Interview

2015 in Review: The Secret Police's Harry Holmwood predicts more M&A in 2016

2015 in Review: The Secret Police's Harry Holmwood predicts more M&A in 2016

As 2015 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 2016.

An industry veteran of more than 20 years, Harry Holmwood is currently co-founder and director of London startup The Secret Police, as well as being Head of Europe for Japanese publisher Marvelous.

PocketGamer.biz: What was the most significant mobile games news of 2015?

Harry Holmwood: The acquisition of King was interesting - especially in that the price Activision paid was high, but was lower than the IPO price. Plus the formation of The Secret Police, obviously.

How did the focus of your business change in 2015?

It went from being an idea we had been talking about for ages, to an actual company, with investors and people and an office where secret things happen.

What do you predict will be the most important trends in 2016?

I think a lot of mergers and acquisition activity.

In 2015, The Secret Police went from being an idea to an actual company.
Harry Holmwood

Those companies that manage to create games with strong ARPU and retention will find that bigger companies, who have the cash but not the content, will quickly come knocking.

What was your favourite mobile game of the year?

The Room Three, although I'm still haven't managed to see more than one ending and it's getting me down.

I also loved Agent A just recently. And it's not from this year, but I only just got around to playing 80 Days, which I think I've enjoyed more than anything else recently.

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

Mine is to find a way to stop my mobile battery running out every few hours.

Fireproof's gloomy puzzler The Room Three was a 2015 favourite for Holmwood

I'd force the industry to stop being so scared of the big companies.

They're generally successful not because they have big money to spend on marketing, but because their games monetise and retain players so well that spending that money actually makes sense.

You can check out all of our 2015 in Review interviews here.

Features Editor

Matt is really bad at playing games, but hopefully a little better at writing about them. He's Features Editor for PocketGamer.biz, and has also written for lesser publications such as IGN, VICE, and Paste Magazine.

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