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.
- Andrew Paradise is CEO of Skillz
PocketGamer.biz: What do you think was the biggest news in 2019?
Andrew Paradise: Expanded 5G networks will transform the way we interact with one another.
Flagship synchronous esports like League of Legends and Call of Duty are now expanding to mobile because 5G's capability to deliver seamless, low-latency experiences unleashes new possibilities for more immersive mobile content.
What's the thing you're most proud of during 2019?
In 2019, we harnessed the power of the Skillz platform to help thousands in need by partnering with nonprofits like The American Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen, and The American Red Cross to run charity fundraising tournaments.
We helped our partners reach a younger demographic, launch large-scale digital fundraisers with little to no overhead, and engage their donors through competition.
In turn, the 30 million players on our platform had the opportunity to be part of something meaningful and show that competitive gaming can be an incredible force for good.
Which mobile games have you most played/enjoyed during 2019?
I still play a lot of bubble shooters and match-threes, which remain timeless favourites of mine.
However, this year I have been really impressed by Call of Duty Mobile, which features a robust multiplayer experience with smooth, synchronous gameplay.
As our wireless technology and hardware continue to evolve, I imagine more developers will consider creating experiences like this for mobile devices, which are rapidly outpacing the growth of PCs and consoles.
What do you think would be the biggest trends in 2020?
2020 with further transform everyone into a gamer.
- The rise of accessible, easy, pick-up-and-play casual games means anyone can enjoy gaming as a hobby.
- Emerging subscription services like Xbox Pass and Origin Access have also made quality games more visible and available.
- Recent advances in streaming technology and remote gameplay are an important step toward democratizing games by removing the need for expensive hardware - one of the largest barriers to entry.
If you had one New Year's Resolution for mobile games industry, what would it be?
My New Year's resolution for the mobile games industry would be to prioritise the player experience.
Mobile games are sometimes associated with mechanics like microtransactions and intrusive in-game advertisements. Although Skillz initially led the revolution by pioneering monetisation through fair competition, we're now seeing more companies following suit by providing monetisation methods that are better for users.
Our industry needs to continue this trend to be more thoughtful about how we treat and represent players. Skillz strives to make games even more accessible by creating fun, fair and meaningful experiences for players around the world.
You can check out all our 2019 in Review articles here.