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.
Paul Baldwin is the CEO of JoyBits, the developer behind Doodle God and Doodle Devil games, which combined with its entire game portfolio have been downloaded more than 160 million times.
Pocket Gamer: What was the most significant news in 2014?
Paul Baldwin: Just how competitive the market place is and how perceived "slam dunks" games like Supernauts and Vainglory from talented studios like Grand Cru and Mega Evil Mega Corp are having a hard time gaining viable monetization traction.
Both were backed by excellent VCs and both games were in development for a long time.
How did your business focus change in 2014 and what was the most significant news event for your company in 2014?
In 2014 we had two objectives:
- Maximize revenue for our premium Doodle series business, and
- Go full steam into F2P with Doodle God 2 going into full production and looking fantastic.
We were able to achieve both while moving the most of our team into F2P games production.
What was your favourite mobile game of the year?
Leo's Fortune. The graphics are lovely and my kids get a kick out of it.
What do you predict will be the most important markets for your games in 2015?
Certainly the US and UK will remain at the top of the list but Russia and China are becoming much more important.
Innovation plus strong brands will continue to win the dayPaul Baldwin
I suspect Korea in 2015 as well with the launch of Doodle God 2.
What do you predict will be the most important trends in 2015?
I'm still waiting for the midcore or console-quality game trend that I've been hearing about for the last two years to actually occur so I'm down on predicting trends.
Of course we will continue to see the big publishers re-skin their successful games with Hollywood IP, and UA and monetization pressures will continue to mount as game budgets get bigger.
Having said that innovation plus strong brands will continue to win the day and JoyBits is in a good position to benefit from this.
What's your New Year's resolution and what resolution would you enforce on the industry?
Having been in the industry for 20 years, it never ceases to surprise me or amuse me to hear folks who have done fuck all positioned as "gurus" or who actually believe they are gurus.
That's always good for a laugh!
Thanks to Paul for his time
You can check out all of our 2014 in Review interviews here.