Marking our first conference in North America, Pocket Gamer Connects San Francisco is happening on 7-8 July at The Village.
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.
Shintaro Asako is CEO of DeNA West, and will be talking about the future of the mobile games industry in a fireside chat from 10am on 7 July 2015.
PocketGamer.biz: What do you think has been the biggest story in the mobile gaming industry of 2015 so far?
Shintaro Asako: Without a doubt, the biggest story in the mobile gaming industry in 2015 so far is the announcement of the alliance between Nintendo and DeNA.
And I say this without a hint of bias!
We're starting to see the growth in mobile gaming revenue slow down in western markets, while in most Asian countries it's still very high. Is this changing the way you approach the sector?
I predict that not only will the Asian markets continue to grow, but so will the Western markets. Although the Western markets might not grow as fast as China or Japan, I think that the markets will increase in the next few years.
Each market is distinctive and I believe that mobile gaming companies should take advantage of the "glocal" philosophy. In other words, think globally but act local. It's a matter of understanding your audience and making games that attract them.
For instance, if you were to take a look at the top ten grossing games in the Western markets, not many of those games are new or original titles. I think this is part of the reason why the Western market is not growing as quickly as the Asian market in relation to mobile gaming revenue.
Mobile gaming companies should take advantage of the "glocal" philosophy. In other words, think globally but act local.Shintaro Asako
There is a massive number of people wanting to play mobile games, but I think that they are primed for a game that will engage them.
Once a game hits the market that connects with the audience, the market will grow.
Brands and celebrities continue to get more important. Is this a good thing for mobile gaming?
Growth is always good in an industry and each company has its own agenda and strategy.
If celebrities and brands are bringing revenue, expansion, and attention to mobile gaming companies and the industry in general, it can only be a good thing.
There's lots of hype about wearables, VR and AR at the moment. Do they excite you as gaming platforms?
I believe that companies as a whole should always look forward when considering new innovations in their own industry.
That said, the buzz about wearables, VR and AR is warranted. We are a gaming company that is always seeking new technology that can enhance and excite the mobile gaming experience.
Earlier this year we launched Protocol Zero, an immersive first-person stealth adventure for Samsung Gear VR and about a month ago we launched Dingbel, an ultra-simple, non-verbal messaging app designed for Apple Watch.
If there is something that is interesting to us, we embrace the idea, explore the opportunity and learn from the experience.
What's been your favorite game of 2015 so far. Why?
Again without a hint of bias, I'd have to say my favorite game of the year so far is FINAL FANTASY: Record Keeper. I've always been a fan of the Final Fantasy franchise, and we were excited to be able to work with Square Enix on their beloved series.
The way the game combines all the fan-favorite characters in a modern mobile RPG makes for hours and hours of fun.
What can you reveal about the talk you're giving at Pocket Gamer Connects San Francisco 2015?
The topic will be revealed very soon!
I will say that I am very excited to be at the conference with my peers and I cannot wait to discuss current topics in the mobile gaming industry.
What are you most looking forward to at Pocket Gamer Connects San Francisco 2015?
I look forward to seeing what other companies are developing, but most importantly, Pocket Gamer Connects San Francisco 2015 will also give me the opportunity to view near-term trends and where the industry is headed in the future.