also the place where you’ll find access to several of the digital fringe events happening at Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5 including the Journalist Bar and Careers Week channels where recruiters will be available to discuss job opportunities and general recruitment advice.

    Features of the Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5 Discord server:

    • Chat channels for all tracks
    • Event announcements – keep up with the goings on, who’s up next and any other general announcements
    • Meet the sponsors
    • Business chat on trending topics.
    • Fringe events – (some require additional sign-up – please ask)
    • Careers week with dedicated advice hrs (1pm – 2pm)
    • Journalist bar – (2pm-3pm Daily)
    • Help desk – if you are stuck or need help the team will be on hand
    • 24/7 networking

    The Pocket Gamer Connects Discord server is open 24/7 throughout the week of Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5, with a help desk available every day between 8:00am - 8:00pm UK time.

    A festive discounted offer

    Get a 10% discount on indie, developer/publisher and non-developer/publisher tickets by using code DECKTHEHALLS10 and book now!


  • 14 Hear from our content manager about the speakers for our next event!

    Hear from our content manager about the speakers for our next event! logo

    No doubt you’re already making plans for your 2021 conference schedule, and Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5 (February 8-12) will be the first big event for most savvy people in the games industry. And we’re leading the charge back to live events in London mid-year too. What can you expect to see there?

    We are now on the 14th day for the Pocket Gamer Connects advent calendar! Behind this door, we took a moment to catch up with Steel Media’s own content manager Patty Toledo on the challenges of running online conferences, what speakers she is most proud of booking for February’s Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5, what tracks and topics we should be looking forward to at the next online conference, and her thoughts on returning to live events in 2021.

    Patty Toledo pictured hosting a panel at Pocket Gamer Connects

    PocketGamer.biz: What speakers are you most proud of booking for Pocket Gamer Connects Digital 5?

    Patty Toledo: I am very proud and happy to have all the speakers we have at all of our events, as I do my absolute best to curate just the most interesting people. But for Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5, I must say I am extra happy to have Cavan Scott, an amazing writer that works for some small companies, including Marvel, DC, LucasFilms, just to name a few; also Annabel Ashalley-Anthony, who is doing an amazing job with Melanin Gamers and giving a voice for the community; and last, but not least, Lebo Kambule, from the Virtual Reality Agency, responsible for Kim Zulu, the famous African Virtual Influencer. I can’t wait to learn more from them. Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5 will be filled with great talents.

    We will still be hosting digital conferences at the start of next year – but they seem popular; what do you think is the best thing about attending a conference online?

    In my opinion, the greatest advantage of digital events is the accessibility -- I know we all miss live events and live networking opportunities, but we often forget that developers in further areas, including South America, Africa, Australia, South East Asia, among others, don’t always have the same opportunities to travel around the world to meet other developers, investors and publishers. Digital events are a great opportunity for these developers to reach companies that would otherwise be a challenge for them, for a fraction of the cost of an international trip. It is easy to take it for granted, especially after such a hard year, and there are challenges and downsides to it, but we should also keep in mind the opportunities digital events present.

    Have you found any challenges to running online conferences?

    There are certainly a few challenges - the attention span of attendees in online events is clearly not the same as in live events; fighting Zoom fatigue and competing for the audience time and interest; and making sure the content is always fresh, diverse and up-to-date, without counting on the advantage of being in a different region. But I believe we have been able to give a lot of value to companies. I hope the attendees can feel and see how hard we work in order to deliver the best quality possible to them.

    Can you tell us if there are any new tracks or topics that we should look out for at Digital #5?

    Our events always cover all aspects of game development and business and there is content for all tastes and interests. It’s so hard to name just a few, but I would say:

    • How brand partnerships and celebrity collaborations can drive growth for your games (Inder Phull, Graphite Music)
    • Creating a multiplatform transmedia strategy for games (Houston Howard, One 3 Creative)
    • The intersection of games and fashion (Marta Waydel, Portobello & Kelly Vero, SoReal)
    • A fascinating round-table about co-development and outsourcing.

    We are planning to be in London in June - in person! What are you looking forward to the most about returning to live events?

