Interview

Speaker Spotlight: Gamejam CEO Christian Calderon on hyper-casual and mobile ads industry consolidation

Speaker Spotlight: Gamejam CEO Christian Calderon on hyper-casual and mobile ads industry consolidation

Pocket Gamer Connects London 2019 will take place on January 21st to 22nd. To give you a taste of what to expect, we'll regularly be publishing interviews with the speakers at the show.

For more details on PGC London and to book a ticket, head to the website here.

In today's Speaker Spotlight we're talking to Gamejam CEO Christian Calderon, who will be on a panel to discuss the keys for success in hyper-casual and messenger games at PGC.

Calderon is a data-minded marketer with a passion for econometrics and video games. His professional specialty lies in predictive modeling for freemium products.

He started his career as an investment banker, where he completed over 30 transactions totalling over $3 billion in value. After banking, Calderon joined KIXEYE, a San Francisco-based games studio, to lead their revenue team. Calderon then served as VP of marketing and revenue at Dots, a New York City-based mobile games studio where he launched the hit game Two Dots.

Calderon then joined Ketchapp as their chief revenue officer, a Paris-based games company with over one billion downloads that was acquired by Ubisoft in 2016.

Calderon is now the CEO of Gamejam, a Vietnam-based game studio focused on building fun and beautiful mobile games.

PocketGamer.biz: Could you tell us a bit about the company?

Christian Calderon: Gamejam is a unique games studio that focuses on democratising publishing technology, developing and improving mobile games.

What does your role entail?

My background is in predictive modelling, but as the CEO I also touch everything from game design to office administration. My main goal is to make sure my team is happy and productive.

Why did you want to work in the games industry?

I got tired of wearing a suit.

What advice would you give to anyone looking to get into it?

Don't be afraid, just go for it.

What are your thoughts on the industry in the last 12 months?

Ketchapp paved the path for hyper-casual, with both Voodoo, Lion and a few others following on with major success.

We started to see some consolidation in the ad tech space with a few notable acquisitions and mergers, particularly in ad mediation.

What major trends do you predict in the next 12 months?

Way more games publishers will enter the market, thousands of more development studios will continue to accept hyper-casual as a genre and build these types of games. We'll continue to see growth in the number of indie developers as well as better content from them.

Ad technology providers meanwhile will either continue to consolidate or explore to new areas along their growth pole such as publishing.

How has the games industry changed since you first started?

It's been a bit like the fashion industry, I've seen trends in game categories come and go, as some fashion trends get popular, go out of style, and sometimes comes back.

I have seen strong overall revenue growth and consolidation in the mobile ads industry particularly amongst ad networks, this trend can also be seen in the CPMs and ad-based monetisation within games.

Knowledge and principles of user acquisition has become more democratised around the world, however the secrets of scaling keep changing and is still somewhat of a taboo topic.

Which part of the Connects event are you most looking forward to and why?

I am mostly looking forward to my panel: 'Keys for success in hyper-casual and messenger games'.

Find out more about Pocket Gamer Connects London 2019 on the website.


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