Unity senior director of marketing Mark Robinson on how the games industry has changed over the past 12 months

"The industry is thriving and data/analytics has played an important role in the growth"

Unity senior director of marketing Mark Robinson on how the games industry has changed over the past 12 months

Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki Digital is around the corner, taking place on September 14th - 18th. 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 a new and improved meeting system. For more details on PGC Helsinki Digital and to book a ticket, head to the website.

This time we're speaking to Unity senior director of marketing for its Operate Solutions Mark Robinson about his role at the tools developer and how he sees the next 12 months unfolding. Tell us a bit about [your company].

Unity is the world’s leading platform for creating and operating real-time 3D (RT3D) content. Creators, ranging from game developers to artists, architects, automotive designers, filmmakers, and others, use Unity to make their imaginations come to life.

What does your role entail?

I am responsible for overseeing marketing activity that relates to the operation of live games. At Unity our goal is to provide support, thought leadership, and tools to facilitate success throughout the client journey. My job is to make sure that we are constantly providing new insights to game-makers as they launch and run their games.

Why did you want to work in the games industry?

With my background in analytics, I was drawn to the idea of using data to improve player experiences and change attitudes towards games. With technology moving so fast in gaming, and mobile completely transforming what it meant to be a 'gamer', I knew that there was a fantastic opportunity to take part in and effect change.

Joining Unity, I've seen that potential magnify again and I feel the same excitement to continue using data to make an impact.

What advice would you give to anyone looking to get into the space?

Be bold and put users first. The games industry is growing exponentially and it's home to some of the best thinkers and fastest movers in tech, so the opportunities are there... but you can’t afford to rest on your laurels. If you have an idea that will push things forward, you’d better get building before someone else does. That competition is what keeps us thriving and pushing the envelope.

What are your thoughts on the industry in the last 12 months?

As we've all come to expect, the landscape is vastly different year on year but the important thing is that the industry is thriving and data/analytics has played an important role in the growth. This will only get better as we become more sophisticated in delivering great personalized experiences.

What major trends do you predict in the next 12 months?

We are going to see more applications for AI in learning about player experiences. We are going to continue to work hard on the dynamic tension between User Acquisition Spend and Lifetime Values as the gaming environment becomes more competitive and we take care of player privacy.

The headline is that gaming will continue to flourish as we deliver more incredible experiences and fun to our players.

How has the games industry changed since you first started?

In mobile and Free-to-Play (F2P), especially, games used to burst and fade because they weren't capable of retaining their players. It was common practice to push monetization and ads forcefully on players to make a quick buck before inevitable churn. The landscape is far different now - some ads even improve retention. Other industries now emulate ours for best practices in user engagement and retention - that’s a fantastic turnaround!

Which part of the Connects event are you most looking forward to and why?

Whether it’s online or in person, fielding questions from other pioneers and industry veterans is always fascinating because it gives you a different perspective on things. Feedback from clients and colleagues is super useful but there’s a lot to be said for getting in front of other experts. These events are as much about gaining information as giving it out!

Check out the full schedule to see the complete range of impressive speakers attending. You can also check out our other track rundowns and coverage of previous Pocket Gamer Connects conferences ahead of the event itself.

There's still time to register for Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki Digital here.