    I think everybody that works with events is looking forward to being on site again. I miss the networking. Although digital events are great and I am very thankful for the possibility of bringing great content to our attendees, nothing beats meeting people in person.

    Who would be your DREAM guest at one of our conferences in future?

    That’s a hard one. I have been lucky to work with most of my heroes at some point of my career. But one person I would absolutely love to have as a speaker is Andy Serkis, talking about his experience with games and other media. He is one of my favorite people.

    Thanks Patty!

    A festive discounted offer for Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5

    Like what you hear? Register now and don’t miss the Christmas ticket bargains! Get a 10% discount on indie, developer/publisher and non-developer/publisher tickets by using code DECKTHEHALLS10 and book now!

  • 15 Essential UA and retention techniques [FREE VIDEO]

    Essential UA and retention techniques [FREE VIDEO] logo

    The leading games industry conference, Pocket Gamer Connects, has historically covered topics and issues all across the games industry, from global trends to improving your approach to live ops and beyond. And with Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5, we continue to cover all these incredibly important topics of discussion, including top growth strategies, and here’s a video to demonstrate what’s in store.

    One popular track at our previous conferences has been The Growth Track. It provides essential insight into user acquisition, retention techniques and how to grow your game. We’ve had some amazing sessions over the years and especially in 2020, with our speakers pivoting to deliver their sessions digitally.

    We wanted to share a talk that took place at Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #4 this year, to show you what wonderful insight awaits you at our next online conference in February 2021. Facebook’s Olha Muzychenko delivers a superstar session which provides guidance around efficient sharing flows, smart monetisation tactics, and useful measurement tools that will help game developers sustain their social growth on Instant Games.

    You can expect much more content at Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5! We recently announced the conference tracks taking place at our next event, which covers hand-on game development insight, key trends in the monetisation landscape, investment advice, and how to get your game to market. We even go beyond mobile and cover PC, console, XR gaming, while even diving into transmedia and how games intersect the worlds of films, TV, comics, music and more.

    A festive discounted offer for Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5

    Like what you see? Register now and don’t miss the Christmas ticket bargains! Get a 10% discount on indie, developer/publisher and non-developer/publisher tickets by using code DECKTHEHALLS10 and book now!


  • 16 Get essential insights into pitching your indie game with our Big Indie Pitch manager (part one)

    Get essential insights into pitching your indie game with our Big Indie Pitch manager (part one) logo

    If you’re an indie developer, you can spread the word about your games by taking part in one of the Big Indie Pitch sessions. These competitions are an essential fringe event at the leading Pocket Gamer Connects games industry conferences.

    Earlier in the advent calendar, we caught up with our content manager Patty Toledo regarding what speakers she’s planning for our next event and 2021.

    Now on day 16 of the Pocket Gamer Connects advent calendar, we caught up with Big Indie Pitch manager Sophia Drake as she reveals what makes our pitching competitions special, and how we’ve moved the pitches online, and how well that’s worked.

    PocketGamer.biz: In your own words, what makes the BIP special?

    Sophia Drake: I think there are a few things that make the Big Indie Pitch special. Firstly, the amazing developers and judges come together to make a really welcoming and relaxed atmosphere, and this is really important. The networking and learning are arguably the most important parts.

    Looking at the way in which the pitch operates, I think the multiple short pitch times of four to five minutes, one after the other, really helps make the pitch unique and different. This might sound like not much time to someone who hasn’t been a part of one, but there’s a very good reason for these short pitch time limits. Not only does this force developers to focus on the key points of their game, but it also enables them to perfect that elevator pitch. I always say, if you have a meeting with a publisher or investor, or alternatively reach out to a journalist, you’ve probably got a matter of minutes to grab their attention. So this is exactly what we want to encapsulate within the pitch’s format.

    Finally, it would be remiss of me not to mention that despite it being a competition, every developer walks away with written feedback based on the judge’s comments, and we also have a round-up of each pitch on PocketGamer.com which covers every single entry. So this definitely isn't an event focused on “winners” and “losers”.

    How well has it translated to online? How does the experience differ digitally?

    When it comes to the digital pitches, we’ve tried to capture everything we possibly could that makes the pitch special - literally just take the format online. Thankfully, I can say 99% of the pitch has transferred over seamlessly.

