Interview

2013 In Review: AppyNation's Andrew Smith

Mobile producing 'more and more opportunities'

2013 In Review: AppyNation's Andrew Smith

As we come to the end of 2013, it's time to look back at the events that dominated the last 12 months in mobile gaming.

As such, we've asked the industry's great and good to give their take on the last year, as well as predicting the trends that will come to pass in 2014.

Andrew Smith is comms manager at mobile games publisher AppyNation, which looks to offer a more balanced relationship between devs and their publishers. Smith also runs his own studio, Spilt Milk Studios.

Pocket Gamer: What do you think was the most significant event for the mobile games industry in 2013?

Andrew Smith:
I think the most significant event is the continued growth of the mobile sector in general.

It's harder to pin down one specific thing, but the fact that the market it still growing and that means more and more opportunities for everyone - which is great.

What was the most significant event for your company?

Personally it was being involved with AppyNation, and helping to launch so many games, but two of them in particular - Transport Tycoon and Hero Bears. Both of them smashed the charts and I can't quite believe I was a very small part of that, if only very small in my view.

For Spilt Milk though, the most significant event didn't happen - we failed to launch any mobile games this year, but that's down to us being perfectionists rather than anything else. Lazarus is being iterated on over and over, while Smash The Block is currently on pause.

2014 should be very busy for us as a result!

What was your favourite mobile game of the year?

I probably played Punch Quest the most - it's really satisfying and crunchy fun. I'm fully expecting The Room Two to become a favourite though.

RocketCat's Punch Quest

What do you predict will be the most important trends in 2014?

I think we'll see 2014 be the last year that anyone has a 'free-to-play' debate. Variable pricing is becoming standard and expected, while both developers and the public are maturing in their outlook.

So hopefully 2014 will be the year that we see the true potential of it applied to many many games. Also, Apple TV. I have to throw that in there.

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

My New Year's resolution is to release more than one game. I'm hoping for two or three next year, but we shall see. As for the industry, I'd like to enforce some kind of control on the platform holders to ensure that they spend money on finding the real gems.

Too often sequels to games that don't need a helping hand get featured slots. Games which will sell regardless, while smaller more interesting fare gets ignored.

Thanks to Andrew for his time.

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.

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