Speaker Spotlight: Kimaru Talent founder Rumiko Matsumoto on why fewer studios are building teams in San Francisco

PGC Digital #5 kicks off on February 8th

Speaker Spotlight: Kimaru Talent founder Rumiko Matsumoto on why fewer studios are building teams in San Francisco

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 Rumiko Matsumoto, founder of Kimaru Talent. Kimaru has been recruiting for mobile app industry startups in the competitive talent market in San Francisco, CA for nearly a decade, with an emphasis on hiring for User Acquisition, Product Management and Leadership positions. Rumiko will be heading to PGC Digital #5 to partake in a roundtable discussion titled 'Breaking in: How to Welcome New Talent Into the Industry'. Tell us a bit about your company?

Rumiko Matsumoto: Kimaru Talent offers specialised and agile recruitment services to mobile app companies and tech startups within the mobile app economy.

What does your role entail?

My role is a mix of sales, recruitment and networking. I go from connecting and catching up with mobile industry folks, to interviewing & introducing talent to my clients, to bringing on new clients to partner on searches with. 

Why did you want to work in the games industry?

The gaming industry is always at the forefront of new and evolving technologies. Whether we’re talking about mobile, VR/AR, blockchain, live streaming, etc., gaming seems to always pave the way when it comes to innovation and mass adoption. It doesn’t hurt that the folks that work in gaming are quite awesome and forward-thinking people!

What advice would you give to anyone looking to get into it?

Let your love for gaming shine and fuel your effort to break into the industry! No matter your profession or expertise, there is a place for you in the industry. Gaming companies are continuously maturing and developing new team functions, so get your foot in the door where you can and take it from there. Most employers appreciate a potential hire’s passion for gaming as it signals that they will have a good baseline understanding of the business-side of gaming, they’ll be committed to growing in the field, and ultimately, their ramp time will likely be quicker given the genuine interest in the field. 

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

It’s noticeable that there are far fewer new gaming companies setting up shop in San Francisco, CA. With the rise of remote work, the cost of employment in San Francisco, and the cost of advertising to compete in the market, there aren’t as many new players here. As for the gaming studios that were smaller and did find great success, they’re getting acquired left and right by the bigger gaming giants. 

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

Lots of M&A will continue, there will be more gaming studios with a remote & global workforce, and individuals/players in the West will become increasingly comfortable with spending money in mobile games, like in the East. Also, it will be interesting to see how IDFA changes in iOS 14 will impact advertising and the mobile app ecosystem, as a whole.

How has the games industry changed since you first started?

I entered the gaming industry in 2013 when I started hiring for Japanese mobile game developers that were setting up shop in San Francisco, CA. Since then, it’s incredible to see how sophisticated the industry has become. If you look at current advertising strategies, engagement and monetisation tactics, availability of analytical tools & software to navigate the industry, etc. every aspect of the industry has continued to mature and optimise for better success.

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

Very excited to know that there is a digital way for all of us in the gaming industry to reconnect this year!

Want more?

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.

Register for Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5 today!