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    Miniclip’s James Russell on UA setting adjustments and crypto volatility | Pocket

    As 2021 begins to fade into reminiscence, we’re looking again on the occasions which have outlined the final 12 months in cellular gaming.

    We have requested the trade’s nice and good to present us their tackle the yr, in addition to predicting the developments that can dominate in 2022.

    James Russell is the chief product officer at Switzerland-based free-to-play video games outfit Miniclip.

    What do you suppose was the largest information for the cellular video games trade in 2021?

    It’s been an eventful yr to say the least. On the enterprise facet, we noticed some large IPOs earlier within the yr, and a seamless wave of consolidation within the trade. And at Miniclip, we’ve additionally welcomed a number of nice new studios into the household.

    As an trade, the UA setting modified so much with iOS 14, and there’s fixed drama across the funds outlook. However the final two years have been like nothing else for one cause; the pandemic continues to influence everybody’s lives the world over, and it has been a troublesome time for therefore many individuals. I’m very aware of how fortunate we’re as an trade to have the ability to proceed creating video games and entertaining gamers regardless of all of this.

    Whereas there’s so much occurring within the cellular trade, it’s not possible to not point out the rise of blockchain gaming, and NFTs normally

    Which cellular recreation do you suppose had the largest influence on the trade this yr?

    In earlier years, there has typically been a standout recreation to focus on. However in 2021, I feel there have been so many attention-grabbing new video games, in addition to progress in present stay titles, that it’s arduous to focus on one specifically. This speaks to the range of the video games produced, the range of audiences on cellular, and the range of experiences that individuals all over the world need from cellular video games. From social open worlds to shooters, from RPGs to Match-Three, and from hypercasual to youngsters’ video games, this actually is a medium for everybody on the earth.

    What’s your prime and/or favorite cellular recreation of 2021?

    I’m very proud that we’ve got seen our flagship title, 8 Ball Pool, proceed to develop and prosper in its tenth anniversary yr, hitting a giant milestone of 1 billion downloads. The recognition of the sport retains rising, and we’ve continued to enhance the participant expertise and recreation efficiency with new options and content material. It’s actually thrilling to see 8 Ball Pool go from energy to energy. Now we have passionate groups working tirelessly on the sport, and an unimaginable rising viewers all over the world that’s taking part in increasingly more every month. It’s an enormous privilege to be a part of it.

    When it comes to your organization, what is the factor you are most pleased with throughout 2021?

    I’m very proud that Miniclip has been one of many prime 10 world publishers on cellular this yr, regardless of the persevering with presence of hyper-casual publishers within the charts, and the truth that we’ve got not moved into hyper-causal ourselves.

    It’s been a giant yr for Miniclip when it comes to new recreation launches. It isn’t straightforward to construct, launch and develop profitable video games on cellular; we’ve had our fair proportion of challenges too, however I feel our studios have executed a terrific job constructing and releasing extra high quality video games this yr than ever earlier than, all whereas working from residence. I’m particularly enthusiastic about Pure Sniper and Cricket League, each globally launched in November.

    the pandemic continues to influence everybody’s lives the world over, and it has been a troublesome time for therefore many individuals

    What do you suppose would be the largest development over the subsequent 12 months?

    Whereas there’s so much occurring within the cellular trade, it’s not possible to not point out the rise of blockchain gaming, and NFTs normally. Though future volatility in crypto markets might disrupt this briefly sooner or later, there isn’t a doubt that is one thing that can’t be ignored.

    There are a lot of totally different views on this house, and it will likely be attention-grabbing to see how issues develop, however I feel essentially the most profitable and enduring initiatives might want to present genuine, significant causes to be blockchain-based and supply significant long-term tradable possession worth for any related NFTs; an actual and genuine worth proposition. It’s going to be fairly a experience.

    What are you most trying ahead to in 2022?

    I’m excited to see how our lately launched video games evolve over the subsequent yr, and naturally in regards to the new titles we’ve got in retailer for launch in 2022.

    I’m additionally hopeful that the broader state of affairs improves so we will safely work collectively bodily once more, in addition to journey. There are such a lot of new colleagues and new studios inside the Miniclip household that I haven’t met or visited, and I’m very a lot hoping to have the ability to make these visits in 2022 and meet them head to head.

    You may take a look at all of our 2021 in Assessment interviews right here.

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