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Speaker Spotlight: Hatch Entertainment VP Nick Thomas on the dawn of games streaming and what it means

Pocket Gamer Connects Seattle 2019 will take place on May 13th to 14th
Speaker Spotlight: Hatch Entertainment VP Nick Thomas on the dawn of games streaming and what it means

Pocket Gamer Connects Seattle 2019 will take place on May 13th to 14th. To give you a taste of what to expect, we'll regularly be publishing interviews with the speakers at the show.

For more details on PGC Seattle and to book a ticket, head to the website here.

Today we're speaking to Hatch Entertainment VP of commercial partnerships Nick Thomas ahead of his panel on 'Future Opportunities for Developers'.

Thomas is a video game industry veteran with over 15 years of executive experience. He is the VP of commercial partnerships for Hatch Entertainment, a spin-off of Rovio and the creators of Hatch, a mobile game streaming service built for 5G.

Hatch has launched in Europe, Japan and South Korea with major partners including Docomo and Samsung, and is launching in the United States this summer in partnership with Sprint on their 5G handsets.

Prior to leading commercial partnerships, Thomas operated as the VP of content publishing leading developer and publisher relationships. His career in gaming began in 2003 as the founder and CEO of Somatone Interactive, one of the most well recognised and respected creative service providers in games, credited on hundreds of titles.

Subsequently, Thomas served as the head of gaming for Immersion Corporation, the leading IP holder of haptic technology, licensing haptic solutions to hardware OEMs and haptic technology to content developers to integrate haptic effects into game experiences. Could you tell us a bit about the company?

Hatch is a mobile game streaming platform built for 5G.

What does your role entail?

Executive role identifying and executing commercial partnerships with key strategic partners including carriers, network operators, triple-A games publishers, and distribution channels in the US and Canadian markets.

Why did you want to work in the games industry?

I have been an avid gamer since age eight, pumping endless quarters into classic games like Dragon's Lair, Street Fighter, Joust and Double Dragon. I am also a deeply creative person, so it was not a matter of if, just how I was going to combine these two core interests.

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

It is a labour of love, but if you are truly passionate about gaming there is no more rewarding career. Be prepared for long nights, complex decision making, lots of failures and a tonne of fun.

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

After a relatively dormant period dominated by free-to-play, the mobile industry finally seems ready to reinvent itself (to the relief of games markers and consumers alike).

Games streaming services are on the horizon (or here i.e. Hatch). indie games are starting to mature into the mass-market commercial hits. Battle royale and esports continue to grow, while older franchise titles are starting to lose their lustre. Gaming V x.0 is here.

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

The move from physically purchased games to fully downloaded, and now streaming with no downloads at all. More battle royale titles will emerge to try and draw users away from Fortnite and customers may finally be tiring of crushing candy and F2P loops, giving premium games on mobile a fresh start.

How has the games industry changed since you first started?

Over 15 years I've seen many cycles in the industry. Every five years or so the industry reinvents itself. We are now coming full circle, back to premium mobile games, with the consoles space having a bit of an identity crisis.

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

Networking, because the game industry is full of loyal makers and it's always fun to reconnect with old friends.

Find out more about Pocket Gamer Connects Seattle 2019 on the website.