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Interview with G5 CEO Suglobov at pocketgamer.biz

PocketGamer.biz managed to get hold of G5 Entertainment CEO Vlad Suglobov who was happy with the developments during 2011 and optimsitic about the future.  Here is the interview (http://www.pocketgamer.biz/r/PG.Biz/G5+Entertainment+news/feature.asp?c=36391):

PocketGamer: What do you think was the most significant event for the mobile games industry in 2011?

Vlad Suglobov: I can’t name a single most important event. There was a gradual but very impressive development of the mobile games industry following the business model introduced with the App Store. I think this is how it’s going to continue for some years: impressive growth year after year. Hardware cycles are short and quite predictable, and there’s so much opportunity to grow the installed base further. We just need to keep up with the demand and innovate in how we make our games more engaging to the users.

What was the most significant event for G5?

We were happy to ride the wave in 2011. Our combined iOS and Android download numbers are now well over 30 million and growing by few million every month.

The most important thing we did this year was our debut on Android Market. In a few months we had over 10 million downloads and created loyal following. Listening to other publishers and developers, our expectations for the monetisation on Android were set rather low, so we were very happy to see the results that we got on the platform. There’s a lot of potential there. Lower monetisation is compensated by how many downloads you can get. I believe we are the most successful publishers of hidden object adventures and time management games on Android Market. I haven’t seen other games of this type go as high in top grossing list so far. The numbers that Google released recently, with over 10 billion downloads total and 1 billion a month are fantastic.

Another important event for us was the release of Virtual City Playground on iOS and Android – a city simulation game in freemium format, monetised through in-app purchases. This is a change compared to the rest of our portfolio, as it’s monetised through the full content unlock. It worked out really well for us with Virtual City Playground going to become top 10 top grossing in 51 countries on iPad, and we plan more Playground games in our 50-strong games portfolio in the pipeline for 2012.

What was your favourite mobile game of the year?

My favorite games were Virtual City Playground and an adventure hidden object game Special Enquiry Detail, which became #1 top grossing game in UK. I spent most of the time playing these, and I still play a lot of Bejeweled.

What do you predict will be the most important trends in 2012?

Android, freemium and social.

Android because it is growing so fast. Freemium – either unlockable content or micro transactions – because it allows to reach as many people as possible, which is important on a growing market. And social because developers will be looking to make mobile games more engaging and viral.

G5’s Playground games will be the ones following these trends very closely.

What’s your New Year’s resolution and what resolution would you enforce on the industry?

I think that the mobile games industry has a shot at becoming the largest part of games industry. When feature phones appeared, there was this concept that mobile phones are going to be the largest gaming platform ever. This concept was a bit too early, and there were issues with the performance, controls, and distribution model. But after a false start with feature phones, I think mobile games have a second chance, and this time it’s real. Smartphones are replacing feature phones and are set to become more popular than PCs or any consoles in the next few years. The new generation of mobile games are much more friendly with great graphics, great performance, intuitive controls, and connectivity. Download numbers are already huge and they will grow further. This is a unique opportunity in terms of user reach.

My New Year’s resolution is to spend more time on G5’s long-term goals within this vision for the future of mobile games. I’d like to see everybody in the industry working towards this vision of mobile games as the most popular kind of games on planet Earth. I’d also like to see more talented PC developers commit to mobile platforms in 2012. We at G5 are ready to help them develop and reach the audience.

Thanks to Pocketgamer.biz for the interview.

Nordic Investor

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