    Unlike the physical pitches you can’t simply hand your mobile device or laptop over to the judges so they can play the game! Apart from that, however, the digital pitches are near-identical to the physical ones. We use breakout rooms in order to mimic the separate judge tables (with two judges at each virtual table), and then I manually move developers between each “table” once their last pitch has finished.

    We are even able to have a virtual awards ceremony and send out virtual certificates and badges for the winners to proudly show off.

    Sophia Drake with a former winner of a Big Indie Pitch

    Are there any challenges of running online BIPs that you’ve found?

    You might expect me to say that things such as technical issues or presenting are the biggest challenges when running the digital Big Indie Pitch. But once we had ironed these out at the start of the pandemic, I can honestly say that keeping everything moving is the biggest, and most tiring challenge.

    Many people don’t realise that I mostly run the Big Indie Pitch myself, especially on the day. In practice what this means for a digital pitch is that I am concurrently managing four different devices in order to monitor everything happening in different breakout rooms. On top of this, with 15-20 developers and around 10 judges, planning the whole event can become something of a juggling exercise. And not being able to greet and congratulate people in person at the moment can be somewhat disorientating for all involved.

    It’s never truly overwhelming, however, and my love for the Big Indie Pitch and the opportunity to meet all the developers and see all of the amazing undiscovered games makes doing this a joy, whether that’s digitally or physically.

    Thanks Sophia! We’ll be back shortly for part two!

    You can still sign up to take part in the Big Indie Pitch mobile, PC and console editions respectively. Both take place at Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5 during the week of February 8th to 12th. Don’t miss out and sign up now! And if you want to practice before February’s conference, there is a standalone Big Indie Pitch in January.

    A festive discounted offer

    If you’re not taking part in the Big Indie Pitch, you can get a 10% discount on indie, developer/publisher and non-developer/publisher tickets by using code DECKTHEHALLS10 and booking now!

  • 17 Super Early Bird ticket prices end tonight!

    Super Early Bird ticket prices end tonight! logo

    Looking to join us for Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5 on February 8th to 12th? Do you love a bargain? Of course you do!

    Lucky for you, you can save up to $395 with our Super Early Bird ticket prices.

    HOWEVER, our Super Early Bird discounts end at midnight tonight! So make sure you don’t miss out and book now!

    The event at a glance

    A festive discounted offer

    You can get a double discount on indie, developer/publisher and non-developer/publisher tickets by using code DECKTHEHALLS10 and booking now!


  • 18 14 incredibly insightful tracks

    14 incredibly insightful tracks logo

    Day 18 is upon us in the Pocket Gamer Connects advent calendar, time to reveal what’s behind this door…

    Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5 returns on February 8th to 12th, packing 14 conference tracks with over 250 speakers sharing their fantastic insights, expertise, analysis and experiences.

    Each track is dedicated to a different aspect of the mobile games industry, with some even going beyond the mobile realm:

    A festive discounted offer for Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5

    Like what you see? Register now and don’t miss the Christmas ticket bargains! Get a 10% discount on indie, developer/publisher and non-developer/publisher tickets by using code DECKTHEHALLS10 and book now!

  • 19 Your feedback from a year of events

    Your feedback from a year of events logo

    People love Pocket Gamer Connects. Our games industry conference prides itself in supporting the games industry, connecting professionals from all around the world together. And with our digital series, that still rings true - and we have the testimonials to prove it.

    In previous surveys we’ve run, 96% of attendees have said they would attend a Pocket Gamer Connects conference, while 97% of attendees would recommend us to a colleague. We have also had some amazing things said about our events, especially our digital ones.

    Read on below to see what industry experts have said about previous digital events and what you can expect for Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5.

