Interview

2014 in Review: Mark Robinson, deltaDNA - Too many games are not making money

Future trends from past events

2014 in Review: Mark Robinson, deltaDNA - Too many games are not making money

As 2014 begins to fade into memory, we're taking a look back at the events that have dominated the last 12 months in mobile gaming.

As such, we've asked the industry's great and good to give us their take on the year, as well as predicting the trends that will dominate in 2015.

Mark Robinson is CEO of Edinburgh-based analytics company deltaDNA.

Pocket Gamer: What was the most significant news in 2014?

Mark Robinson: For me it was Samsung's Gear VR.

Maybe not a game changer right now, but it's paving the way for a bright future in VR app development if it becomes an affordable and widely accessible consumer product.

How did your business focus change during 2014?

Our focus is constant and unerring; to enable developers and publishers to maximize the value from their data and analytics.

Gear VR - a future game changer?

This year we secured our second funding round with Edge VCT and were independently assessed as the most flexible and richest analytics environment available to the games industry.

What was your favourite mobile game of the year?

I spent a lot of time playing turn-based RPG Brave Frontier. The game gave plenty of options to progress and monetization was never forced. The collecting, evolving, crafting and competitive nature of the game had me hooked for months.

Crossy Road - a viral success

However, I may have a new favorite in Crossy Road, an infinite Frogger/Flappy Bird mash up that will consume your life!

What do you predict will be the most important markets for games in 2015?

Brazil/South America for me, but then that's common knowledge, right?

As hardware and software prices are insanely expensive in South America, the F2P market thrives over there.

Smartphones/internet cafes are much more easily accessible in these countries so the F2P model makes perfect sense. Tailoring games to appeal to the South American marketplace would be a shrewd move for 2015.

What about the important marketing trend for games in 2015?

There's a huge number of films based on retro titles due out in 2015, so it's impossible to think that there won't be loads of game spin-offs that will appeal to middle-aged gamers.

Terminator, Mad Max, Junglebook, Peanuts and Star Wars are all set for 2015 release. There'll be the usual crop of super hero films and games, and we can't wait to see a gaming spin-off to 50 Shades of Grey.

What do you predict will be the most important trends in 2015?

The acquisition bubble will burst as the industry can no longer live with continued poor engagement levels and lifetime value.
Mark Robinson

The acquisition bubble will burst as the industry can no longer live with continued poor engagement levels and lifetime value.

More sophisticated player management will increase engagement levels and there will be much more rapid analysis of acquisition spend to make sure it is really delivering value.

Too many games are not making money and this has to be an issue for us all.

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

To cycle everywhere but not necessarily in lycra and not to Skype or email someone when they are two desks away - get off your ass and chat to them instead.

For the industry it's simple - know your players better.

Thanks to Mark for his time.

You can check out all of our 2014 in Review interviews 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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