Interview

#PGCHelsinki Finnovator speaker Aki Järvilehto on the wearables opportunity

#PGCHelsinki Finnovator speaker Aki Järvilehto on the wearables opportunity

For the second year in a row, Pocket Gamer Connects is visiting the ever-dynamic game development city of Helsinki, Finland.

Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki 2015 is happening on 7-8 September at Wanha Satama exhibition centre.

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.

Aki Järvilehto is the CEO of recent Helsinki startup Everywear Games, which is making games for wearable devices. Its first game Runeblade launched alongside Apple Watch.

At #PGCHelsinki, Järvilehto is talking in the Finnovator track at 15:50 on 7 September on the subject of Wearable Gaming - The New Frontier

PocketGamer.biz: At the conference, you're talking in the Finnovator track about your experiences with launching an Apple Watch game.

Why are you so bullish about the potential for wearables?

Aki JärvilehtoFor the last few decades we've seen two consistent trends; gaming is turning into more personal and more ad hoc.

We have moved from arcades, to living rooms to pockets, while session length has shortened from hours to minutes. Apple Watch delivers on both fronts.

Apple Watch is the most personal gaming platform ever created.
Aki Järvilehto

It's the most personal gaming platform ever created (you're literally wearing it). It's never in the other room, on the bottom of your bag or pocket of your jacket.

And it's the most available gaming platform and only platform which enables gameplay sessions measured in seconds.

What's surprised you about the reaction to Runeblade?

The level of engagement and passion that we're seeing with the players is just phenomenal.

The top 2% of the players are clocking in over 100 sessions per day, which demonstrates how different smartwatches are as a gaming platform.

Roughly 80% of our player reviews are full five stars. Players have created Reddit forums and Wikis for the game and are very involved.

So it's a good start. But this is just the beginning of the journey and there's a lot more in the pipeline for rest of the year.

More generally, why do you think the Finns have consistently been at the lead of new technologies and gaming opportunities?

Probably something in our DNA? We've been building PCs and hosting demo combos since the late eighties, so I guess we have grown up with new tech.

Besides we can't compete with Hollywood or West Coast simply with production values.

In order to win we need to do things differently and for example go in early with new platforms. Like Rovio did with iPhone or Supercell with iPad.

And, aside from your talk, what else are you most looking forward to at Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki?

We've got an amazing games industry community in Finland and PGC is one of the best ways to catch up with literally everyone.

It's small enough to feel cozy, yet draws in serious talent from all the best companies, so I'm very much looking forward to the event!

Check out the quality of speakers from 2014's event in our YouTube conference channel below.

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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