Pocket Gamer Connects – Europe's leading mobile games industry conference – returns to North America as we bring the conference series to Toronto, Canada! We're bringing an array of incredible speakers, industry experts, and unparalled networking opportunities to the Sheraton Centre on July 6-7 2022.
You can check out our speaker lineup, but to give you a teaser for what you can look forward to, we spoke with our speakers to share a little of what they'll be speaking on, and their thoughts of the mobile games industry.
Carolina Véliz and Michael Stolls, senior lead artist and studio manager of Gameloft Toronto, respectively, will be delivering key talks on the creative process when working with IPs and licensors, and the effective use of data in creating plans – a core focus in the mobile industry.
PocketGamer.biz: What do you enjoy most about working in the mobile games industry?
Véliz: It depends on the studio, but in our case, I most enjoy the team collaboration and the creativity involved in working on a game. In addition, I like the never-ending adrenaline-inducing challenge of finding solutions to new requests or issues across every single update together.
Stolls: It's never boring. This is one of the most exciting industries you can be in. Markets change, technology changes, devices and platforms change. Every game always seems to have its own challenge to overcome. It keeps it fresh.
What was the fundamental appeal of the mobile games industry that brought you to it?
Véliz: The reach that mobile games have and the endless possibilities. Knowing that the next huge mobile game success might be in development right now is very exciting. That chase will never end.
Stolls: When I started with mobile games, the technology was still very limited. Early J2ME games needed to be built with a fraction of the hardware we have today. I always found the challenge of making so much with so little enjoyable. Throughout the years, I have seen mobile devices become more and more powerful, and it's amazing what we can produce on now on the latest mobile devices.
What’s the most important key performance indicator (KPI) for you - and why?
Stolls: For me, one of the biggest KPIs is our audience reach and daily installs. You can have a new or better product, but you need to be able to reach potential users and give them a reason to leave what they're currently playing and come to your game.
Once you have users, you can optimise your retention and monetisation approach, but you need to have the users coming in.
Is hypercasual gaming here to stay?
Stolls: For mobile, I feel it is here to stay. When you look at the shift of social media habits and the rise of TikTok, you see users who enjoy short term bursts of entertainment. Hypercasual provides users with that quick burst of entertainment before they move on to something else. For the more midcore gamer though, there will always be a place for more depth and longer engagement-type games.
If you could give other mobile games companies one piece of advice, what would it be?
Stolls: Creating a new mobile game is difficult. You can analyse market trends to see if there is a gap that can be filled. You can experiment with new gameplay mechanics or stick to something you know and do well. But in the end, you need to always execute quickly and efficiently as the mobile market changes so quickly, and there are so many competitors doing just as you are.
There is still time to secure your place at Pocket Gamer Connects Toronto to connect with the mobile games industry's leading international conference through this link.