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Funday Factory's Jeppe Kønig: "I see a clear shift towards cross-platform distribution, subscriptions, and social platforms"

Funday Factory's new head of publishing shares his thoughts on the latest challenges in the mobile games industry, and gazes into the cross-platform future
Funday Factory's Jeppe Kønig:

Jeppe Kønig recently joined Funday Factory as its head of publishing, bringing his extensive experience to the casual game company.

But Kønig was also responsible for launching Subway Surfer developer Kiloo's publishing arm, back in 2016. But perhaps the only constant in the mobile games industry is change, and the last six years have seen the rise of a new dominant genre

Kønig speaks with PocketGamer.biz on confronting the latest challenges in the mobile games industry, and what changes these have necessitated.

PocketGamer.biz: How have the key challenges of mobile games publishing changed since 2016?

Jeppe Kønig: The competition has only gotten more fierce on traditional app store distribution though the tools for publishing have never been more accessible and the audience never bigger.

Key industry trends like hypercasual, the rise of instant game platforms and new ways to discover games through subscriptions such as Netflix and Apple Arcade were not around in 2016, so the conditions have changed a lot from only doing traditional mobile app store publishing, and COVID-19 of course only accelerated the growth trajectory of the industry.

Despite the incredible scale of the mobile games industry, the majority of games struggle to sustainably monetise – and the means by which they can monetise have only become more complex. How are Funday Factory approaching this shift into more direct self-publishing?

Our biggest strength will be our platform diversity, robust tech stack and of course vast experience of working with different genres. As a 10-year old studio with a lot of learnings from work-for-hire, we have been through the ups and downs of the industry and at this point we know how to diversify the games we create and the platforms that we partner with.

“Conditions have changed a lot from only doing traditional mobile app store publishing”
Jeppe Kønig

Our studio is not reliant on a single game or store and we aim to be flexible with our distribution approach and business models as well, so we don’t get caught in the competition that is F2P mobile app store publishing at the moment.

What genres are you looking to explore – Funday Factory's wheelhouse of casual experiences or expanding into other areas such mid/core?

This will depend greatly on each platform that we are supporting. When creating instant games for Snapchat, the audience and playing patterns are of course completely different compared to the deeper and more complex genres on PC and console that we are also exploring with our first title. As mentioned, diversity is key to us.

The main element that the players will consistently experience from a Funday game will be strong social play and innovative multiplayer mechanics. We firmly believe that games as a media will only get more social and we wish to support this by coming up with novel new concepts centered around player communities.

What are the biggest market trends in the games industry that you are considering for your future games?

I see a clear shift towards cross-platform distribution, new business models such as subscription and the creation of new places to discover games, such as social platforms, as the biggest game changers for the industry. This is where the future growth will happen, as we simultaneously keep an eye out for new and interesting hardware to support.

Ultimately, the overall perspective remains the same. You need to balance the games you create against the market conditions and audience that exist on the platform you are pursuing. As a 40+ studio, we are well equipped to take calculated risks with any new game we create.

Similarly, much of the mobile games industry is committing to Web3, blockchain, and NFT gaming. Is this an area Funday Factory will be looking to enter?

We certainly keep a close eye on the moving trends within the game and tech industry more broadly, but it is not something that we are actively exploring. Our focus is on building great games first and foremost.