    “Pocket Gamer Connects is easily one of the most productive and efficient events. Either to find the best game devs or just to meet same-minded people, it's the event to attend!” - APPTUTTi, Daniel Camilo, Business Developer (Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #4)

    “Pocket Gamer Connects Digital gives individuals and businesses the opportunity to learn and grow from the perspective of friendship, fun and camaraderie. I would a million per cent recommend this event to my network at any stage of their development. Steel Media makes online events look easy, so this is a must for any organisation looking to level up their events and connections.” - SO REAL Digital Twins, Kelly Vero, Head of Game Development (Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #4)

    “I love the vibe, the atmosphere and the people. I've been through some online and offline events since Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki 2019 so now I clearly understand that PGC is the most valuable conference for a mobile developer.” - Full HP Ltd, Murad Musakaev, Producer (Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki Digital)

    "Thank you and the PGC team! Amazing to see what you guys were able to pull off in record time. I was honored and happy to contribute, and am ready to do it again next time :) I had a lot of fun moderating that panel, and if you guys have another chance, I’d be happy to step up again." - Paladin Studios, Kay Gruenwoldt, CEO (Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #1)

    A festive discounted offer

    Like what you see? Register now and don’t miss the Christmas ticket bargains! Get a 10% discount on indie, developer/publisher and non-developer/publisher tickets by using code DECKTHEHALLS10 and book now!


  • 20 Get essential insights into pitching your indie game with our Big Indie Pitch manager (part two)

    Get essential insights into pitching your indie game with our Big Indie Pitch manager (part two) logo

    If you’re an indie developer, you can spread the word about your games by taking part in one of the Big Indie Pitch sessions. These competitions are an essential fringe event at the leading Pocket Gamer Connects games industry conferences.

    On day 16 of the Pocket Gamer Connects advent calendar, we caught up with Big Indie Pitch manager Sophia Drake as she revealed what makes our pitching competitions special, and how we’ve moved the pitches online, and how well that’s worked.

    Today, we catch up with her again as she offers her thoughts on how COVID-19 has affected the indie community, the return of live events and some of the amazing games she has seen at digital Big Indie Pitches.

    PocketGamer.biz: How has this year of pandemic affected the indie community?

    Sophia Drake: The coronavirus pandemic has certainly had a profound effect on the indie community. To start with the silver lining, the push for digital shows in order to fill the gap has provided many developers with new opportunities to get involved in shows and competitions. This is especially true of those who are in regions that are not often visited, and those with disabilities or a lack of funding.

    Sadly this good is far outstripped by the consequences of the pandemic. There are of course the obvious issues, such as the financial and mental health impacts that have affected many people, which are even more important to those who are self-employed, like many indie developers are.

    On top of this, one of the biggest complications is the lack of visibility and discoverability. Not only does this have an impact on the ability to acquire all important coverage pre-release, or support for the game post-release from the community and consumer, but it has also stilted each developer’s ability to acquire funding from investors, and their opportunities for publishing. As we all know everything is connected and these wider and industry-specific knock-on effects of the pandemic have affected the indie community quite profoundly.

    Obviously, I think this is where the likes of the Big Indie Pitch can really help the community, and thankfully it’s not just us either, as I think that the gaming industry can be incredibly supportive and close-knit, and we have definitely seen people within the industry coming together to do their best this year. This is something I see at every pitch between both judges and developers.

    We are planning to be in London in June. What are you looking forward to the most about that?

    We most certainly are returning to London, and I for one couldn’t be more excited. London is always one of our biggest and most action packed competitions of the year and so just from that point of view it should be amazing. However, being back to hosting it live is making this even more exciting than normal. From thinking about standing on that stage and saying a big welcome to everyone, to the ability to play the games there and then, whilst also chatting with the developers over a drink. Oh and of course seeing the winner holding the ceremonial baseball bat. It all has me very very excited.

    Beyond this though, anyone who knows me, knows I love travelling around the world in order to highlight new and undiscovered indie games, whilst also hanging out with everyone in person. So, 2021 has me excited for much more than London, and I'm very excited to be able to once again host pitches in the likes of San Francisco, Cologne, Helsinki and Busan to name but a few. It should be noted though that this doesn’t mean the end of the digital pitches either, as we’ll be blending our offering to both physical and digital in order to make sure as many developers have the opportunity to be a part of The Big Indie Pitch.

    The Big Indie Pitch Mobile Edition at Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #4

    Can you give some shout outs to any great games you’ve seen at the digital pitches in 2020? Do you have a personal favourite?

