Interview

2011 in review: Rob Weber, SVP, W3i

2011 in review: Rob Weber, SVP, W3i
Kicking off our period of industry reflection on what happened in 2011 and what might happen in 2012 is Rob Weber, senior VP and co-founder of W3i.

The US company is an iOS and Android app discovery and distribution outfit, which works with developers and publishers to launch and promote free games and apps.

PocketGamer: What do you think was the most significant event for the mobile games industry in 2011?

Rob Weber: Over the long term, I think we'll look back at Amazon's launch of its first Android-powered device, the Kindle Fire, as the most disruptive event that occurred in 2011 for mobile gaming.

Why? It signifies the first credible threat to the iPad for tablet market share, and it presents a massive future opportunity for game developers given how many credit cards Amazon has on file.

What was the most significant event for your company?

AppX, the $10 million cash extension of our Recharge Studio fund for accelerating the growth of mobile social games.

What was your favourite mobile game of the year?

I love what our partner Appy has done with SpellCraft School of Magic for iOS. It's taken the freemium model and made it fun, and also brought a more RPG-style game to the masses by utilising wizards, spells, etc.

As for a game we haven't been involved with, that's hard since 16 of the top 25 grossing iOS apps are currently partners. I suppose I'd have to say Halfbrick Studio's Jetpack Joyride.

What do you predict will be the most important trends in 2012?

One trend that will start to have a real impact on mobile game developers' bottom-line for 2012 will be the widespread adoption of cheap Android tablets, led by the Kindle Fire.

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

My New Year's resolution would be to start playing more games on my Android phone. I still spend almost 100 percent of my time playing games on iOS devices.

The resolution I would enforce on the industry is to stop over-hyping things, and start getting back to the basics of what really drives long-term business growth.

Thanks to Rob for his time.
Contributing Editor

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

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