PG Connects Speaker Spotlight: Colin MacDonald, Channel 4

Broadcaster's games guru on the challenges of money

PG Connects Speaker Spotlight: Colin MacDonald, Channel 4

After taking over London at the start of 2014, Pocket Gamer Connects will make its grand return on the 16-17 June in the Nordic paradise of Helsinki.

We expect you'll be thinking of grabbing a ticket (if you haven't already).

And to give you a hint at what you can expect, we're shining the spotlight onto our speaker selection to give a deeper look at the speakers taking the stage at PG Connects.

Since first joining the games industry in 1990, Colin MacDonald has brought dozens of titles to market, including licences of Lemmings, Prince of Persia, the early Grand Theft Auto games, and the double BAFTA-winning game Crackdown.

He's now commissioning editor for games at Channel 4 and chairman of facial animation specialists Speech Graphics.

Pocket Gamer: What's been the biggest story in mobile gaming this year?

Colin MacDonald: Now we're all bored of hearing about the King IPO, I'd pick the Unreal and CryEngine changing business models as having the potential to change mobile gaming the most.

What do you think will be the biggest challenges/opportunities during 2014?

Money. The most successful are struggling to spend it wisely, most others realise it takes money to make money.

How well do you think indie developers are doing at the moment?

Sympathetic platform holders are helping indie developers enormously at the moment - and deservedly so.

Experiment cheaply and learn quickly if you can. Partner if you can't.
Colin MacDonald

But there's a danger the Apples and Sonys of this world need their most creative titles to also be cash cows, and the question is whether many indies are hard-nosed enough.

The mobile gaming market is expanding across the world, so what's your advice for developers looking to make their games a hit in new markets?

Experiment cheaply and learn quickly if you can. Partner if you can't.

What are you most looking forward to at Pocket Gamer Connects?

What I'm looking forward to *least* is that sense of old age that comes from seeing a free bar at a conference and not taking full advantage...

Which mobile game has made the biggest impression on you this year?

Not specifically mobile, but I only played Brothers recently, and in terms of what all gaming - mobile or not - should aspire to, it's got it in bucket-loads.

And finally, in 140 characters describe what you think the hot topic in mobile gaming will be in the next six months.

The "gamification" (shudder) of exercise; smartphones/wearables picking up where Wii Fit left off.

Grab your tickets for Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki here! and keep up-to-date with new speakers via the website.

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.