    Of course! 2020 has been a year of surprises for all of us. Luckily for me, the pitch has offered up some really positive surprises too. Obviously every single game has impressed me, and I think this year we’ve had more honourable mentions than ever before. Honourable mentions are those that fall just outside the top three but that on any other day could have even won. So I think this alone is a testament to the quality of 2020.

    I don’t want people to think that by me not mentioning them that means something, as truth be told for every game I name here I’m probably missing an amazing winner that will come to me just after we publish. Additionally, this question really should be an article in and of itself. Heck, let me just say right now, head over to https://www.bigindiepitch.com/games/ where you can see all of our winners, or any of our articles promoting all of the amazing games we’ve seen this year!

    In terms of some of my personal highlights, though - firstly the one that instantly comes to mind is the The Digital Big Indie Pitch at Pocket Gamer Connects Digital Helsinki (PC+Console Edition) winner Our America. To paraphrase my own winners’ article:

    “Our America is a poignant autobiographical VR title that explores institutional police racism and life as a black American in America today. Within the game, players are placed into the shoes of a father and son who randomly get pulled over by the police on their way to school. From here, the audience must make quick decisions, answer questions, and constantly be aware of their very existence in the situation, as any wrong move is the difference between life and death.”

    (Our America Trailer you can find here. Other trailers are in the linked articles if you want them.)

    Honestly, it’s a very powerful title, and one that I think everyone should experience, especially if you would like a greater insight into the kind of prejudice and discrimination that black Americans face on a daily basis.

    I first met the developer Bryant when speaking at The University of Southern California, and the premise of Our America, and his passion, impressed me so much I encouraged him to come along to the pitch, a pitch he later deservedly won, much to his own shock. It was a very humbling pitch, and a very deserving winner for not only the game, but also because of the message it is telling, and the passion of the developer.

    Beyond Our America, our recent winner of the Mobile pitch Rallyallyally was incredibly impressive, mesmerizing and gorgeous and a game that I am super excited about. Alongside this, BattleBrew’s latest game Noodle SouperStar (this time a cooking game) was also super fun and full of life whilst also being engaging and enjoyable. Oh and it would be remiss of me to miss off our former Big Indie Awards third place winner Happy Volcano, and their crazy parking game You Suck At Parking.

    Every single one of these are day one games for me, and I can say that they share that mindspace with the likes of Resident Evil: Village and NEO: The World Ends with You to name but two. For those who know me, they’ll know this is very high praise.

    Thanks Sophia!

    You can still sign up to take part in the Big Indie Pitch mobile, PC and console editions respectively. Both take place at Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5 during the week of February 8th to 12th. Don’t miss out and sign up now! And if you want to practice before February’s conference, there is a standalone Big Indie Pitch in January.

    A festive discounted offer

    If you’re not taking part in the Big Indie Pitch, you can get a 10% discount on indie, developer/publisher and non-developer/publisher tickets by using code DECKTHEHALLS10 and booking now!

  • 21 Accessing conference sessions via meeting platform

    Accessing conference sessions via meeting platform logo

    On the third day of the Pocket Gamer Connects advent calendar, we spoke about how each attendee of Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5 will have access to the MeetToMatch platform, and how anyone can schedule meetings with industry peers.

    Today, we show you how you can virtually attend the wonderful sessions we have in store for you at our next digital conference.

    How do I attend conference talks?

    The MeetToMatch platform is the home of our conference schedule as well as your meeting agenda. Once you have a profile on the site, you can head over to the program tab which will show you every single session taking place at Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5 spanning the week of February 8th to 12th.

    Under that program tab, you can look through each session to see which ones you want to attend. Next to each session listing, there’s a ‘details’ tab and an ‘add to agenda’ button. The details provide you with information on who is speaking, their background and what the session is about. If that session interests you, you can hit the ‘add to agenda’ button. A window will appear which asks whether you want to stay available for meeting requests, which you can click ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to.

    Once you’ve added sessions you’d like to attend, you can click the ‘my schedule’ tab which opens up a calendar looking window, showing you what’s been added and what times they are. During the week of the event, attendees will have Zoom links sent to them, linking to the conference tracks of where sessions are taking place.

