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Speaker Spotlight: "User-generated content will take centre stage in the months to come," says Overwolf CEO Uri Marchand

PGC Digital #6 kicks off on April 19th
Speaker Spotlight:

2021 is now well underway and the latest Pocket Gamer Connect Digital is set to bring together some of the finest voices in the games industry and beyond.

PGC Digital #6 takes place from April 19th to 23rd, so to give you a taste of what to expect, we'll regularly be publishing interviews with some of our esteemed speakers at the show.

The conference spans five days and will feature a broad selection of tracks, talks and speakers, as well as various fringe events and the return of our meeting system. For more details on PGC Digital and to book a ticket, head to the website.

For today's spotlight, we spoke with Overwolf CEO and co-founder Uri Marchand who has helped push the company to more than 15 million monthly active users, 30,000 creators and a team of 80 employees. At PGC Digital #6, Marchand will be talking about how creators are the key to increasing the shelf life of games and the expected increase in new user-generated content. Tell us a bit about your company?

Uri Marchand: Overwolf is the guild for in-game creators. With over 30,000 creators and 15 million monthly active users, Overwolf is the all-in-one platform that enables creators to build, distribute, and monetise in-game apps and mods. Overwolf is an engine for building apps, just like Unity is an engine for building games. Built for creators by creators, Overwolf is on a mission to unite the in-game creator community and empower them to make a living doing what they love - developing truly awesome gaming experiences.

Aside from the tech platform, Overwolf offers developers resources to get started and stay focused. Services like QA and testing by pro gamers, technical support, development resources, and marketing solutions, allow creators to solely focus on building the best app. Similar to YouTube or Twitch content creator, if you are good at what you do you can make a living doing what you love.

What does your role entail?

In my role as CEO, I am constantly thinking about how to build a bridge into the future. I see a world in which in-game creators drive a massive amount of retention and creativity into triple-A games. My job is to create a vehicle that could help all sides of the marketplace (publisher, gamer, creators) to meet and develop prosperous business and creative relationships.

Why did you want to work in the games industry?

I started out as a creator myself, simply wanting to build apps for the games I played. As a creator, I understood all the difficulties third-party developers have around building apps for games and quickly understood that we can't build everything ourselves.

“Twitch clocked 17 billion hours watched in 2020, which ended up being 83 per cent higher than 2019’s nine billion hours watched.”
Uri Marchand

Originally, our aim at Overwolf was to build a swiss-army knife type software, with all the features we were missing while playing games, but we realised that was too cumbersome and decided to pivot and build an open framework.

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

If you want to get your foot in the door in the games industry, a great place to start is Overwolf as we provide an alternative way to break into the industry. Building mods or in-game apps provide you with valuable experience, and if successful, can be used to showcase your talents with others in the industry.

If the Overwolf route is not for you, my biggest piece of advice would be to find someone who can mentor you and network with those in the industry as much as possible.

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

Gaming became huge. Covid-19 accelerated developments across the board and more people around the world either became gamers or began to truly understand how big gaming is. Twitch clocked 17 billion hours watched in 2020, which ended up being 83 per cent higher than 2019’s nine billion hours watched.

As more gaming companies go public (like Unity and Roblox) more resources go into building the future of gaming, which is very exciting.

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

I believe user-generated content will take centre stage in the months to come, especially as it relates to enhancing gameplay. Previously, it was hard for game studios to understand how to manage both their games and a creator community around the game, and for it to make sense financially, but Roblox’s success is proof that this is possible.

More companies are turning their focus on tapping into the creator community in order to build content. Community-created content will become the number one value proposition.

How has the games industry changed since you first started?

When we started esports was just beginning and games were mostly boxed products. Today, many games became services and esports became a big market. We’ve seen engines take off, new platforms emerge, and UGC become a valuable contribution to gaming.

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

I look forward to hearing some of the most forward-thinking experts in the industry share their experiences and predictions with me.

Want more?

The full conference schedule is now live on the website. In the meantime, you can also check out our other track rundowns and coverage of previous Pocket Gamer Connects conferences ahead of the event itself.

Register for Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #6 today!