Davy Chadwick on the true potential of generative AI

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

 Davy Chadwick on the true potential of generative AI

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. Clear your calendars - that’s under a week away!

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 expert appearing at PGC Helsinki is PopScreen games CEO Davy Chadwick, a generative AI enthusiast and games industry leader. Chadwick will bring a wealth of knowledge to Pocket Gamer Connects to discuss the potential of generative AI. Can you summarise what you are speaking about and why it’s important?

Davy Chadwick: Generative AI is increasingly prevalent, but its vastness often leads to ambiguity about its true potential. In this talk, I'll demystify this technology by showcasing tangible examples of generated content in the gaming world. We'll explore how this content is produced and the kind of game outputs one can anticipate. The goal is to bridge the gap between broad AI concepts and their concrete applications.

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

A prevalent mistake in the gaming sector is inadequate and misaligned R&D, often underutilising emerging tools' potential. This delay hinders efficiency and quality improvements in production. This issue is particularly critical for smaller structures.

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

One piece of advice I'd offer other mobile game companies is to invest continually in your staff. Foster an environment of ongoing learning, offer them access to new tools, and create opportunities for them to become more efficient. Implement strategies like peer training and knowledge sharing to boost team proficiency. Remember, a well-trained and adaptable team is one of your most valuable assets.

Where are the next big opportunities in the mobile games market?

Besides Generative AI, another substantial opportunity in the mobile games market is the deregulation of app stores, including the emerging possibility to side-load games, especially on iOS. This shift is poised to transform the landscape of game distribution.

We can expect the emergence of many new platforms, much like the current Roblox portal already well in place, which will result in a fragmentation of distribution channels - a new challenge to tackle. However, the specifics remain unclear as Apple has yet to elaborate on how the 'Digital Act', which mandates this deregulation, will be executed.

What is the most important key performance indicator for you and why?

Retention, especially D30 for midcore RPGs, is THE KPI we prioritise - we believe others will follow suit. The cornerstone KPIs for us are rooted in game performance and marketing effectiveness. We continuously track game metrics, particularly player retention, monetisation, and conversion rates from non-payers to payers.

In today's landscape, where securing marketing budgets can be a challenge, the effectiveness of marketing strategies is pivotal. It's essential to ensure your game performs at its peak before making substantial marketing investments.

What is your biggest aspiration in mobile gaming?

My biggest aspiration in mobile gaming is to leverage the power of generative AI to expedite and simplify content production. In addition, I am excited about the opportunities that will arise from changes in store regulations, particularly the possibility to side-load applications. These two factors combined hold immense potential to transform the landscape of mobile gaming.

What company do you most admire in the mobile games world?

The company I most admire in the realm of mobile games may come as a surprise, but it's Netflix.

Their robust media distribution platform is unparalleled, and now, with the introduction of games, they are poised to become a central hub for entertainment. The ability to find everything you want to watch and play in one place is a compelling prospect and something that is set to redefine the market.

What is the single biggest challenge facing the mobile games industry today?

The single biggest challenge facing the mobile games industry today, particularly in the short to mid-term, is the struggle to secure marketing budgets and utilise them effectively for timely returns.

Generative AI is set to cause substantial disruption in the marketing arena, potentially even more so than in game production. Everything from creating marketing material and App Store Optimization to optimising campaigns must be rethought. The introduction of AI into these processes will compel us to revisit traditional marketing strategies.

What pioneers in games do you find inspiring?

Regarding inspiring pioneers in the gaming industry, the founder of Voodoo stands out for me. They truly disrupted the mobile gaming industry, introducing a novel approach to game production and marketing with the rise of the hypercasual genre. Their example serves as an inspiration, and I believe the principles they introduced can be effectively applied to mid-core games as well.

What developments do you think have been undervalued by the mobile games industry?

In my opinion, geolocation is a development that has been significantly undervalued in the mobile games industry. Although it's incorporated in a limited number of games, its potential is vast. It has the ability to enrich the gaming experience, adding a layer of real-world interaction that can make gameplay more engaging and immersive.

Find out more about PGC Helsinki

Check out the event's website here to get your tickets and find out what's on, what's where, where to stay and everything you need to know.

See you at the show!

Deputy Editor

Paige is the Deputy Editor on who, in the past, has worked in games journalism covering new releases, reviews and news. Coming from a multimedia background, she has dabbled in video editing, photography, graphic and web design! If she's not writing about the games industry, she can probably be found working through her ever-growing game backlog or buried in a good book.