Interview

Western devs should look east to improve monetisation, says Fuse Powered's CEO

Western devs should look east to improve monetisation, says Fuse Powered's CEO

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.

Jon Walsh is the CEO of mobile monetisation platform FusePowered.

At Pocket Gamer Connects San Francisco 2015, he's on talking on the Acquisition Power Panel in 7 July from 12:45pm and the Monetization Expert Power Panel from 4:50pm.

PocketGamer.biz: What do you think has be the biggest story in the mobile gaming industry of 2015 so far?

Jon Walsh: I would say the wild success of Crossy Road and their ability to drive massive revenue through ads has been a big one.

Most recently I think Bethesda proving that the big console boys can send a shock wave through mobile when they do things right is also pretty compelling.

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 personally think there is still so much revenue being left on the table by publishers here in the west that there will be a lot more growth to come.

Publishers are getting more sophisticated in terms of utilizing tools to understand their customers better and engage with them to give them what they want more quickly.

I think the west is behind in terms of culture and expertise around revenue
Jon Walsh

They are also learning through iteration what games, mechanics and economies resonate with a western audience. I think the west is behind in terms of culture and expertise around revenue, but that the market will catch up.

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

I've been working on branded games for such a long time in my career, but perhaps ironically I think the same fundamental principles hold true for mobile as they do for console or PC.

Make a great game that truly fits a strong brand with a passionate audience and you can realize great success.

Sounds easy but of course the devil is in the details. Making branded games is harder and more costly, but when done right they can bring a much larger audience.

Stardom: The A List was a great game with very strong metrics before Kim Kardashian, and the theme fit her and her persona very well. The results speak for themselves.

I think there is a lot more potential for this kind of success but that we will see a lot of poorly done imitations along the way.

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

Massive potential but I'm still waiting for the 'killer app'.

When I was in the console business we used to say that every new console needed that must have game to drive hardware penetration. I think new technologies like these are no exception.

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

Fallout Shelter because of the overall polish and slightly deeper design of the game. I still think they have more to do to drive staying power in the game, but I've read some great ideas online that could make it a big long term success.

Huge potential if they keep working on it, which is a very mobile mentality that I hope Bethesda embrace.

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

Seeing my pals and talking smack about the bright future of our industry!!

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

Well it's a panel so I never quite know how they'll go, but my intention is to deliver some real goods that publishers can take away to help them make their business better.

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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