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Meet the PocketGamer.biz team

The PG.biz team changed a lot in 2021. We want to say hi.

Meet the PocketGamer.biz team

Editor: Khai Trung Le

I don’t really want to talk about myself. My working history is on LinkedIn, if you’re curious. What I do want to talk about is what I want for PocketGamer.biz in the new year.

Much like the perpetual motion of the mobile games industry, the PG.biz team hasn’t stood still in 2021. We’ve seen exceptional people move on to incredible opportunities – and I would like to thank commissioning editor Jon Jordan for steering the reins throughout the latter half of the year – and wonderful new faces joining the crew. Our new team pairs embedded, stalwart industry expertise with unburdened outsider perspectives, and I am incredibly excited to see the stories we’ll tell in 2022.

But PG.biz is also graced by our deep connections across the industry and community. The success of our reportage, the calibre of our deep dives, and the energy surrounding our Pocket Gamer Connects events is a testament to what you bring.

So what do I want for PocketGamer.biz? I want you.

I want your insight, your knowledge and analysis, your excitable optimism and your sincerest scepticism. If we can weather the pandemic, I want you to bring me to your studios and your events, and I want to meet you at our live and digital Connects. Your experiences, hardships and victories, and passion are what make the mobile games industry truly international, dramatic, and dynamic. PG.biz should reflect that, both in our own voice and as a platform for yours.

My email is khai.le@steelmedianetwork.com. I even put my real name on Twitter again. Get in touch. I appreciate it.

 

News Editor: Aaron Orr

My journey with mobile games began with Space Impact on my Nokia 3410 and I have been playing them ever since. However, it never occurred to me that I would be writing about them each day.

I have been with PocketGamer.biz for the later half of 2021 and during that time a lot has happened. We’ve seen some of the largest acquisitions ever in the industry, the highest revenue earned from mobile games, and the race to the metaverse picking up speed.

At PG.biz, my job is to keep the industry up-to-date with all of the goings on, but to do so I need your help. If you have just secured funding, partnering with a new company, or have a game that you want to tell the world about, then let me know.

My email is aaron.orr@steelmedianetwork.com, but you can also find me on LinkedIn and Twitter.

 

Staff Writer: Aaron Astle

I joined the team earlier this year and bring some of Khai’s aforementioned ‘unburdened outsider perspective’ to the table. Whilst my previous experience has been outside of the games industry, I have considered myself a gaming enthusiast since the days of the PlayStation 2 and the Nintendo DS.

My favourite mobile game (and the one I’ve spent the most hours on by far) is Fire Emblem Heroes. The blend of a turn-based strategy game with RPG elements and familiar characters from the main series is incredibly gripping.

An honourable mention would go to Pokémon Masters EX; the production value of its OST is especially impressive.

More broadly, the area of the mobile games industry that interests me the most is the ever-growing cross compatibility between mobile, console, and PC. Not only is this introducing more people to new series: it’s also bringing more gamers together, and more ways to play can only be a good thing. Pokémon Unite is one example of this that I’ve been enjoying recently, on both mobile and Nintendo Switch.

I’m also intrigued to see in which direction the metaverse goes.

The best way of contacting me is via email at aaron.astle@steelmedianetwork.com. Feel free to get in touch.

 

Managing Editor: Brian Baglow

Unlike many of my colleagues and peers, I’ve been doing this mobile games thing for a while. Since before mobile games were a thing really.

Waaay back before App Stores and smartphones became the way the world worked, mobile games did exist, but it was an odd and shadowy world. I joined one of the pioneers in the very early days of mobile, as the Global Communications Manager for a Scottish developer/publisher called Digital Bridges.

This was in 1999/2000, just as it became possible to connect mobile phones to this Internet thing. True story: to get my first WAP-capable mobile phone connected to the internet, I had to call Vodafone, who faxed me a five page document with detailed instructions. Kids today have got it easy…

So my job was to convince the games world that these mobile phones were a viable new platform for games. At the same time, I had to convince mobile manufacturers and networks that games were a popular content type, that many people would play, and that checking stocks and share prices was not going to be a primary use case for a mainstream audience.

This was when the state-of-the-art mobile game was Snake and while massively-multiplayer online role-playing games were possible, you had to play them through a text-based browser (ask me about the Star Trek MMO we worked on…).

I travelled the world attending shows, events, expos, and conferences in every corner of the world. I was stared at like a dog doing card tricks by so many suited executives I began to believe that maybe we were the ones who were mad. At one point, at one conference, I believe a very young, extremely dapper Chris James (founder of Steel Media and industry titan), came up to me at a networking event and asking if there was anything to this mobile games thing.

And here we are in 2021. Hypercasual has exploded, the market is on course to eclipse the console world, and it’s the field we’ll meet the next billion gamers at.

It’s still the most exciting, dynamic, and rapidly evolving part of the games world and I love being a part of it. From the simplest puzzle games to the massive, immersive titles of tomorrow, it’s an extraordinary place to be.

I get even more of a kick listening to the new studios, the upcoming tech companies, and the people forging the future.

Read our articles, come to the events, listen to the speakers (and our podcast, which returns in 2022!), and marvel at everything happening in the world of mobile games.

Whatever happens, you’ll find out first through PG.biz.

Say hello: brian.baglow@steelmedianetwork.com


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