Having hit London at the start of the year, Pocket Gamer Connects will be making its grand return on the 16-17 June, with the fun set to resume in Helsinki.
Naturally, you’ll be thinking of grabbing hold of a ticket (if you haven’t already got one). So to whet your appetite further, we’re throwing the spotlight onto our speaker selection to show you what you could see if you attend PG Connects.
In this spotlight, we’re handing centre stage to Nick Malaperiman, a real veteran of the industry. He has launched console, PC and mobile games since 1995 when he joined EA. Following 7 years of hard work launching the likes of FIFA, NBA and NHL, he then founded Nokia's Games marketing division - launching 300 plus games and apps in 7 for the company.
He’s also the founder of Chunky Pig Marketing - now part of Roadhouse Interactive – and it’s that role he’ll be showing off in Helsinki in June.
Pocket Gamer: What has been the biggest story in mobile gaming this year, both in general and for your company in particular?
Nick Malaperiman: From a general point of view, the sordid Flappy Bird story further proved to people that maybe it's not just the big boys that can succeed - but equally, it further showed the frailty of our ecosystem when a game like that can see so much success.
From my point of view, [the biggest story of the year was] my marketing company Chunky Pig being acquired by Roadhouse Interactive. What this meant was that we were able to take our stable of publishing services to a whole host of global developers, and offer them the chance to launch their games, without being at the mercy of a one sided publishing deal.
Rather than taking the publisher's approach of ransacking IP and taking the lion's share, we came up with a ground breaking fee-based model alongside a single digit revenue share figure.”
What do you think will be the biggest challenges/opportunities for the mobile game industry in 2014?
The big boys are winning the battle; marketing and acquisitions costs continue to spiral, there seems like further consolidation in the industry with the likes of Unity and discoverability remains a challenge.
I also sense there is a movement by Apple and Google to may take a bigger hand in the game analytics, privacy and user information or attribution that could effect a lot of people.
How well do you think indie developers are doing at the moment? What’s going well in the indie sector and what do you think they could do to keep themselves afloat in a tough market?
Rather than taking the publisher's approach of ransacking IP and taking the lion's share, we came up with a ground breaking fee-based model alongside a single digit revenue share figure.Nick Malaperiman
The guys that are focusing making world class mobile games that meet the need of their target audience are the ones that will thrive. Copycat games are ok for a while, but not sustainable.
Developers need to lose the obsession with getting rich with free-to-play games, and just build great games. If the games are compelling and polished, they have a chance to make good money.
I think they also need to base all of their investment on their strategy around recouping it around their forecast future revenue; make sure they do proper soft market testing, pay attention to attracting organic users, and make sure it will be reviewed as a four-out-of-five game.
The mobile gaming market is expanding across the world, with opportunities in South America burgeoning at the same time that the market in Asia has absolutely exploded. What is your advice for developers looking to make their games a hit in these territories?
Generally they need to do due diligence around local languages, and localise all materials for launch in that country through all marketing materials, collateral and app store copy.
Also, in general, they do need a local partner, on the ground, in that market to help them out.
What are you most looking forward to at Pocket Gamer Connects?
Meeting my European friends, Hearing how the Nordics are doing such a great job, meeting new games developers, and ultimately getting word out about my company's strengths!
Which mobile game has made the biggest impression on you this year, either for good or bad?
Top Eleven is great - though wish it had more real football in it and Hearthstone is world class and deserves acclaim.
And finally, in 140 characters describe what you think the hot topic in mobile gaming will be in the next 6 months and why that’s the case.
Apple will start to take more control of a bigger part of the ecosystem. There will also be a backlash around free-to-play games.