    The MeetToMatch platform for Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5 will go live about two or three weeks ahead of the conference, so you can’t try this out for yourself until then. But for more detailed information on what to expect, you can visit the FAQ page on our official website, or watch the video below on how to use the MeetToMatch platform at our events.

    A new addition for Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5 is the ability to showcase products on your profile page, making it easier for potential contacts to see what you’re working on, and creating something of a ‘virtual expo’ vibe. We’ll reveal more about this in 2021!

    A festive discounted offer

    Like what you see? Register now and don’t miss the Christmas ticket bargains! Get a 10% discount on indie, developer/publisher and non-developer/publisher tickets by using code DECKTHEHALLS10 and book now!


  • 22 How to get in free

    How to get in free logo

    What’s better than taking advantage of our amazing Early Bird discounts at Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5? Getting in free! Here’s how you can do just that...

    1) Take part in the Big Indie Pitch

    The ever-popular pitching competition returns, with a chance for media coverage, instant feedback and a total prize pool worth up to $15,000. Apply today and pitch your mobile, PC or console game to a panel of expert judges at Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5.

    2) Share your expertise

    Are you a budding presenter that is ready to share their expertise with the games industry? We’re inviting you to get involved and speak at Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5. Whether you’re an investor or service provider, an artist or a developer, UX designer or a producer, there will be many people who can benefit from the insight you’ll provide at our event. Submit your talk today or contact patty.toledo@steelmedianetwork.com for more information.

    3) Looking to make your next big career move?

    Pocket Gamer Connects Careers Week takes place throughout the week and gives you the opportunity to connect with great games recruiters! As part of this initiative, we are making a number of jobseeker tickets available for free to those who are currently looking for a new role. This will not only give you access to the specific recruitment opportunities, but also all other aspects of Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5.

    4) Work in the media

    We welcome all forms of media to attend Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5 to cover the event for the latest news, feature research and in-person interviews. All we ask for in return is that you let your audience know in advance you’ll be there, and encourage them to come along by sharing this link. Apply for accreditation here.

    5) Indies go free

    We have allocated a limited number of free passes solely for small indie developers who may not otherwise be able to easily attend events. If you would like to apply for a free indie developer pass to Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5, please use the form here.

    A festive discounted offer

    None of these options apply to you? Or you want to guarantee your place at Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5? Register now and don’t miss the Christmas ticket bargains! Get a 10% discount on indie, developer/publisher and non-developer/publisher tickets by using code DECKTHEHALLS10 and book now!


  • 23 See what Pocket Gamer Connects achieved this year and hear new plans for the future from our very own CEO

    See what Pocket Gamer Connects achieved this year and hear new plans for the future from our very own CEO logo

    It’s door 23 of the Pocket Gamer Connects advent calendar - we are just two days away from the big day itself! On Christmas Eve Eve we bring you another interview with exclusive revelations about the past, present and future of Pocket Gamer Connects.

    Despite the challenges of 2020, it has been an amazing year for Pocket Gamer Connects’ parent company Steel Media. Today, we caught up with CEO, and long-time champion of the mobile games industry, Chris James and quizzed him on the company’s achievements for the year, how well digital conferences have been received, what he’s looking forward to in the 2021 conference season, and other plans for the future.

    PocketGamer.biz: What surprised you most about the move to digital events in 2020?

    Chris James: I'm not sure that 'surprised' is the right adjective and I do need to note that none of us would have chosen the circumstances that forced the move online, which has brought genuine suffering for many. But I was genuinely impressed by the Steel Media team's ability to transition so quickly and deliver so much of the Pocket Gamer Connects magic in digital format. I was also heartened and immensely grateful for the continuing support of this amazing industry and the general willingness of people to adapt and engage.

    Can you give us some specifics about how well digital conferences have been received?

    Absolutely. As you can see from our post-event reports, we've managed to maintain similar attendance numbers to many of our physical events with roughly 1,500 delegates in attendance each time, listening to 200-300 speakers, attending five or six fringe events (such as Investor Connector, Big Indie Pitches and Careers Week sessions) and holding thousands of meetings.

