5 things we learned at Devcom and Gamescom 2018

5 things we learned at Devcom and Gamescom 2018

After six days in Cologne with ample events, mixers, talks, interviews and Kolsch we have returned, mostly, unscathed and with wisdom to share. 

There were industry experts aplenty to rub shoulders with this year as Devcom revealed that over 2,000 people turned up to attend the second annual developer-focused show.  

Gamescom, on the other hand, also boasted some big digits with over 500,000 people pitching up. More specifically, 370,000 visitors from 114 countries showed up to attend, 31,200 were trade attendees.

Key insights

So, after searching the Koelnmesse venue high and low for scopes and stories here's five things we learned to keep you satisfied until we get round to that pile of interviews we've got sitting around.

From tips on how to break into Indonesia's mobile market to some numbers behind Facebook's Instant games, we learned a bunch!

Click here to view the list »
  • 1 Games developers can be a force for good in these uncertain times

    Games developers can be a force for good in these uncertain times logo

    The very first talk at Devcom saw head Stephan Reichart issue a rallying cry for developers to be a force for good.

    Although the world has seen a growing far-right movement dominate the public and political discourse over the past three years, Reichart believes the current crop of industry professionals are as liberal and open-minded as ever.


    "This is not the age of Donald Trump, Boris Johnson or other ignorant politicians, racists or idiots," he said.

    "This is the age of the most liberal, most open-minded and tolerant group of people I have ever met. This is your age.

    "This is the age of game development. It has never been easier to develop games, and it has never been more important to develop games that matter to change this world and to protect our society against all this stupidity out there."

  • 2 In 2030 the Indonesian market will be in the top five economies in the world, but why wait?

    In 2030 the Indonesian market will be in the top five economies in the world, but why wait? logo

    We've long been aware of the popularity of the Indonesian games market, especially when it comes to the mobile scene. 

    In fact, it is the largest mobile games market by both revenue and players in Southeast Asia and will be home to over 100 million players in 2019.

    Agate’s chief marketing officer Shieny Aprilia delivered a talk at Devcom to help equip developers with some handy insight to give them the edge in the market. 


    One key piece of advice was to create or publish a midcore or hardcore title to appeal to the countries player base, as those games attracted the highest number of spending customers within the country.

    Another tip from Aprilia centred on to more cultural trends such as Indonesia's love of ghosts. 

    The ghouls are ever present in the country's film and TV scene, so featuring them in your own game may prove popular with local players.

  • 3 RuneScape developer Jagex is on the hunt for companies to bolster its mobile capabilities

    RuneScape developer Jagex is on the hunt for companies to bolster its mobile capabilities logo

    RuneScape developer Jagex is on the lookout for mobile games developers to partner up with.

    Reason being that the Cambridge-based games developer sees itself as a PC specialist first and foremost, and so is looking elsewhere to find the skills needed to make it in the realm of mobile development.

    The news follows the develope's recent launch of its third-party publishing operation Jagex Partners, a new initiative that aims to embrace mobile games alongside PC and console.

    The new operation also promises to provide a link to Western markets and China, thanks to its parent company Fukong Interactive.

    On the lookout

    "That has been something we've been doing quietly in the background," said Jagex CEO Phill Mansell.

    "This is a long-term thing. It's something we're looking cautiously and diligently at, but we are not a mobile-first company right now.

    “We are PC in our DNA. The new MMO we are making is PC-first with multi-platform being the destination for it. Mobile is more a twinkle in our eye for the new RPG we are making.
    “The strategic fit we want is mobile.

    “If we have living games and PC as the core DNA and growing out from that point, we want someone to provide mobile first with that living game community to compliment us and a pipeline of mobile-first products and skills to compliment us."

  • 4 Facebook's Instant Games are posting some decent numbers despite its infancy

    Facebook's Instant Games are posting some decent numbers despite its infancy logo

    Facebook's Instant Games launched around two years ago but things have notably amped up this year.

    The social media giant opened up the platform to all developers back in March and introduced in-app purchases in May on Android and Facebook's website.

    The move wasn't without its fuss though. Shortly after it implemented in-app purchases it proposed that revenue made from Android devices would see Google Play take its 30 per cent split and then Facebook taking a 30 per cent split of what’s left.

    This ultimately left developers with a minority 49 per cent revenue share, before taking into account other costs of running and marketing a game.

    We caught up with Facebook director of games partnerships in Europe, the Middle East and Africa Bob Slinn shortly after the social media behemoth opted to ditch the split to discuss the decision and how the platform has performed.

    Gone in an instant

    Facebook is currently seeing over 800 million people clocking in to play at least one Facebook-connected game every month.

    Instant Games has also seen 4.3 billion game sessions in the past 90 days, which is an increase of over 2.5 times from what it was in March 2018.

    You'll have to wait sometime yet for in-app purchases to drop fully for Instant Games on iOS, but Slinn is optimistic regardless.

    "We opened the platform at GDC in March and went from having around 100 games for the platform to now having around 4,000 games and it’s continuing to grow," Slinn added.

    "We’ve been super excited to see that, more and more developers making more and more games."

  • 5 Indie devs can learn a thing or two from the music industry

    Indie devs can learn a thing or two from the music industry logo

    Indies are often one for outlandish and out-there projects, but they should embrace that way more. 

    That's according to Capricia Productions CEO Arnold Nesis anyway, who gave a talk at Devcom comparing the indie scene to the music sphere

    If musical history tells us anything, it's that those of infamy within the music industry didn't follow a trend but bucked it and forged one themselves.

    Out of tune

    "Do crazy shit - this is what indies are supposed to do," he said.

    "If we go back to the music industry and look at which artists actually made it, we see some really cool patterns.

    "Here are some critics talking about a band: 'They are not merely awful...They are so unbelievably horrible, so appallingly unmusical, so dogmatically insensitive to the magic of the art, that they qualify as crowned heads of antimusic'. That was said about The Beatles.

    "The amazing thing is that this story keeps repeating itself over and over again. It happened to every good musician ever - it's not just bands we like, it's bands that changed the course of history and did something dramatic that changed music forever."

Staff Writer

Iain is a freelance writer based in Scotland with a penchant for indies and all things Nintendo. Alongside PocketGamer.Biz, he has also appeared in Kotaku, Rock Paper Shotgun, PCGamesN and VG24/7.


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