Interview

Sega Hardlight's Neall Jones on why PC/console IP will keep going mobile

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Sega Hardlight's Neall Jones on why PC/console IP will keep going mobile

As 2019 begins to fade into memory, we're taking a look back at the events that have dominated the last 12 months in mobile gaming.

As such, we've asked the industry's great and good to give us their take on the year, as well as predicting the trends that will dominate in 2020.

  • Neall Jones is studio director of Sega Hardlight

PocketGamer.biz: What do you think was the biggest news of 2019?

Neall Jones: Definitely Apple Arcade!

Maybe there’s a little bias in there as we released two titles in ChuChu Rocket Universe and Sonic Racing on launch. It has the potential to shake up the mobile market like never before.

What's the thing you're most proud of during 2019?

The thing we are most proud of is being able to deliver two different titles for the launch of Apple Arcade.

As a studio, we’d never released two titles at the same time before. It was hard work but something we are super proud of the team for what they achieved in both.

Which mobile games have you most played/enjoyed during 2019?

I’m continuing to play Marvel Strike Force. I’m completely hooked and haven’t missed a day all year, it easily takes up around an hour of my time each day.

Next to this, I've really enjoyed Board Kings from Jelly Button too. There was a whole group of us in the studio playing it throughout the year.

The thing we are most proud of is being able to deliver two different titles for the launch of Apple Arcade.
Neall Jones

Finally, I have been playing through the catalogue of games on Apple Arcade. In particular, What the Golf and Grindstone have kept my attention.

What do you think will be the biggest trends in 2020?

I believe we’re going to see a continued ramp-up of big IP franchises from PC and console appearing on mobile and either capturing the same experience or expanding the IP in new and innovative ways.

It’s definitely something we’re paying very close attention too and looking at the other studio’s IP in SEGA.

If you had one New Year's Resolution for the mobile game industry, what would it be?

I’ve never been one for resolutions tied to the New Year. If something needs changing for the better, then you should be looking at actioning that immediately.

The mobile game industry certainly needs to continue to improve transparency with IAPs and what the player is getting for their money.

Data privacy is also a continually evolving area that we need to make sure we keep track with, as the various legislation is introduced across the different regions.

You can check out all our 2019 in Review articles here


Deputy Editor

Matthew Forde is the deputy editor at PocketGamer.biz and also a member of the Pocket Gamer Podcast. You can find him on Twitter @MattForde64 talking about stats, data and everything pop culture related - particularly superheroes.

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