Reigns publisher Devolver getting ‘more serious’ about mobile, F2P and China

Hires ex-Appler Mark Hickey

Reigns publisher Devolver getting ‘more serious’ about mobile, F2P and China

Best known for the Hotline Miami games, US publisher Devolver Digital has also found plenty of success with mobile games such as Downwell, Spaceplan and Reigns.

The appointment of Mark Hickey - previously a game manager at the Apple App Store - as its VP of mobile (and employee number 17) injects a new momentum, however.

“Our primary focus remains PC and console, but we’re looking to get more serious about mobile and I’ll be leading our mobile publishing globally, both for existing and new titles,” Hickey explains.

New worlds

Given Devolver’s status as a core indie outfit, which to-date has only released premium mobile games, one area he’s keen to investigate is free-to-play. Not that he’ll be looking specifically to sign up F2P mobile game, though.

I’m more interested in unique ideas than business models.
Mark Hickey

“I’m more interested in unique ideas than business models,” Hickey states, adding any F2P mobile game Devolver does take on will have to be fair in terms of artistic vision and how it treats customers.

In return, he says Devolver’s success as what could be labelled a ‘traditional publisher’ means it can offer developers an “amazing, existing fanbase” for its games, as well as services ranging from funding to testing and localisation.

In particular, the company is targeting China as a strategic opportunity - for PC/console and mobile games - and already has an operational office there, despite the recent issues with new releases.

“Of course not every mobile developer needs a publisher, so my role is to find partners we can work with over the long-term,” ends Hickey.

“And with over two million mobile game sales to-date just for the Reigns series, we’ve demonstrated remarkable success. That’s a good starting point.”

Francois Alliot, developer behind the Devolver-published Reigns, will be a speaker at Pocket Gamer Connects London 2019, which takes place on January 21st to 22nd.

Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at 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.