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We’re ignoring VR to focus on smartwatches, says CEO of casual mobile dev Wooga

We’re ignoring VR to focus on smartwatches, says CEO of casual mobile dev Wooga

The first panel of the gaming track at Slush 2015 covered the general topic of New Frontiers for Game Development.

The panellists were:

  • Viktor Kislii, Wargaming, CEO
  • Jens Begemann, Wooga, CEO
  • Carl-Arvid Ewerbring, Resolution Games, co-founder
  • Ben Feder, ex-CEO T2, investor

Kicking off with VR and AR, Ben Feder said that you get longterm traction you need to get into the market early.

“Take advantage of the opportunity to establish IP,” he said.

Carl-Arvid Ewerbring said the technology has made VR possible as a mass market proposition.

“We’ve decided to ignore VR,” said Jens Begemann.

“We address a wide audience who play for short periods of time. VR is the opposite of that,” he said.

“That’s why we’re focused on wearable. I think many more people will have smartwatches than VR headsets.”

As for the type of game that would work on smartphone, Begemann said it would be able interacting over 5-10 seconds.

“The perfect smartwatch game hasn’t been developed yet,” he said.

Future vision

Going back to VR, Ewerbring said that I thought there would be a large enough audience of mobile VR users who don’t want to buy a console or PC but still want to play VR games.

Viktor Kislii was positive about the power of eSports, and reckoned this would combine powerfully with VR.

I think many more people will have smartwatches than VR headsets.
Jens Begemann

“That will allow people to be inside of the battle with good commentary and good camera control. How cool is that?”

As for AR, Feder said VR was the way to get into AR; something he thought had much larger promise, beyond video games.

Ewerbring said he thought AR had almost unlimited potential in everyday life, but was less sure about its gaming potential.

Monetisation

Moderator Stewart Rogers (VentureBeat) posulated that mobile game monetisation was broken.

Begemann wasn’t so sure.

”We have huge amount of supply at the moment. And there is consolidation,” he said.

“Yes, profits come from a small number of players, but that’s the same as the airline business. Most of their profit comes from very active first class passengers.”

Feder agreed that monetisation wasn’t broken, pointing out that the market would take years to mature; which would result in higher costs to market, and less spectacularly profitable hits.


Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at PG.biz which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.

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Stewart Rogers
Great article - thanks. For background, my postulation comes from analysis of billions of data points that tell us CAC is between $2-6, but LTV is under $1 on average. That means we have to evolve, or accept that it is OK that only 5% of companies will ever make it work. Or create new monetization strategies. The success of toys-to-life is an example of the latter working well.

BTW, Ben Feder disagreed with Jens Begemann, saying that this is a "hit business" (drawing on a baseball analogy). He's not wrong. Our research at VB Insight agrees. Developers that make a lot of games do much 10x+ better in monetization than those that create less than five games.