2014 in Review: Greg Richardson, Rumble - Monetisation will become a lot less aggressive

Future trends from the remembrance of things past

2014 in Review: Greg Richardson, Rumble - Monetisation will become a lot less aggressive

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.

Greg Richardson is the CEO and founder of Rumble Entertainment, a US developer of F2P PC and mobile games, which raised $17.5 million from Nexon in 2013.

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

Greg Richardson: The overwhelming success of the iPhone 6/6+ and the overall trend of larger screens on smartphones. With Apple coming around to the fact that "bigger is better" when it comes to phone screens, game developers can now reach with massive smartphone audience with games originally designed for tablets.

Couple that with the increased GPU power Apple's new Metal framework provides, and designing triple-A for phones got a lot more interesting this year.

How did your business focus change in 2014?

We launched our first game in a beta on mobile and learned that mobile players:

  • Still like to play midcore games that are deeper,
  • Play more often than PC users,
  • Spend more money, and
  • Enjoy playing our game on both PC and mobile.

What was your favourite mobile game of the year?

I have two:

Hearthstone - It took a mobile genre that was long on monetization and short on entertainment and inverted the approach. It was engaging, fun and social in the old school way where you could compete with others in real time. The attention to details and overall quality were exceptionally high.

Super Evil's Vainglory is taking risks

Vainglory - It may be awhile or perhaps even never before it makes a lot of money but Apple's highlighting of the game underscores that innovative games which are fun and take risks and that appeal to more than casual gamers is the future of the business.

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

North America and western Europe as that's where our cultural and design sensibilities lie but Korea and China are close behind because they are already starting to consume bigger, deeper games with synchronous multiplayer while that is still relatively unpaved ground in the west.

Monetization will be a lot less aggressive and occur later in the player's lifecycle.
Greg Richardson

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

  • LTVs driven by long term retention and engagement,
  • Games that are patient with their iteration and polishing before launching,
  • Monetization that is a lot less aggressive and occurs later and later in the players lifecycle,
  • Games that look, feel and play like your favorite console and PC games.

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

Living every day more from the heart, and not the head. Letting go and trusting myself.

Similar for the industry: Creativity comes not from over-analysis or from chasing the low hanging dollars but instead from inspiration, patience and challenging the past.

The mobile industry is ready to transition from a rocket ship ride for capitalist entrepreneurs to the bastion of enlightened creatives who are inspired to entertain and make people happy.

Thanks to Greg 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 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.