    The further expansion of our already global reach was gratifying, with over 88 countries represented at each show. And we were pleased to maintain a high-level of game-makers in the audience (approximately 70% of delegates are developers and publishers).

    What were your personal highlights of the year?

    Pocket Gamer Connects London 2020 was a phenomenal way to start the year for us, delivering the biggest Pocket Gamer Connects conference ever (with 2,500 attendees) and cementing our position as the undisputed leading B2B games event in the UK, as well as the biggest mobile-centric games event in the Western world.

    On a personal note I'm glad in hindsight that I got a chance to see some friends in Barcelona, Helsinki and Amman in person before the lockdown started in March.

    Beyond that I was really delighted by the way the whole team proved able to pivot and turn an initial idea in early March into our first digital conference in April… and then go on to evolve and improve the formula throughout the year. I may be somewhat biased, but I really think we have the best events team in the business and have put on amazing digital shows in this challenging year.

    The launching of new concepts such as the in-depth MasterClass series and PG.Biz RoundTables was also a highlight, although arguably the biggest new arrival was LaunchPad, a new digital event for promoting mobile games that reached an audience of over three million streamed views across three days of Twitch streams alongside 100K+ reads on Pocket Gamer and 38.5M social reach!

    Chris James at Pocket Gamer Connects London

    What are you most looking forward to about 2021’s conference season?

    Just getting it started really! I'm maybe slightly different to most people in that I usually hit the end of December already fired up with the possibilities of a brand new year.

    We've got a packed line-up of events already with Pocket Gamer Connects, MasterClasses, Big Indie Pitches and LaunchPads, plus a load of new things we're going to be announcing in the New Year too! 2021 is going to be awesome and I just want to get cracking...

    It looks like live events will return in June 2021. Why do you think going back to physical conferences is important for the games industry?

    Much as I've come to really enjoy the digital events (and we will continue them for some time to come), this industry is a people industry and there's no substitute for the excitement of travelling to a new town, wandering a show floor, making random connections over coffees or beers and generally connecting face-to-face.

    I think most people in the industry (especially the business development folks) really thrive on the energy of sitting down to share game and business ideas, or celebrating together. I think the first few shows in particular are going to feel quite special because of the 12-month gap, and Pocket Gamer Connects London (which already has a great 'games industry family' feel) will be no exception. Can't wait to see some old friends and meet new ones in June!

    Are there any other plans that you’re excited to reveal?

    Of course! We have no less than five exciting new projects in development across the company that we think will be impactful, helpful and/or just entertaining in 2021. Some will facilitate networking, others will enhance existing activities, and one or two are brand new. Sadly I can't talk about them just yet. I wouldn't want to reveal the surprise, so you'll have to keep your eyes peeled in the new year!

    Thanks Chris!

    You can come see what all the fuss is about at Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5 on February 8th to 12th!

    A festive discounted offer

    Like what you see? Register now for Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5 and don’t miss the Christmas ticket bargains! Get a 10% discount on indie, developer/publisher and non-developer/publisher tickets by using code DECKTHEHALLS10 and book now!

  • 24 Christmas special offer - 20% off!

    Christmas special offer - 20% off! logo

    It’s Christmas Eve - and that marks the last day of our Pocket Gamer Connects advent calendar! Thank you for joining us on this wonderful adventure.

    On our journey, we looked at the week-long conference, matching developers with publishers, the Pocket Gamer Connects Careers Week, essential insights into pitching your game at the Big Indie Pitch, speakers for our next event, connecting with investors, what Pocket Gamer Connects has achieved this year and more…

    Wow!

    We’re definitely sure Santa has you all on the ‘nice’ list this year, so the Pocket Gamer Connects team is giving you one more present in this season of goodwill. How does a special festive 20% discount on Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5 sound?

    Simply use code CELEBRATE2020 and book your tickets before midday Friday January 2nd.

    From all of us at Pocket Gamer Connects, happy holidays! We look forward to seeing you in the New Year!


Special Features Editor

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Jacki Vause Founder at Dimoso
Patty - you are a legend - the job you do is amazing .Go call Andy Serkis!