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 War Child gaming partnerships executive Adam Holmes (Pictured, main), who will be giving a talk centred on how mobile games are giving back to charities, and why their players are enjoying taking part in charity-themed in-game events.
Prior to working at War Child, Holmes worked at Gameloft where he launched its advertising solutions in the UK. Before that, he started his mobile gaming career at SuperAwesome; a 'kid-tech' startup focused on child compliant advertising.
PocketGamer.biz: Could you tell us a bit about the company?
Adam Holmes: War Child is an international charity that supports children affected by war.
War Child has a heritage of raising funds and awareness by collaborating with the music and gaming industries. From long-standing supporters such as Sports Interactive and 11Bit Studios to recent partnerships with Social Point and Gameloft.
All the support helps War Child to protect, educate and stand up for the rights of children caught up in war. To date, we have raised over $3 million through collaborations with the gaming industry.
What does your role entail?
I collaborate with the mobile gaming industry to raise funds and awareness to support children affected by war.
My role involves working closely with mobile gaming studios to create charity-themed in-game events, bespoke content and in-app purchase sales that players can take part in to support War Child.
For example, Social Point's Dragon City has supported War Child by running Peace Dragon and Teacher Dragon breeding events, as well as other community fundraisers.
Why did you want to work in the games industry?
The mobile gaming industry is incredibly fast moving, and new business models can be created and iterated on rapidly, making it such an exciting area to work.
I believe as the mobile games industry matures, it has a tremendous ability to do good and to create change, and we're just scratching the surface.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to get into it?
Build your network, take the time to attend events and seminars and try to immerse yourself in the industry.
What are your thoughts on the industry in the last 12 months?
The mobile gaming industry is in a great position; we continue to see innovation in genres that were previously considered saturated and hyper-casual games have allowed new gameplay mechanics to break through.
I've personally enjoyed seeing a return to fresh gameplay mechanics, whereas in 2016 and 2017 it felt like the majority of successful games were reskins.
What major trends do you predict in the next 12 months?
As mobile gaming companies continue to refine their live-ops, I expect more mobile games to run charity-themed events and updates in their games.
Outside of gaming, people want to give back to charities at key times of year such as Christmas, Easter and Thanks Giving, and I believe that this behaviour should be captured in-game too.
How has the games industry changed since you first started?
One of the most interesting changes since I first started in the gaming industry is the acceptance of mobile gaming from non-gaming brands.
From ITV's Love Island: The Game to Netflix's Stranger Things mobile game, major IP's have changed their strategy to have a mobile gaming presence.
This is true of War Child too, six years ago the idea of charities having a presence in mobile games was almost unheard of.
Which part of the Connects event are you most looking forward to and why?
Attending a number of insightful sessions, as well as catching up with some of the amazing gaming companies that have supported War Child.
Find out more about Pocket Gamer Connects London 2019 on the website.