As part of our 10th anniversary celebration we've asked ten former key members of the PG team to share their memories and thoughts (as well as their all-time top ten games). Let's dive in…
Who are you?
When did you work in the Pocket Gamer empire, and what did you do?
I feel like I was there from the beginning! I am pretty sure I did some freelance work right at the very beginning, writing reviews and maybe previews and interviews for various handheld games – mostly on the PSP and DS, since those were the days before proper mobile phones.
What are you up to nowadays?
Nowadays I work for a Japanese developer called Cybird and occasionally contribute things about the Japanese mobile market etc. And I also occasionally (whenever possible!) attend Pocket Gamer events.
Do you have any fond/happy/mad/secret memories of your time on PG you'd like to share?
A lot of my fond/happy/mad/secret memories have been wiped out thanks to all the PG parties, but I think my fondest memory is simply seeing Pocket Gamer grow up.
I remember when you lot were setting up the site I thought it was total madness: the future of online media was uncertain; games on phones were still rubbish; and they'd been the next big thing for as long as I could remember.
I simply couldn't envisage a future in which mobile games would become anything other than a niche; a subset of proper gaming. I am, of course, delighted to have been proved wrong.
What key moments or developments stick out for you from the last 10 years of the mobile games industry?
I don't think it is very leftfield to point to the rise of free-to-play as one of the key developments in the history of mobile games. I think it has played a key part in the dramatic growth of mobile gaming in recent years, both in terms of the amount of revenue that the games are making, but also the number and type of people playing them.
It has also had a significant impact on non-mobile gaming - the way games are funded, developed, marketed, and monetized. I feel very ambivalent about that. On the one hand it has opened up the whole industry to new experiences and new demographics (and kept me in a job!); on the other hand it has definitely marked the passing of an era, and the end of certain types of games that I personally loved.
Which was your favourite mobile gaming platform(s) or hardware?
The DS, I think, because of the many games that did interesting stuff with the second screen.
I am mostly playing Meitantei Conan Mystery Town on a very old Android handset, and our own BFB Soccer.
Where do you see mobile games and the industry going in the next 10 years?
Having proven myself singularly unable to see where it was going for the last 10 years I am hesitant to make any predictions.
Obviously growth is slowing now; I am unconvinced by VR and AR right now, but maybe both of them will have some part to play in the future; and streaming/eSports is clearly attracting a lot of interest right now.
Anything you'd like to add?
Nothing really: good job! Love you all! Here's to the next ten years!
Congratulations and good luck!