Interview

PlayPhone's Anders Evju on viral tokens and social hooks

PlayPhone's Anders Evju on viral tokens and social hooks

Making sure you start the year in style, Pocket Gamer Connects London is happening on 13-14 January 2015 at Vinopolis.

Tickets are now available, and the good news is they are currently 33 percent cheaper than they will be after 15 November.

So to give you a hint at what you can expect, we're shining the spotlight onto our speakers to provide a deeper look at the personalities who will be taking the stage at PG Connects London 2015.

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Anders Evju is the Chief Marketing Officer for PlayPhone, the world's leading mobile gaming network and provider of mobile gaming solutions to top global carriers.

As Chief Marketing Officer, Anders serves as the company's chief business and brand strategist and is the driving force behind PlayPhone's global marketing strategy. Anders has more than 20 years of experience in the wireless industry and has been involved in the creation of mobile entertainment services since its inception in the mid 1990s.

Pocket Gamer: We're showcasing the Best of British at Pocket Gamer Connects so how much of an impact have British game developers had in your gaming life?

Anders Evju: British game developers have a rich history of delivering innovative, top quality games that reinvented the status quo and indelibly impacted the future gaming landscape.

Psygnosis' WipeOut, Core's Tomb Raider, Rare's GoldenEye, DMA/Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto and Criterion's racing games are just a few examples of games that redefined their respective genres and elevated gaming to the next level.

The positive impact British game developers have had on everyone's gaming life is significant and undeniable.

Why is user acquisition such a challenge in the mobile business today and what can games companies do to give themselves a fighting chance?

Incorporating viral tokens and social hooks into games that incentivize word-of-mouth recommendations is a good start.
Anders Evju

The overwhelming number of games on traditional app stores makes game discovery extremely challenging. High cost CPAs, low ARPUs and limited marketing budgets also contribute to making UA challenging.

Maximizing organic downloads is key to success, requiring a well-executed, multi-tiered plan that connects with gamers on many levels - social media, word-of-mouth, PR, reviews etc.

Incorporating viral tokens and social hooks into games that incentivize word-of-mouth recommendations is a good start. Using multiple game distribution channels also helps.

At PlayPhone, we've specifically added features to our social games stores that help game developers overcome discoverability hurdles and increase virality. Game recommendations from friends, visibility into what games friends are playing, easy-to-use game invites and challenges are features of our games stores that help games achieve higher visibility within friend networks and get discovered without excessive CPA campaigns.

What are the major challenges currently facing games businesses when publishing abroad?

Ensuring that games connect with the local culture in every possible way so they are fun to play - genre and IP, gameplay, game mechanics, social hooks, payment solutions, etc.

How can indie developers adapt to survive in the mobile economy?

Ensure games have viral tokens that facilitate discoverability and word-of-mouth recommendations.

PlayPhone's white label Android app carrier is used by many global mobile operators

Also use multiple distribution channels and continue to provide content updates to games to keep the experience fresh and improve usability.

Will new technology like wearable tech and VR change the mobile landscape?

I think wearables and VR adoption would need to establish a fairly significant user base before it has any discernable impact on the mobile landscape. It's probably still a few years away.

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

I'm looking forward to hearing the latest mobile gaming trends, success stores and learnings from speakers, and networking with high-level mobile game developers.

What's your prediction for the mobile gaming industry in 2015?

Faster phones with more capabilities, more advanced mobile games, more tablet games.

Grab your tickets for Pocket Gamer Connects London 2015 here!

Don't forget to keep up-to-date with content from our speakers via the Speaker Spotlight hashtag.

And you can check out all the speaker videos from PG Connects Helsinki 2014 here.

Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at PG.biz 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.

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