The Dubai GameExpo Summit kicks off tomorrow! We’re partnering up with Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) to bring an unmissable games conference experience to the glorious city of Dubai, in the fastest growing region of the international games industry.
Packed with star speakers and sessions our June 21 - 22 event brings two days of essential mobile gaming knowhow to the most vibrant and high-flying gaming location on earth.
The summit itself will feature more than 100 renowned games industry speakers from the gaming industry from all over the globe delivering insightful talks, panels and seminars across a number of themed tracks. You can look forward to the same type of invaluable learning and networking opportunities you’ve come to expect from Pocket Gamer Connects events.
And appearing at the show will be Soham Thacker, founder and CEO of Gamerji. As an experienced entrepreneur, Soham founded the esports platform Gamerji in 2019 in order to bridge the gap between aspiring gamers and the pro leagues.
We caught up with him before the show to find out more about his talk and get his thoughts on the current state of play for esports.
PocketGamer.biz: Tell us a bit more about your talk at Dubai GameExpo Summit this year
Soham Thacker: I would like to share my thoughts on how grassroot esports can be scaled and how gamers can get a chance to showcase their skills. The primary motivation is to be a part of the panel that provides insights on how esports has evolved as a competitive sport & how gaming is reaching the masses while also sharing light on how esports can become a profitable business.
What’s the most common mistake you see being made in the games sector?
The most common mistake being made in the games sector is the focus on revenues and looking at it as a business. We see many games which have great potential fail because of lack of proper distribution and lack of revenue models.
If you could give other mobile games companies one piece of advice, what would it be?
Mobile gaming industry has immense potential if you target the right audience with smart distribution rather than burning money on marketing.
Where are the next big opportunities in the mobile games market?
The largest opportunity for the mobile games market in by focusing on the developing regions such as the Middle East & South East Asia where there is large audience and very good acceptance of mobile games.
What’s the most important key performance indicator for you - and why?
The most important KPI for me is the ratio between average revenue per customer & the acquisition cost. Vanity metrics such as number of users or sessions only matters if the business has positive unit economics.
What is your biggest aspiration/goal in mobile gaming?
To build a platform where every aspiring gamer gets an equal opportunity to showcase their skills and make a career in gaming & esports.
What company do you most admire in the mobile games world?
What do you think the next big disruptor in mobile games will be?
Introduction of VR for mobile games
What is the single biggest challenge facing the mobile games industry today?
Dependency on Apple & Google stores
What leaders/pioneers in games do you find inspiring?"
Wim Stocks, Niccolo Maisto, Craig Levine
What developments do you think have been undervalued by the mobile games industry?
The rise of data speeds at affordable costs in developing regions
What’s your favourite ever mobile game?
What game from another company do you wish you had worked on?
Clash of Clans by SuperCell
What game do you think offers something new, and exciting that hasn’t yet hit the mainstream?
What game has been on your phone the longest?
The mobile space evolves at a much faster pace than console and PC gaming, but is there a console or PC trend that you think has potential within the mobile space?
Access to mobile games is easier and cost effective compared to owning expensive PC or console. The multi player trend without any latency issues is a trend if the PC/console space which has huge potential within the mobile space. I believe that affordable VR devices are going to change the way games are played
What is the most overhyped trend from the last 12 months - and why?
According to me, NFTs are way overhyped as it really does not appeal to an average gamer with hardly any pocket money.
What role do NFTs play in the future of games?
It is still premature
Is hypercasual gaming here to stay?
Absolutely! Most of the AAA titles require dedicated time and focus. This is where hypercasual games provide great exertainment experience.
Tell us your thoughts on cloud-gaming
Cloud gaming is the future with the ease of access and minimal usage of device storage.
When not making/selling/playing games, what do you do to relax?
Play outdoor sports
What do you enjoy most about working in the mobile games industry?
The pace it which it is growing and there are new things to learn everyday
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received that you can pass on to others?
No matter the industry, the core of the business is still the same - Revenues.
What was your first-ever mobile phone?
An old Nokia
What was the fundamental appeal of the mobile games industry that brought you to it?
The pace it which it has grown and the adaptation of mobile games.
What sessions/speakers (apart from your own) are you planning to attend?
Esports, Mobile Gaming, Gaming in Middle East.
What topics do you want to hear more about at industry events?
Content generation in gaming, Revenues in gaming, Technology in Esports
Can people get in touch with you at the event? What sort of people would you like to connect with?
Publishers, Teleco, Esports Organizations & Gamers