Back in August, mobile game publisher Homa announced the appointment of Henry Lowenfels as its new president and chief business officer. Lowenfels has an extensive background in the mobile gaming industry, having held roles in companies such as Scopely and OneTeam Partners.
To celebrate the new role, we caught up with the new president at Homa to discuss his experiences in the game industry so far and being appointed at Homa. In addition, we discuss current mobile trends and what to expect in the future.
Pocketgamer.biz: First of all, congratulations on your appointment as chief business officer at Homa. Tell us your story in games so far.
Henry Lowenfels: I’ve been a gamer my entire life, dating back to when I begged my parents for an 8-bit NES for my 6th birthday and became obsessed with games like Mario Bros, Legend of Zelda, and Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out. When the App Store launched, I was working in the film industry, but I was astounded by the distribution potential of mobile games. The idea of reaching millions of people on a device they carried everywhere was an unprecedented opportunity.
I joined Scopely in 2012 as one of the first 25 employees, initially focused on developer partnerships as we built the publishing platform. I remained at Scopely and rose to SVP of Business Development, joining the executive team as we scaled to a multibillion-dollar valuation. At Scopely, I oversaw IP licensing, corporate development, and global distribution, in addition to developer partnerships.
After eight amazing years of building a studio ecosystem that spanned four continents and helping to launch games like The Walking Dead: Road to Survival, Star Trek: Fleet Command, and Scrabble Go, I left Scopely to join an early-stage private equity-backed company in the sports licensing space, OneTeam Partners, as Chief Product Officer.
At OneTeam, I led the games and interactive entertainment business lines, structuring licensing deals on behalf of professional athletes with the likes of Electronic Arts, Take-Two, Sorare, Dapper Labs, and many more. During my two and a half years at OneTeam, we grew the business dramatically, leading to a $1.9B exit for our private equity partners and creating a massive source of revenue for the baseball, football, soccer, and basketball players we represented.
I am a big believer that our most important asset is our people and the way we empower them to succeed.Henry Lowenfels
What does the new role at Homa involve day to day?
At Homa, I oversee business development, corporate development, global distribution and partnerships, and legal. My mandate is fairly broad, and I will be spending a lot of time across the organisation sharpening our overall strategy, with a particular focus on publishing, product, and organisational structure.
I also contribute to recruiting a wide variety of talent for strategic positions at Homa. We have very ambitious goals, and I am a big believer that our most important asset is our people and the way we empower them to succeed.
And what is it that makes Homa so special?
Like any great company, it’s the people that make Homa what it is. We have an amazing roster of homegrown talent, and we are bringing in experts from across the industry to bolster our team. What underlies the incredible individuals who power Homa are our core values of ambition, curiosity, and humility. These three words may sound simple on the surface, but they mean a lot to me personally, and the people who excel at Homa take these values to heart and embody them in their day-to-day.
Beyond the people, the Homa platform differentiates us from any other company in the space. Our proprietary tech is not just a game-changer; it's an industry revolution that enables us to identify and scale marketable concepts even in the most competitive categories. Today, we support hundreds of developers globally, and we have plans to double down on this approach while building out an even stronger studio ecosystem with a lasting portfolio of games - all powered by Homa Lab and our homegrown tech.
I personally believe this is an amazing time to be part of the Homa team, as the company is undergoing an important expansion stage. I’m excited to contribute to it and further position Homa as a leader in the gaming space.
Do you have a favourite Homa game?
My favourite Homa game is Fight for America. I’ve always been a sucker for a good tower defence game, and I like the unique twist that Homa brings to the genre. I also need to give a shout-out to Attack Hole, the most downloaded hypercasual game in the world in Q1 2023*, which my children, who happen to be hypercasual connoisseurs, tell me is one of the greatest mobile games of all time.
I’d argue that since the App Store has made just about everyone in the world a gamer, there’s never been a more exciting time to be making games.Henry Lowenfels
What trends are you currently seeing in the mobile games market? Anything that particularly excites you?
As the market becomes increasingly competitive and mobile marketing continues to evolve, I’m most excited by the emergence of hybridcasual games. In my opinion, we’ve had games that resemble what we now call “hybridcasual” for years. From Puzzle & Dragons incorporating match-3 gameplay to hook audiences into their RPG meta to Archero popularising the relatively niche genre of roguelike RPG with more approachable art and simplified mechanics. Identifying marketable game loops to bring audiences into deeper experiences has always been a recipe for success.
Now that it has become more challenging to reach targeted audiences, finding ways to make games that are easy to understand and exciting for mass audiences is even more important. Thanks to the Homa platform, we’re able to consistently identify extremely marketable concepts and publish them at scale. I’m excited by the opportunity to bring great depth to these game concepts and live-operate them to even greater success.
I’ve always loved casual mobile games, and while one could argue that the market has never been more challenging, I’d argue that since the App Store has made just about everyone in the world a gamer, there’s never been a more exciting time to be making games.
And finally, can you tell us any plans for the future of Homa and anything we should be on the lookout for?
While it’s too early to call out a specific game or project, what I can say with great conviction is that this is the beginning of the next inflection point for Homa. I’ve been part of successful companies in the past, but the level of ambition and grit that I see at Homa is unparalleled. As we sharpen our strategy, invest in our core strengths, and forge partnerships with world-class studios, I’m confident that our games portfolio will become one of the most exciting in the business.
You should also be on the lookout for top-tier talent from across the industry to be joining us on our mission. If you’re looking for the opportunity of a lifetime, a challenge that will simultaneously test you and reward you, and the moment in your career where you can have an impact in creating one of the most significant businesses our industry has ever seen, Homa is the place to be.