Interview

Exient CEO Dave Hawkins on what follows peak hypercasual

UK company moved into publishing

Exient CEO Dave Hawkins on what follows peak hypercasual

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.

  • Dave Hawkins is founder and CEO of UK developer Exient

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

Dave Hawkins: It has to be the continual evolution and investment in the games industry.

With Apple and Google launching their own games platforms - both very different visions - it demonstrates we’re not a niche industry, rather a mass market with many ways to reach and entertain our players.

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

Without a doubt, the launch and success of Lemmings for mobile.

We’ve been working on the game for two years and to see that transfer into a commercial success has been a phenomenal experience.

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

As a team and individually, we play so many games the list is endless.

Personally, I play a lot of hypercasual games, I’m over level 500 in Voodoo’s Castle Wreck.

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

We’ll see game publishers focus on increasingly honing core skill sets around their core platforms, and matching those to where the market opportunity lies for them.

I believe we’ve seen peak hypercasual and will see them (the publishers) transition to deeper gameplay and longer retention times in order to maintain success.

For us, it will be doubling down on classic ‘forever franchises’ and bringing to them all the lessons we’ve learnt from Lemmings over the last two years.

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

Our transition from developer to publisher has been very exciting and rewarding, and our terrific people make our games great.

My News Years resolution is to make sure we’re attracting the world’s greatest talent to our studios in Leamington and Malta. More so, to be able to make even greater great games.

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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