Speaker Spotlight: Jan Kuhlmann of Xsolla on direct-to-consumer strategies

Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki takes place on September 12 - 13. We catch up with some of the stars from the mobile industry who'll be taking part

Speaker Spotlight: Jan Kuhlmann of Xsolla on direct-to-consumer strategies

Pocket Gamer Helsinki 2023 kicks of next week - September 12 - 13.

Set in the picturesque and thriving city of Helsinki, Finland - the spiritual home of mobile games - our conference is attracting an all-star cast of speakers, panelists and attendees, all set to learn what’s hot, discover the latest tech and techniques and engage in two days of networking opportunities all through September 12 and 13. 

Network with top-notch industry experts and thought leaders, and gain valuable insights into the rapidly evolving gaming landscape. Pitch your game to our experts and meet the pros that can take your business to the next level. Immerse yourself in over 200 speaker sessions, engaging talks, panel discussions, and unparalleled networking opportunities. And stay ahead of the curve with the latest trends and connect with potential partners and investors in the games industry!

Find out more about the event and get your tickets here.

One such speaker will be Xsolla's marketing manager for Europe, Jan Kuhlmann. Jan has used his B2B and B2C marketing experience to make Xsolla a key fixture in Europe’s bustling games industry events scene after spending almost a decade at Ubisoft, where he deployed campaigns for Ubisoft Store GSA, and go-to-market strategies for brands such as Far Cry 5 and Anno 1800. Tell us more about your talk at PGC Helsinki this year.

Jan Kuhlmann: I'll be leading a discussion focused on direct-to-consumer strategies for mobile gaming. You'll learn how to leverage Xsolla's customizable solutions for global player engagement and boost your game's profitability. The session emphasizes game optimization and revenue growth through effective player connection, so don't miss your chance to give your mobile game a competitive edge.

What’s the most common mistake you see being made in the games sector?

Not listening to fans and communities. Not listening to your players. And a lack of data possession.

If you could give other mobile games companies one piece of advice, what would it be?

You need to generate more data points about your audience - more first party data. Datapoints that you own will help you better understand your players behaviours and needs.

Where do you see the next big opportunities in the mobile games market?

In the search for new revenue you need to check out new ways to monetize your mobile game. A DTC strategy could be interesting for core and mid-core games. And cloud gaming is a new sector of great interest.

What’s the most important key performance indicator (KPI) for you - and why?

LTV. It ultimately determines the value in the long run.

What is your biggest aspiration or goal for mobile gaming?

We are on a path to help the video game industry to democratize. Video games of any kind should be as accessible as possible no matter where you live. We're here to help the industry to become more independent and closer to their fans.

What do you think the next big disruptor in mobile games will be?

I think direct-to-cconsumer is a key element but a real disruption will be the constant evolution of a Metaverse. We've just see some first drafts of what it could be and mobile devices will have a key role in it.

What game has been on your phone the longest?

 Among us.

The mobile space evolves at a much faster pace than console and PC gaming, but is there a console or PC trend that you think has potential within the mobile space?

PC has done DTC strategies for years. Brand building is something mobile can learn from PC and console.

What do you think is the most overhyped trend from the last 12 months - and why?

AI. While the term AI is overhyped, the resulting shifts will be stunning and are rolling in very fast. But after blockchain and crypto lost reputaiton, AI has become the new buzz word. 

What key trend should we be paying attention to in the next 12 months?

Cloud gaming recently became my major interest! I had Google Stadia, I use Amazon Luna and I just signed up for Geforce Now. I am incredibly impressed by todays tech even though I see where it struggles, but this is for me, the next big thing in the coming years.

In my opinion games should be as accessible as possible and cloud gaming overcomes the limitations of devices as any screen - almost - can become your device.

Do you think hypercasual gaming is here to stay?

Oh yes. It addresses different kind of players and where player needs are there will be offers satisfying those needs.

When not working with games what do you do to relax?

Sports! Mountainbike, road cycling, snowboarding…

What do you enjoy most about working in the mobile games industry?

Mobile is the most distributed device and platform in the world. Gaming is native on such devices - think back about Snake on Nokia 3210 - and smartphones became the main centre of communication and entertainment.

What are your favourite parts of big events such as Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki?

I enjoy the big panel discussions where leading minds get together and debate the pros and cons as well as sharing thoughts about where gaming is heading on global scale.

Can people get in touch with you at the event? 

Yes, We have a booth and I will be there with our team of experts. I like to connect with people who I can learn from and learn with in the video games industry.

Is there something that you'd like attendees to do in order to prepare for your discussion?

Reflect on how you distribute your games, how you connect with your audience and what are the challenges you face in creating additional growth.





Editor -

Daniel Griffiths is a veteran journalist who has worked on some of the biggest entertainment media brands in the world. He's interviewed countless big names, and covered countless new releases in the fields of videogames, music, movies, tech, gadgets, home improvement, self build, interiors and garden design. Yup, he said garden design… He’s the ex-Editor of PSM2, PSM3, GamesMaster and Future Music, ex-Deputy Editor of The Official PlayStation Magazine and ex-Group Editor-in-Chief of Electronic Musician, Guitarist, Guitar World, Rhythm, Computer Music and more. He hates talking about himself.