As 2021 begins to fade into memory, we're taking a look back at the events that have defined the last 12 months in mobile gaming.
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 2022.
PocketGamer.biz What do you think was the biggest news for the mobile games industry in 2021?
Michael Hudson: Apple vs Epic was a big story that came to a sort-of-not-really-conclusive conclusion.
Combined with other ongoing legal battles and the ending of the IDFA, I think we’re looking at greater competition between platforms in the gaming industry.
But I think the biggest thing to come out of 2021 is the rise of the metaverse (and blockchain/NFT/crypto/P2E gaming) and that term becoming mainstream.
Which mobile game do you think had the biggest impact on the industry this year?
Not strictly a mobile game (although it can be played on mobile browsers), but I think Axie Infinity has been that first big hit that has brought blockchain gaming and the wider metaverse narrative to the forefront.
What is your top and/or favourite mobile game of 2021?
Loads of games have done amazingly this year but I honestly don't get a chance to play as many as I probably should.
The opportunity that exists outside of iOS and Google Play is going to become a top topic in 2022.
That being said, I have enjoyed Beatstar from Space Ape as I think they have done very well in bringing that feeling Guitar Hero used to provide back in the day to a mobile audience.
In terms of GameBake, what's the thing you're most proud of during 2021?
Onboarding our first partners and launching them via our distribution platform to provide more growth opportunities without the difficulties associated with wider distribution.
I’m also proud that we developed the tech to do this with no SDK integrations, which is increasingly what developers and publishers are demanding.
The whole team has worked very hard to achieve all this and it is looking like 2022 will be an amazing year!
What do you think will be the biggest trend over the next 12 months?
The metaverse is going to see more attention and more growth, but I don't believe it will become something that casual gaming audiences really care about yet. It is more something for us as an industry to discuss and of course, build.
The right here-and-now is still app stores and the rise of social instant gaming, with platforms such as Snap and TikTok rapidly building out their gaming offerings. I believe the awakening of the industry to the opportunity that exists outside of iOS and Google Play is going to be something that becomes a top topic.
What are you most looking forward to in 2022?
Huge growth for GameBake and the industry as a whole. The opportunities are amazing if you have the willingness to work hard for them and I think we will be seeing more amazing games, more innovative solutions to problems that exist and more growth globally.
We’ll also be expanding what we can offer developers and publishers in terms of monetisation and user acquisition.
You can check out all of our 2021 in Review interviews here.