On January 23rd and 24th Pocket Gamer Connects hits home soil, returning to London for two days of insight-sharing, and contact-making interspersed with our world-famous thought-provoking panels, seminars, keynotes and more.
There are excellent networking opportunities and our expert sessions are your chance to get up close and meet some of the biggest names in mobile games in what will be our biggest and best PG Connects London yet! Before the show we're taking the opportunity to showcase some of the industry thought leaders and pioneers who will be shaping the future of the games sector in 2023.
Don Reilley is Scuti's Executive Vice President for Publishers Development and Partnerships. With over 20 years of experience in the gaming industry, Don has a proven track record of working with executive teams to develop and execute revenue-generating partnerships. Don has worked to build and scale various sales organizations and has successfully built businesses on platforms such as Xbox Live. He has worked with multiple Fortune 500 companies and media agencies and achieved revenue growth in in-game advertising, the influencer space, and within esports.
With such an amazing background PG.biz asked Don for his thoughts on the state of play in the global games market - and his goals for Pocket Gamer Connects.
PocketGamer.biz: What are the most common problems you see being made in the games industry?
Don Reilley: The most common mistake that is being made in the games space, specifically the mobile game space is the lack of cohesive monetisation and rewards strategy. I have always felt that there is a way to monetise games while honouring the players playing those games.
Currently, publishers are generating revenue through an advertising model that pushes players to leave their games; this is obviously a flawed strategy. Publishers should be working with partners to create an experience that doesn’t force gamers out of the game they have worked so hard to develop.
At Scuti, a company that is founded by a team of people who all have 20 plus years of experience in games, we are driving revenue and retention at the same time. We are rewarding gamers for participating in the monetization of the games. We are the first 'gCommerce' and rewards platform to revolutionise how publisher monetise their games.
What Key Performance Indicator do you believe game creators should be paying most attention to?
Player Retention. Publishers are building in attrition of more than 30 percent, and they build this into the model because the current ad model is forcing gamers to leave their games. This is not necessary. Scuti is a solution that never forces a gamer out of the game, allows the gamer to purchase physical products throughout the Scuti marketplace, and rewards those same gamers allowing them to use those rewards for in-game purchases.
All of this is designed to keep players engaged while increasing publishers' revenue. Keeping players engaged and in the experience is vital to the success of a game. Growth needs to build in itself and gets difficult when you have to make up for lost players every year.
What's your favourite mobile game?
Cut the rope. I have always been a fan of bite-size forms of entertainment, that allow me to engage for various amounts of time. I like fun, engaging games that always offer a challenge. It kept me engaged for both minutes at a time while standing in line at a store or for hours when there was nothing on TV. I also enjoyed the experience because it wasn’t marred by a bad monetisation strategy that interrupted gameplay and drove me from the experience.
What are your thoughts on the Metaverse?
The Metaverse is interesting. It is a space that needs to be watched closely. Brands should engage with the Metaverse, but define clear goals for success. The thing we need to watch out for with the Metaverse, is if it is just another bright shiny object, like eSports.
There must be substance to what is being created and how players engage with the experience. FOMO is real, but can lead to some bad experiences that deviate from the true potential of the Metaverse, which should be about bringing people together and creating impactful experiences.
What do you enjoy most about working in the games industry?
Being a 20 + year veteran of the games space, I have spent most of my time working for publishers like EA, and on platforms like Xbox. My career has been focused on sponsorship and media sales. What I enjoy about the mobile space is that it seems to always be evolving, and while brands and sponsors have played a role in that evolution, I want to ensure the gamer does not get lost in the business of games.
While generating revenues is important for the industry, we must always remember that it is the player who drives the success and growth of games. I want to continue to honour those players and reward them appropriately for choosing gaming as their form of entertainment.
Find out more about Pocket Gamer Connects London and get your tickets here!