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PG Connects Speaker Spotlight: Owen Faraday

Premium games to rise like a phoenix from the ashes of F2P
PG Connects Speaker Spotlight: Owen Faraday

After taking over London at the start of 2014, Pocket Gamer Connects will make its grand return on the 16-17 June in the Nordic paradise of Helsinki.

We expect you'll be thinking of grabbing a ticket (if you haven't already).

And to give you a hint at what you can expect, we're shining the spotlight onto our speaker selection to give a deeper look at the speakers taking the stage at PG Connects.

Owen Faraday is the writing pseudonym of Fernando Rizo, a London-based writer and consultant.

His work has appeared in Wired, Eurogamer, and Kill Screen and he is the publisher of mobile games journal Pocket Tactics.

Pocket Gamer: What has been the biggest story in mobile gaming this year?

Owen Faraday: I think the most interesting thing happening right now is the signs of life for premium games. There are developers out there bucking the conventional wisdom that free-to-play is the only viable route for mobile gaming, and they excite me.

Free-to-play is a bubble and I'm personally cheering for it to pop.

“Free-to-play is a bubble and I'm personally cheering for it to pop.”
Owen Faraday

What do you think will be the biggest challenges/opportunities for the mobile game industry in 2014?

Big publishers like EA and Activision are taking mobile a little more seriously every year, so the challenge to anyone outside those behemoths is to carve out some space in a market filled with much bigger companies with expansive marketing budgets.

How well do you think indie developers are doing at the moment?

I think indies are doing spectacularly well. All of the new ideas, all of the risk-taking, all of the challenging designs are coming from indie developers.

The big publishers have never been more risk-averse than they are today, and as a result their games have generally been unspectacular. Indies are the beating heart of mobile and that's going to continue for a long time.

What is your advice for developers looking to make their games a hit in emerging markets?

Honestly, my best advice to someone looking to make it big in Asia is to talk to someone other than me.

I know more about where Flight 370 is than I do about the Asian market.

What are you most looking forward to at Pocket Gamer Connects?

Finally meeting my Twitter friend Mark Brown.

Which mobile game has made the biggest impression on you this year?

FTL and Hearthstone are game-changers, if you'll pardon the cliche, but my heart belongs to Hoplite, a tiny little indie game of surprising complexity and replayability.

And finally, in 140 characters describe what you think the hot topic in mobile gaming will be in the next 6 months.

Premium-priced gaming rises like a phoenix from the ashes of free-to-play.

Grab your tickets for Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki here! and and don't forget to keep up-to-date our with new speakers.