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Industry legend Jon Hare from Tower Studios on the problems of poorly made clones

"It takes time and skill to succeed"
Industry legend Jon Hare from Tower Studios on the problems of poorly made clones
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Jon Hare is a UK games development legend with 35 years experience, designing and managing 11 different number one games including Sensible Soccer, Cannon Fodder and Mega-lo-Mania with Sensible Software, plus more recently Speedball 2 Evolution and Sociable Soccer with Tower Studios.

His work with his own studios and companies such as Codemasters and Jagex spans a huge range of game genres and platforms from ZX81 to Apple Arcade.

Jon is a regular chair of BAFTA games award juries, a frequent, international public speaker & university lecturer and Visiting Professor of Games at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, UK.

We caught up with Hare to talk about Tower Studios and how poorly made clones are ruining things for everyone. Can you tell us a bit about Tower Studios?

Jon Hare: Tower Studios is a developer and publisher of games on a variety of platforms. It has had four number one games to date, the best known of which are Speedball 2 Evolution and Sociable Soccer, which is currently available on Apple Arcade.

What does your role entail?

I am CEO of Tower Studios and work as Creative Director and Head of Business for all of our titles.

Why did you want to work in the games industry?

Been doing it for 35 years, it has been my only career.

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

Make sure you are committed and talented, it takes time and skill to succeed.

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

It is better for developers due to less competition and a few new platforms with money to spend.

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

Cross-platform multiplayer games will lead the way.

How has the games industry changed since you first started?

Hugely, I started in 1985. Currently the biggest problems for developers are too many games on the market and difficulty in securing advanced payments during development, neither of these were a problem back when I started.

The good thing about the modern market is that it is once again open to a huge variety of titles. From 1995 to 2005, the market was not so open to original IP, so it's good to see new ideas back in vogue again.

I think the market would benefit hugely if poorly made clone games were not allowed to be published on any of the stores

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

I always look forward to unexpected business meetings and new opportunities.

At Pocket Gamer Connects London 2020, Jon Hare will be part of a panel discussing the post-Brexit games industry in the UK. For more information, and to book your tickets for the event, click here.