Player Research's Graham McAllister on why you need to hone UX before spending on UA

What to expect at PGC San Francisco 2015

Player Research's Graham McAllister on why you need to hone UX before spending on UA

Marking our first conference in North America, Pocket Gamer Connects San Francisco is happening on 7-8 July at The Village.

And tickets are still available.

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.

Graham McAllister is the founder of Player Research, an award-winning user research and playtesting studio.

At Pocket Gamer Connects San Francisco 2015, he'll be talking on the subject of Using Player Research to Reduce your Cost on 7 July at 2.30pm. What do you think has be the biggest story in the mobile gaming industry of 2015 so far?

Graham McAllister: Android surpassing iOS in terms of revenues.

I think most studios ... are wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars needlessly on UA.
Graham McAllister

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?

As a company focusing on making sure our clients' games offer a world-class player experience, this doesn't change how we approach games.

Brands and celebrities continue to get more important. Is this a good thing for mobile gaming?

The theme/setting/brand of a game has always been important for certain games and perhaps attracting new players who otherwise wouldn't try a game.

The game still has to offer a great player experience of course.

There's lots of hype about wearables, VR and AR at the moment. Do they excite you as gaming platforms?

AR excites me more than VR I'd say. I think the Minecraft/HoloLens demo at E3 was very impressive.

What's been your favourite game of 2015 so far. Why?

I'm enjoying You Must Build A Boat at the moment.

The hidden depths of You Must Build A Boat

It's a game which has hidden depth, yet I can play it in very short bursts. Great chiptune soundtrack too.

What are you most looking forward to at Pocket Gamer Connects San Francisco 2015?

I wouldn't single out anything in particular at this stage.

San Francisco is such a hotbed of creativity, I think just being present with key studios and decision makers in the industry is what I'm looking forward to most.

What can you reveal about the talk you're giving at Pocket Gamer Connects San Francisco 2015?

There's lots of talk about user acquisition (UA) strategies and how to acquire users, but I think most studios are looking at this the wrong way and they are wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars needlessly.

They should really make sure that there are no barriers to the player enjoying their game the way they intended, but few studios prove this is true.

My talk shows how they can deliver a better game experience (UX), which in turn will make the most efficient use of their UA budget.

That's why my talk is "UX before UA".


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.