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"Mobile wins": DropForge's David Bluhm on finding success on smartphones

Mobile is the only answer

"Mobile wins": DropForge's David Bluhm on finding success on smartphones

Every man and his dog have an opinion on how developers can find fame and fortune on the mobile marketplace, which means that sometimes it's hard to sort the wheat from the chaff. Luckily for you, that's our job.

One man - we're not sure if he has a dog - who's undoubtedly a strand of metaphorical wheat is DropForge Games' David Bluhm.

Why? Because even though Bluhm has spend years founding, co-founding, and working on startups that have amassed over $32 billion in high water market value, he's not afraid to admit he's made some mistakes along the way, and, more importantly, he wants you to learn from them.

And the winner is…

It may sound patronising, but if you're looking for success on mobile, you need to willing to invest heavily in the platform. Don't expect an easy ride.

You'll have to play the long game, sink your resources, and time, into a project, and make sure that it never stops feeling fresh, because turning your game into a service is essential. That's how you'll keep players engaged.

Of course, if you are willing to put in the effort, you'll be richly rewarded, because, ultimately, mobile wins.

"Mobile wins. I heard a long time ago someone say that the small fish eat the big fish in computing. The mini ate the mainframe, the desktop ate the mini, the laptop ate the desktop, the tablet is eating the laptop, and the phone wins," explained Bluhm, speaking at PG Connects 2014.

"Anybody that wants to be a globally dominant company better worry about the phone device, either directly or through a partner.

"It's the largest device. it has the largest device footprint worldwide. It is the fastest growing platform, [and] more importantly, for those worried that we're close to saturation, the largest markets still have very low penetration."

Smart branding

There was a lot of talk about branding at this year's conference, and while Bluhm admitted focusing on branding could be a pathway to success, he was also keen to emphasise a cautious approach.

Developers must spend time find the right brands, the right partners to work with, or, if they're looking to turn their game into a brand, they must have a long-term plan. Be optimistic, but don't expect to hit a home-run every time.

"If you've got a brand you're in great shape, but be very careful about configuring brands. A lot of these brands are fantastic brands, but some of them won't map to mobile very well and they will not give you the edge," said Bluhm.

"I don't know how many brands I've taken to mobile in my life, it's got to be in the 30s or 40s, but while some have worked out well, most haven't. They have to translate well to a mobile experience, and sometimes bring a brand to mobile doesn't enhance it."


You can see all the video presentation from Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki 2014 here

Pocket Gamer Connects is the biggest mobile games show in Europe, which brings together the best speakers and delegates from across the industry and from all over the world.

To-date, Pocket Gamer Connects has been held in London and Helsinki, and the show will be heading back to the UK on 13-14 January 2015.

To find out more about the latest show, head on over to www.pgconnects.com.


What do you call someone who has an unhealthy obsession with video games and Sean Bean? That'd be a 'Chris Kerr'. Chris is one of those deluded souls who actually believes that one day Sean Bean will survive a movie. Poor guy.

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