Pocket Gamer Connects Digital is back for 2021, set to bring together some of the finest voices in the games industry and beyond.
PGC Digital #5 takes place on February 8th - 12th. To give you a taste of what to expect, we'll regularly be publishing interviews with the speakers at the show.
The conference spans across five days and will feature a broad selection of tracks, talks and speakers, as well as various fringe events and the return of our meeting system. For more details on PGC Digital and to book a ticket, head to the website.
Today's spotlight is on Luke Jackson, associate business performance manager at Candy Crush maker, King. Jackson now works on Candy Crush, after moving between several roles and titles at the mobile giant. He'll be stopping by PGC Digital #5 to share his experiences of running in-game events in Farm Heroes Saga and Candy Crush Friends.
Tell us a bit about your company?
I work for King, famously the makers of Candy Crush but also many other great franchises.
The thing I enjoy most about King is the sheer number of talented people there are for me to learn from.
What does your role entail?
I work on Candy Crush Saga as a business performance manager. My role is to work with data scientists to understand how players engage with our game, then leverage that knowledge (alongside many other sources!) to drive improvements in the game. Whether through building new features or tinkering with existing ones.
Why did you want to work in the games industry?
I fell in love with games at the age of about 10 and by the time I was 14 I discovered I also had a passion for making games: I would spend hours working away on Flash coming up with what I was convinced was going to be Newgrounds next big hit.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to get into it?
It’s better to be too eager than to be too timid when chasing opportunities. Don’t be scared to put yourself out there to get to where you want to go.
Screwing up is a great thing: It gives you an opportunity to learn something.
What are your thoughts on the industry in the last 12 months?
It’s been fascinating and humbling to see how so many people have turned to games during what has been an incredibly difficult year in 2020. It definitely reminded me how lucky I am to work on products that can bring people so much joy.
I do think we’ve also seen a bit of consolidation last year at the top of the app charts, it would be exciting to see that shaken up a bit in 2021!
What major trends do you predict in the next 12 months?
My main prediction for 2021 is we will continue to see more complex mechanics emerging in casual games as players become more accustomed to deeper experiences in mobile titles.
A part of this that really excites me is the capacity for improvements in how we can tell stories within mobile games. We’ve seen lots of growth in this area in the last few years and I imagine it will continue.
How has the games industry changed since you first started?
I think when I first started at King I don't think there was the appreciation there is now for mobile as a serious gaming platform. It’s been exciting to see the growth that has occurred in such a short space of time.
Which part of the Connects event are you most looking forward to and why?
I’m looking forward to connecting with some brand new people and hopefully some familiar faces as well!.
The full conference schedule is now live on the website. In the meantime, you can also check out our other track rundowns and coverage of previous Pocket Gamer Connects conferences ahead of the event itself.