Interview

2015 in Review: Mediocre Henrik Johansson on why despite a slow start, 2016 will be the year of VR

2015 in Review: Mediocre Henrik Johansson on why despite a slow start, 2016 will be the year of VR

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?

Henrik Johansson: The Gear VR. I think it's an underrated product that deserves more attention.

Enjoying the VR experience without being connected to wires is definitely better, VR needs to be convenient and portable to attract a large crowd.

Sadly, I think it'll be some time before it'll take off as all the media focus seems to be on console and PC. Also I think the Gear is being hurt by other mobile VR solutions that simply offer a very poor experience.

How did the focus of your business change in 2015?

We've moved onto more platforms, Apple TV, Android TV and the Oculus/Samsung Gear VR.

VR needs to be convenient and portable to attract a large crowd.
Henrik Johansson

We've also expanded our team with one more member which has been really interesting and will for sure change how we think about game design.

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

2016 is the year when VR finally happens, though I think it's going to be something of a slow start.

It'll be very interesting to see how well Apple TV will do next year too, though Google and Amazon has already been at it for a while and it doesn't seem that they've managed to create much buzz for their similar products.

I also think that products such as smart watches will become more interesting now that they mature and become more sophisticated.

What was your favourite mobile game of the year?

Her Story, no question about it! I really love this game, it's so creative and different, the perfect example of how games can be more interesting than books or films.

Sam Barlow's Her Story stood out in 2015 for Johansson

In fact the word "game" feels inadequate, it's more like interactive storytelling. An experience.

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

We plan on releasing two new games in 2016. We'll continue to do everything we can to make games that are free from advertising and consumables.

We want to contribute to building a strong ecosystem for games that doesn't entirely exclude people who can't pay for games, but encourages the ones who can to do so.

This is important for everyone. Games are a form of entertainment with incredible possibilities.

We should celebrate this and recognise its worth next to films, TV, books and art rather than turn it into a casino-style source for money.

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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