PG Connects Speaker Spotlight: Mikael Haveri, Housemarque

Imbibe with the locals

PG Connects Speaker Spotlight: Mikael Haveri, Housemarque

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.

Mikael Haveri works at Housemarque, the oldest game company in Finland.

He describes himself as a "marketing guy who has a passion for indie games" and believes in "making things that connect fans to people rather than corporations" - an approach echoed in Housemarque's output.

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

Mikael Haveri: Hearthstone. There is no other game like it and if it has increased hardware sales, then it is by far the most important story of the year.

What do you think will be the biggest challenges/opportunities for the mobile game industry in 2014?

The challenges are the excess of games. High and low quality titles are swamping the marketplace and getting visibility is ever harder. If developers are having a hard time keeping up, most likely customers are not any better off.

The biggest story of 2014?

The opportunities - well, everyone is doing a mobile game so it seems that there are opportunities. But most likely that is also the reason there are no clear opportunities to speak of.

Personally I would say genres that were previously considered niche expanding and thus creating new possibilities.

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

Indies are thriving and will continue to do so. Premium games are doing fine, but can't be compared to the top performers.

Many indies will have to find a middle ground, but that is a clear opportunity. Small budget games will continue to receive their share, albeit a small one.

What is your advice for developers looking to make their games a hit in emerging territories?

Go to the territories. Get drunk with the locals. Learn.

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

A bunch of Finns in a social setting. It's sounds bleak, but will most likely end up very entertaining.

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

Hearthstone  - change that was instantly tangible.

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.

The new games from Housemarque, PlayRaven, Fingersoft, Next Games, etc. And of course Hearthstone...

Grab your tickets for Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki here! and and don't forget to keep up-to-date our with new speakers.

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.