PG Connects speaker spotlight: Colin MacDonald, Channel 4

Indies need to push boundaries in 2014

PG Connects speaker spotlight: Colin MacDonald, Channel 4

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.

Commissioning editor for Games at Channel 4, and chairman of facial animation company Speech Graphics, Colin MacDonald has been in the games industry for over twenty years.

He worked on the Grand Theft Auto franchise at DMA Design, and Crackdown and APB at Realtime Worlds.

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

Colin MacDonald: Supercell: they're an inspiration to us all that you can build that value of company in such a short space of time by having incredible focus.

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

I think the biggest challenge is that app discoverability will become even more difficult than it is at the moment, and increasingly require traditional marketing to provide reasonable confidence of hitting the top spots in the charts.

How will indie developers fare? Any advice?

2014 will continue to be exciting for indies, as long as they continue pushing boundaries in terms of style, content, and - probably most importantly for 2014 - platforms.

As established platforms become increasingly difficult to be successful on, indies will do well by being flexible and open-minded to new platforms; even if Tetris on my Pebble watch isn't cutting it just yet.

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

For UK and European developers, it's definitely Asia that's most exciting. We've had considerable success launching titles over there where the brand wasn't known at all, but has still had a massive impact.

The market is established enough for games to be properly targetted and more of those opportunities can be tapped into.

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

I'm hoping to find more developers that have the balance between being passionate about their product whilst also being market-savvy enough to ensure it's got huge potential.

What were your favourite mobile games of 2013?

The new Snowman game [from Channel 4] obviously, but also Rymdkapsel and 10000000.

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

I'd enforce a no-bullshit or politics policy on the industry if I could. We all have enough battles to fight without making up more amongst ourselves.


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.