Interview

PG Connects speaker spotlight: Veli-Pekka Piirainen, Critical Force

PG Connects speaker spotlight: Veli-Pekka Piirainen, Critical Force

It's just weeks to go before Pocket Gamer Connects 2014.

Our first conference will be held in London on 20-21 January - you can find out more details here.

So to whet your appetite, we're finding out more about some of our speakers.

Veli-Pekka Piirainen is CEO of Critical Force Entertainment, a Finnish start-up game studio established in 2012.

He also is a former studio manager of Supercell North, as well as a lecturer and head of Kajak Game Development Lab.

Pocket Gamer: What do you think has been the most significant event for mobile games during 2013?

Veli-Pekka Piirainen The biggest headline and most significant event has been the unbelievable success of Supercell: also when Supercell sold 51 percent of its shares to GungHo Online and Softbank for $1.5 billion.

For my company, it didn't have any direct influence, but for the Finnish game industry it will have a huge impact.

What do you think will be the biggest challenges and opportunities in 2014?

The challenges are the growing fragmentation of devices (especially Android), and even harder discoverability of games and rising user acquisition costs.

The opportunities are the rise of emerging markets, especially China, southeast Asia, Brazil, and the Middle East and northern Africa.

How will indie developers fare? Any advice for people launching new games?

It will be tough year for most of the indies. Of course, there will be rising stars, but 2014 will be dominated by big players.

My advice, therefore, is try to find other game developers who will cross-promote your game. A good example is how Fingersoft (creator of Hill Climb Racing) cross-promotes other developers' games. Paid user acquisition is waste of money for start-ups and indies.

How big do you think the East-meets-West opportunity is, and which markets are you most excited about in 2014?

It will be a huge opportunity for us and we are very excited especially about Chinese market, because our game will be released there in the beginning of 2014.

What are you expecting to learn from attending Pocket Gamer Connects?

As well as good speeches and hearing about best practices, success stories, and not-such success stories, I expect good networking and exchanging information with other developers.

What was your favourite mobile game of 2013?

Of course our game Critical Missions: SWAT,  but also Frogmind's Badland.

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

My New Year's resolution is to have more time for my personal life, not just for my company, and in 2014, that we will make our most successful game so far!


 

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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