Interview

Kukouri CEO Kim Soares on how mobile is getting harder for everyone

Kukouri CEO Kim Soares on how mobile is getting harder for everyone

Kim Soares is the founder and CEO of Kukouri, the multi-awarded Finnish indie mobile game developer.

Kim has been an active gamer since he was five (that was back in 1979).

He started on game media in 1996 and has written over 2000 game reviews. Having been an indie game developer since 2007, he has strong views on about the state of the industry and wants to help fellow indies succeed by sharing his experiences.

We caught up with Soares to talk about the changing mobile landscape, the passion in the games industry and dealing with discoverability.

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

Kim Soares: Kukouri is a small Finnish indie developer made out of industry veterans. Kukouri won the Best Indie Developer award at the 2019 Pocket Gamer Mobile Game Awards.

Kukouri’s Tiny Troopers games are available on multiple platforms and have over 35 million downloads, including 2 million on Playstation 4. Cross platform social MMO game Pixel Worlds won the People’s Choice award at Game Connection Development awards. Pixel Worlds is a unique combination of MMO, sandbox and social platform.

What does your role entail?

As a CEO of a small indie, I do everything I can. My own discipline is game design but a lot of my time goes into running the company and following the development of this fast moving industry.

Why did you want to work in the games industry?

Games have been my passion since the age of five and I wanted more than just playing them.

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

The player's perspective is only a small glimpse of what the actual industry is like. It's not the easiest profession, but it's one where people have a passion you seldom see in any other industry.

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

No big changes since the PUBG and Fortnite phenomenon. Everyone seems to be on the lookout for what the next big change and opportunity could be.

And everyone is paying close attention to the loot box legislation.

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

Cross-platform play will become more common, although I do not view that as too big of a change.

My prediction is actually that there won't be any major new trends in the next 12 months. I also predict that Apple Arcade will stay a quite small part of the App Store.

How has the games industry changed since you first started?

Mobile is getting harder and harder for everyone. The UA costs increase because discoverability is growing as an issue as the pace of new games being released rises.

The same phenomenon is now affecting PC games too, making it harder to succeed on Steam. The new platforms like Epic Store are still to prove they can help to alleviate the situation in any way.

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

Meeting people, hearing the latest news, views and gossip. Making new connections.

At Pocket Gamer Connects London 2020, Kim Soares will be part of a panel called "What are the things you wish you knew when you started developing your games?" To get more info about the show and to book your tickets, click here.


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