Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki 2019 will take place on October 1st to 2nd. 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 Helsinki and to book a ticket, head to the website here.
In today’s speaker spotlight, we caught up with Homa Games CRO Jon Hook ahead of his “what’s next for hyper-casual games” session. The talk will explore how hyper-casual is evolving as a category, key trends, learnings, gameplay changes and monetisation.
Hook has worked in advertising/marketing for 14 years and is currently serving CRO at hyper-casual publisher Homa Games based out of Paris.
Starting in the early days of mobile where WAP sites and SMS were all the rage, Jon co-founded one of the early EMEA mobile ad networks. It was acquired in 2014 by NASDAQ listed Phunware.
His previous roles include VP EMEA AdColony, Head of Mobile at MediaCom (WPP). Jon also invests in/advises early-stage tech/gaming/SasS companies.
PocketGamer.biz: Could you tell us a bit about the company?
Jon Hook: Homa Games is a chart-topping mobile game publisher based in the heart of Paris, France. Using accurate data analysis and an advanced set of user acquisition & monetisation technologies, we work with developers to improve their games and reach top charts globally.
Founded mid-2018, Homa Games has already successfully published four top-charting games across both iOS and Android platforms in the past six months (Idle World, Tower Color, Tiny Cars & Balls vs Lasers).
We are built around four key pillars:
1. Data analysis.
The optimisation of monetisation strategies, user acquisition and game design are dependent on accurate data analysis. Homa Games actively accomplishes this through their numerous in-house data analysts. This understanding of key metrics allows Homa Games to make effective changes in crucial time frames to ensure that their games gain and maintain their high rankings.
2. Transparency and fairness - we look to create trustful and long-standing relationships with developers.
Throughout the entire process from testing, to development and to the official launch, the Homa Games team provides around-the-clock support for developers
3. UA and monetisation plus our in house creative studio.
We have an experienced UA/monetisation team working with social platforms, ad networks, mediation and influencer partners to drive the growth of our games.
Our in-house creative studio strengthens this user acquisition with engaging ads in several formats that promoted on various platforms, helping to convert users to install games efficiently.
4. Game design. We work closely with developers to offer game design improvements from our in-house game designers.
What does your role entail?
As CRO my role covers developer partnerships/relationships, IP/licensing opportunities with content owner and games studios, monetisation/UA and marketing.
Why did you want to work in the games industry?
I love the simple maths of the gaming industry - the cost of acquisition vs ROAS. Also, the power that data brings from game design to creative to UA.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to get into it?
If you are a gamer, that’s a great start! However, if not it’s not a deal-breaker, a passion for a specific skill set - coding, game design, artwork, data analysis and performance marketing, all of these are exciting areas to work in within the games industry.
What are your thoughts on the industry in the last 12 months?
Massively exciting - there has been a lot of M&A and significant investments from VC/PE companies that continue to drive our industry forward and underline the many opportunities in the gaming industry across all genres of games.
From a monetisation perspective, we have seen great developments from our partners like IronSource, Snap, Tenjin and MoPub to enable us to get incredibly granular on all aspects of player behaviour in our games and therefore increasing our ability to effective monetisation strategies for us and our developers.
What major trends do you predict in the next 12 months?
Hyper-casual will continue to dominate the charts and drive growth in mobile games. We are seeing a new wave of hyper-casual developers and studios emerge. They are coming to market with much more sophisticated gameplay/design/depth that resign the early days of Flappy Bird to a distant memory.
From a UA/monetisation perspective, as CPIs increase and margins decrease, there will be no room for the "get rich quick publishers". The publishers/developers who are building their own tech stacks alongside existing partners will be the winners.
How has the games industry changed since you first started?
Some things haven’t changed - people love to play games! How they game and the platforms they use. And not to mention new categories of games like hyper-casual exploding out of nowhere to becoming a billion-dollar genre in its own right!
Which part of the Connects event are you most looking forward to and why?
Tough question, the SpeedMatch is fantastic for publishers/indie developers. The Investor Connector is also invaluable, make sure you do your homework (i.e. don’t just turn up and show your game!)