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"The single biggest challenge facing the mobile gaming industry today is how to reach the consumer with or without data"

Arunabh Madhur of the SHAREit Group talks to us about the future of the games market ahead of his talk at PG Connects in Helsinki.

In the run-up to Pocket Gamer Connects in Helsinki, we have been chatting to some of the most exciting speakers who will be joining us in Helsinki. It's one of the biggest industry events of the year, with over 1200 attendees and a plethora of fantastic guests, limitless networking and an impressive amount of specialist knowledge to soak in.

Here we are talking to Arunabh Madhur, the Regional VP & Head Business EMEA at the SHAREit Group, a global internet technology company with the vision to ‘make digital content equally accessible by everyone’.

Its diversified suite of applications, including the core app SHAREit, a file sharing, gaming and content streaming platform, has been installed by nearly 2.4 billion users worldwide. Arunabh is a TSM & ISB alumnus with more than 20 years of Industry experience. He is responsible for building business across publishers and brands globally to create growth & a robust revenue product template for advertisers.

Arunabh brings varied learnings from his previous work at Facebook, Times Network, Turner International, News Corp and also founded mobility business M-Taxi in the tech/last mile connectivity space. If you could give other mobile game companies one piece of advice, what would it be?

The advice would be to choose your vehicle of customer acquisition or publisher platform correctly. The user acquisition budget was seen increasing in developing markets, for mobile game companies who want to enter these markets, they should selectively engage with platforms with a sticky audience that are a part of the users’ lifestyle.

The rise of ‘app-sharing’ was initially driven by limited internet availability, a digital accessibility barrier that plagues emerging markets. But now people continue to do so due to the fast speed at which they can share the heaviest gaming apps for instance. Around 10 million apps are being shared daily globally on our flagship app SHAREit, a peer-to-peer file-sharing app. Gaming app sharing accounts for around half of the total apps shared in Southeast Asia on SHAREit in the last three months.

Where are the next big opportunities in the mobile games market?

The next big opportunities in the mobile games market will be to create social interaction through communities and to build a strong user base connection in emerging markets.

What is your biggest aspiration/goal in mobile gaming?

My biggest aspiration/goal in mobile gaming is to bring the right quality of games to the users as per their habits.

What do you think the next big disruptor in mobile games will be?

From a consumer perspective, the next big disruptor is to have users' own avatars. This is because users are able to connect better with the games as they are able to immerse themselves within the game.

What is the single biggest challenge facing the mobile games industry today?

The single biggest challenge facing the mobile gaming industry today is how to reach the consumer with or without data.
Many games are 1 GB to 3 GB in size. And that's quite a large file to get onto your phone, especially if users are on a 3G or 4G connection in some region. After installing the app, they have to download a lot more graphic files.There's quite a lot of barrier in getting a user to actually get the full game with all the graphics on their phone. The problem faced by the game developers is to get the games distributed. SHAREit solves this issue as we allow people to get the games from their friends via our peer to peer sharing which doesn't need the internet or mobile data.
Game monetization is also another big challenge. Game developers need to ensure that people are playing games, and also monetizing via in-app purchases or in-app ads. SHAREit continuously keeps encouraging and promoting new things that users could do inside the games to keep bringing them in top of the mind of people, and brings more watch time and session time. So SHAREit can help both in user acquisition, as well as user engagement, and user monetization.

What developments do you think have been undervalued by the mobile games industry?

Since there has been a growth of consumers on mobile gaming, it lets the content creators build content which in turn encourages users to get connected with games.

What key trend should we be paying attention to in the next 12 months?

The trend that we should pay attention to is the accessibility of games to the users with a single touch.

What role do NFTs play in the future of games?

NFTs can change how games are played by providing players with ownership of their in-game assets. This can lead to increased engagement and a significant reduction in game piracy.

Is hypercasual gaming here to stay?

No, hypercasual gaming is going through a large transformation as both the revenues and user acquisition cost are very thin. New games are largely moving towards casual games category with higher margins.

It's not too late to join us in Finland, tickets are still available and there are remote options for those unable to join us on the ground. But don't delay, there are less than two weeks to go!