Games as a Service will be ‘table stakes’ from 2014, says Glu


As part of an ongoing series, Fyber (formerly SponsorPay) – together with – is launching an interview series about market trends and future opportunities with C-level executives from key game developers and publishers.

The series starts with Glu Mobile’s president of publishing Chris Akhavan.

Previously at companies such as Tapjoy, RockYou and Yahoo!, Akhavan leads Glu Mobile’s worldwide publishing activities including player acquisition, advertising monetization, marketing and strategic partnerships.

How has the freemium model served Glu? What key trends do you see happening in future?

Chris Akhavan: Glu’s transitioned from a premium (licensed IP) feature phone business to an entirely free-to-play, original IP smartphone model in 2010.

This allowed the company to develop strong relationships with each of the major mobile platforms as well as reach a massive global audience.

I expect the following trends to continue or develop in the future:

  • Server-based games, ones with persistent, online interaction are dominating top grossing charts. Glu’s invested heavily in our own central server-side technology platform that we’re rolling out as part of many of our Q4 titles this year. I expect delivering true Games-as-a-Service to be table stakes from 2014 moving forward.
  • Additionally, I expect production values of titles to continue increasing over time as platforms mature. The bar for graphics, sound, and user interfaces will continue to rise as consumers expect more and more polish from the games they play.
  • Monetisation systems will also need to evolve along with the free-to-play model. As consumers better understand how free-to-play games operate, the industry is going to need to update the monetisation strategies and mechanics driving their offerings.
  • As the adoption of connected TVs, tablets and controllers for gaming continues to rise, we might also see some experimentation in session length of gameplay. Most free-to-play games are currently optimized for short session lengths as many users play in short bursts. As mobile gaming crosses into the living room, games will be designed to transition to different environments and situations, allowing users to play very short to very long sessions in ways that keep them engaged throughout various times of the day.

Read the rest of the interview here at!

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