Interview

#PGCLondon 2016 speaker Nitrome's Matthew Annal on the rise of ad-funded games

#PGCLondon 2016 speaker Nitrome's Matthew Annal on the rise of ad-funded games

Pocket Gamer Connects London will kick off the 2016 in style on 18-19 January.

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.

  • Matthew Annal is the MD of London indie Nitrome, which is best known for games such as Icebreaker and Beneath The Lighthouse.

PocketGamer.biz: Tell us about your company's role in the mobile games industry.

Matthew Annal: We like to think of ourselves as one of the good guys in free-to-play.

We are part of a growing post-Flappy Bird middle ground, exploring what is possible when not running games as addiction machines ran from stats and user acquisition.

2015 was another hectic year for the industry, what were the highlights or most important developments you saw

I think Nintendo announcing their intentions to make mobile games and Activision's buyout of King for a mega money was pretty huge. Mobile is now a recognised part of the gaming space. That was certainly what stood out.

Crossy Road demonstrated the power of ads in 2015

More quietly, I think ad-funded games have really took off in a big way. Flappy Bird started it with a flood of clones then Crossy Road became another success story that helped pave the way for many more to try their luck with the format.

There's an opportunity for smaller devs who want to make different games.

Give us a prediction or two of what we can expect to see in 2016.

Sadly, probably not much will radically change in exciting ways but I expect some things to flourish.

Because the top players are putting money into the same few types of games, I think there's an opportunity for smaller devs who want to make different sorts of games.

So I believe you're going to see more quality premium titles arriving and more free-to-play games that are actually worth playing.

You can check out all our Speaker Spotlights here.

Ray has been an enthusiastic gamer since the age of 5 and has seen his work published all over the internet. He is a proud iPhone 4S owner and absolutely adores working for 148apps. He also plays a mean game of Jetpack Joyride.

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