Interview

2015 in Review: Pixel Toys CEO Andy Wafer on the year his company "grew up"

2015 in Review: Pixel Toys CEO Andy Wafer on the year his company "grew up"

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.

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

Andy Wafer: Apple's 3D Touch screen technology is a significant innovation for 2015, though it may take time before developers incorporate it. I think that will happen as the hardware support and adoption continues.

Touchscreens have evolved from being able to detect single touch, to multi-touch, and now to being able to detect hundreds of variations in applied pressure.

That brings exciting new gameplay possibilities which I think we'll start seeing in 2016.

How did the focus of your business change in 2015?

The company grew up. We had to grow the Pixel Toys team to more than double the size it was during development of our first game Gunfinger.

That meant a lot of structural changes to the business. Pixel Toys has greater responsibilities now, it's not just about making cool games, it's also about ensuring the team have job satisfaction and security.

We had to grow the Pixel Toys team to more than double in size.
Andy Wafer

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

More brands and better games.

The continuing trend of increasingly higher quality products, as the sector continues to mature, alongside the incorporation of known brands as brand owners look to establish them further or for the first time on mobile.

I also feel mobile gaming is going to continue to be more accepted by hardcore gamers - not necessarily through hardcore mobile games, but through more brand extensions or companion games designed appropriately for 'mobile' play.

What was your favourite mobile game of the year?

I really enjoyed Fallout Shelter for many different reasons. It's a high quality game based on a franchise I love.

Fallout Shelter was also a game my wife was playing and enjoying at the same time I was, completely independently. She'd never heard of Fallout previously.

The brand-powered, E3-announced Fallout Shelter was a favourite in the Wafer household

That was fun for us as usually we prefer very different games. I think it also shows seemingly niche brands can appeal to wide mobile audiences if treated appropriately on mobile.

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

To try new things, and I'd certainly suggest the same to the industry.

It's great to be part of the sector that leads the way with new ideas and innovation, and I hope that continues in 2016.

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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