As the year 2019 begins to fade, we look back at the events that have dominated the last 12 months in mobile games.
In this regard, we asked the great and good industry specialists to give us their views on the year, as well as to predict the trends that will dominate in 2020.
- Elizabeth Sampat Creative Director of Ubisoft’s Future Games of London
PocketGamer.biz: What do you think was the biggest news or event for the mobile gaming industry in 2019?
Elizabeth Sampat: It’s always news when a brand new game hits the top charts of the App Store, but Call of Duty: Mobile was the biggest launch in the history of mobile games! I think this suggests a broader trend – just like in Hollywood, studios rely on established IPs to help differentiate their games in a crowded market.
From your company’s point of view, what are you most proud of in 2019?
It was a truly fantastic year for our Future Games of London: we started the prototyping and incubation process, we crossed over 800 million downloads for the Hungry Shark brand and received the TIGA Award for Best In-House Studio 2019. But personally, I am most proud of the hard work we did as a studio to show our culture, our mission and our values.
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Everyone who works at FGOL has real pride and ownership of the studio, and now we are working hard to ensure that the creative, inclusive, playful culture that we love is reflected in our vision and values. Keep track of those early next year.
What mobile games did you play / play the most in 2019?
I think this suggests a broader trend – just like in Hollywood, studios rely on established IPs to help differentiate their games in a crowded market. Elizabeth Sampat
I had so many games this year. I played Diner Dash Adventures and Merge Magic, and there was something really exciting about the Mario Kart Tour. Plus, of course, Assassin’s Creed: Rebellion. I know this came out last year, but all the game designers here at FGOL got together to play, and we had an explosion.
What do you think will be the biggest trends in 2020?
In terms of monetization strategies, combat passes are becoming huge. Fortnite popularized them, and now you can even see battle passes in random games with three matches. However, not every game is designed to work for this kind of monetization. It will be interesting to see what creative solutions arise.
I really think that subscriptions are ultimately the way to the future, but I’m not sure that 2020 is the year when they really achieved great success. Ask me in a year about my forecasts for 2021.
If you had one New Year’s resolution for the mobile gaming industry, what would it be?
Let’s love our players and take them seriously. Often, mobile players in large gaming circles are excluded from the role of bored housewives or small children: firstly, there is nothing wrong with being a child or a housewife; Secondly, mobile game players are as diverse as the general population, because mobile games have turned the population into gamers.
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I have been creating mobile games for seven years, and I will be the first to admit that we are doing better in this direction than ever before. But I think that we can still do a lot to deeply understand the people who love our games and play them, and to do things that are really worth the time we ask them to spend with us.
You can check all of our 2019 article reviews here.