Interview

PGC Helsinki: Joel Julkunen from GameRefinery will be leading a session about getting the most out of third party IP

PGC Helsinki: Joel Julkunen from GameRefinery will be leading a session about getting the most out of third party IP

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 Joel Julkunen from GameRefinery. Joel has been playing games on various platforms ever since he could hold a NES 8-bit controller. Nowadays he leads GameRefinery's analytics department and has a major role in developing the algorithms and statistical models used in the company. Fortunately for him, this means that he can dedicate a big chunk of his time to analyzing new games and mapping interesting features for GameRefinery's database. With over 500 mobile games played and analyzed, Joel has a pretty good idea about the "do's and don'ts" as well as trends of today's mobile game market.

At Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki 2019 he'll be leading a session called How to Get the Most Out of a Third Party !P.

Over the past years 3rd party IPs and brands have established themselves as an important (and visible) part of mobile gaming markets. Therefore it's now more important than ever to know how to use them effectively for optimal results.

This 30-minute session will give insights on how to get the most out of utilizing a 3rd party IP in your game. The talk will focus specifically on three design-related points:

  • IP vs. genre fit
  • IP vs. feature-set fit
  • Demographic fit of IP vs. game mechcanics

With real life examples of both "dos" and "don'ts", Joel will take you through these three crucial aspects of successfully integrating an IP with your next hit title.

PocketGamer.biz: What does your role at GameRefinery entail?

Joel Julkunen: I'm responsible for the development of GameRefinery's analytical approach and modeling as well as the analyzing and optimizing our key clients' products. As a Co-founder of the company, I also have a major role in our business development and strategy functions.

Why did you want to work in the games industry?

After working several years in finance, I thought it's time to do something I'm really passionate about. Even though gaming has always been a big part of my life, I never actually thought I could realistically just take the leap of faith and start working in the gaming industry. Fortunately I found a couple of similarly minded fellas and we ended up founding GameRefinery, a company that combined our passion for games and our experience from the world of analytics

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

Be brave, open minded and do everything you can to get connected with people already working in the industry.

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

Exciting things happening with hypercasual games starting to move towards. The IAP-monetization model, casual games starting to implement more midcorish features (e.g. guilds) and Battle Pass systems popping up across genres.

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

I predict that the above mentioned things will continue trending in the future as well. In other words, the Hypercasual starts to adopt IAP-monetization model, casual games building deeper social elements (guilds, and guild-related features) and battle pass systems being adopted in more and more titles across genres.

How has the games industry changed since you first started?

Oh, so much that you could write a couple of books about it. In short, the industry has now matured, which has resulted in a huge amount of new game mechanics and whole new genres. Free to play as a business model has become the norm across mobile games and players' attitudes towards it have changed drastically from the first half of the decade. Also, as the competition has become more fierce, the role of data and analytics in the game development process has increased significantly.

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

Really looking forward to all the speeches, they've always been the one thing I'm mostly looking forward to!


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