Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki 2019 will take place on October 1st to October 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 this speaker spotlight we caught up with Sami Liukka. An award-winning serial entrepreneur and collectible card gaming professional, Liukka is the co-founder and Chief Commercial Officer of Heavyweight Rex, the Finnish mobile game studio responsible for the new car battler title Card Smash: Tribes at War.
The current role of Sami Liukka in the company is business development, securing partnerships and fostering a culture of success. He has also participated in the development of new products and services, from ideation to design, prototyping, and producing to release.
Liukka has worked in market research, the gaming and IT sectors with combined experience from startups as a founder and games for 15 years. He is an enthusiastic collectible card game (CCG) gamer, having made his own CCGs at the age of 10, and having a strong understanding of game functions, collectible values, and competitive play. Raising early funding in the gaming sector is one of his specialties.
At Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki 2019 Liukka will be part of a speed panel discussing the problems and troubles that gaming companies face, and how to overcome them.
PocketGamer.biz: Tell us a bit about the company
Heavyweight Rex is a Helsinki-based, 10-developers strong game studio focusing on card battlers on mobile
What does your role entail?
The commercial and business development side of things like screening investors, negotiating and closing funding but also attracting publishing deals and negotiating on the terms.
In the first two years of the company, I was also set to recruit the team, design and produce our title, and run daily operations but my role has narrowed down to this core profession of mine since the team has grown.
Why did you want to work in the games industry?
The games industry combines art and mathematics in a way that taps into me strong, and simultaneously I can use my business and sales skills to grow the company.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to get into it?
If you are interested in how games are made or how they could be improved, I think it can be your thing. Be ready to learn a tremendous amount of new information, and moreover, to apply that in practice. It can be highly satisfactory.
What are your thoughts on the industry in the last 12 months?
Tens of new titles broke into the Top-100 grossing in the last 12 months, even from very small (<10 ppl.) teams. That proves the industry is still green and developing very fast. There are vast opportunities for even the very small teams out there.
What major trends do you predict in the next 12 months?
Prototyping and testing games in the very early meters of development will still continue to be the trend in the industry. Collectible card games (CCGs) is growing explosively as a segment. There are many things happening in the markets but these two I would like to point out.
How has the games industry changed since you first started?
Game teams want to test and validate the game concepts and therefore mitigate the risks earlier and earlier whenever possible.
Which part of the Connects event are you most looking forward to and why?
Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki has always been my favourite as a local.