2013 In Review: Vlambeer's Rami Ismail

'Without Ridiculous Fishing, Vlambeer might not exist'

2013 In Review: Vlambeer's Rami Ismail

As we come to the end of 2013, it's time to look back at the events that dominated the last 12 months in mobile gaming.

As such, we've asked the industry's great and good to give their take on the last year, as well as predicting the trends that will come to pass in 2014.

Rami Ismail is Business and development head at Dutch outfit Vlambeer - the studio behind Ridiculous Fishing, Super Crate Box and Luftrausers.

Pocket Gamer: What do you think was the most significant event for the mobile games industry in 2013? Rami Ismail: Of course, a lot happened in mobile games in 2013, but the significant events were in 'living room gaming' this year.

We actually think the fact that their was no real 'most significant event' indicates that mobile games have stabilised into a serious part of gaming, a part that for quite a lot of gamers is no longer considered 'less' than console, handheld and PC gaming.

In many ways, we're seeing the rise of 'mobile gaming' as something to which designers properly understand the context, allowing them to craft beautiful experiences unique to the mobile platform.

What was the most significant event for Vlambeer?

Without a doubt the release of Ridiculous Fishing. Not only did the game redeem us from the whole cloning controversy, it ended up doing extremely well for a two-man studio, winning a plethora of awards and launching to so much positivity.

It is not an exaggeration to say that without the launch of that game, Vlambeer might not exist anymote.

What was your favourite mobile game of the year?

Spaceteam was 2012, wasn't it? Darn. Can we pick two? Ah, you won't get to stop us if we do since you're interviewing us by e-mail, will you? We'll just answer with two games.

Our favourite mobile game is without a doubt 868-HACK by Michael Brough. 868-HACK offers an extreme amount of depth and is a game offering so many layers of strategy and choices through extremely minimal means. Gamers that appreciate intellectual challenge should not miss out on this game.

The other one is DEVICE 6, which is both clever and atmospheric beyond belief.

Smestorp's 868-HACK

What do you predict will be the most important trends in 2014?

We hope the mobile games industry will finally start making strides when it comes to developing more moral F2P models. We still believe F2P as it currently exists is a problematic part of the industry.

We've received signals that the European Union might be investigating whether to clamp down on F2P or not, and that alone says that as an industry, we're not properly addressing people exploiting the model.

We hope that this year, some studio will figure out to do F2P in a way that is both financially successful, not damaging to the game's design, and not exploitative of its players.

We'll keep making premium games, and we hope that 'premium' will increasingly mean that people are willing to pay $3 or more for high-quality, no-compromise game experiences.

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

Make games.

Thanks to Rami for his time.
Keith Andrew
Keith Andrew
With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font. He's also Pocket Gamer's resident football gaming expert and, thanks to his work on, monitors the market share of all mobile OSes on a daily basis.