2011 in review: Dave Castelnuovo, Bolt Creative

2011 in review: Dave Castelnuovo, Bolt Creative
Now also available on Android, Windows Phone, Brew and Facebook, it's been almost three years since Pocket God was first launched on iPhone.

The multi-million seller is the most updated game on the App Store, and highlights US developer Bolt Creative as one of the best examples of how to build a brand through constant interaction with your audience.

And co-founder Dave Castelnuovo has plenty more ideas in the tank, although taking it freemium isn't one of them...

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

Dave Castelnuovo: I'm not sure if there are any significant single events that are on par with the events of previous years. Certainly there wasn't anything equivalent to the launch of the iPad or iPhone.

However, the notable thing about 2011 is that groundwork in mobile that has been laid out over the last 2 or 3 years is continuing to grow and is starting to really impact the traditional game industry.

So far it hasn't impacted consoles such as the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360, but who would have guessed that Nintendo could have a lackluster 3DS launch. And although I think the device looks awesome, it looks like the Vita will have a tough time as well.

What was the most significant event for Bolt Creative?

While 2010 was a year where we tried to expand to other platforms such as Facebook and Android, 2011 was a year where we brought our focus back to iOS.

We launched the Universal version of Pocket God Journey to Uranus [previously iPad only], completed the 42nd update for the main Pocket God app and our comic is doing incredibly well.

What was your favourite mobile game of the year?

Without a doubt, it was the Hector: Badge of Carnage series. We need more game like this - incredibly funny, strong narrative ... I wish they hadn't stopped at episode 3.

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

  • Even more growth

  • Tying your tablet or phone to your TV in order to get more of a console experience

  • There will be a rebellion against freemium - Zenonia 4 and Dungeon Hunter 3 are signs that freemium is going a step too far

I think freemium is this generation's version of the phone sex line - kids everywhere max out their parents' credit cards by buying Smurfberries by the millions and there has got to be some kind of backlash.

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

Our New Year's resolution is to hone our skills at developing games. There is a lot of content out there that I really admire and I want to continue to get better at our craft.

For the industry, I would resolve to maintain variety is the types of games we develop. It feels like many developers are sheep that just follow the latest trend (*cough* freemium *cough). Make a game that you would play instead of one that mimics the latest money making scheme.

Follow your gut. If we all do the same thing, then the industry will become stagnant.

Thanks to Dave for his time.
Contributing Editor

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