Home / News / Week in Views – The search for skills, billion dollar birthdays and terrific tra | Pocket Gamer.biz

Week in Views – The search for skills, billion dollar birthdays and terrific tra | Pocket Gamer.biz

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Week in Views - | Pocket Gamer.biz

The games industry moves quickly and while stories may come and go there are some that we just can’t let go of…

So, to give those particularly thorny topics a further going over we’ve created a weekly digest where the members of the PocketGamer.biz team share their thoughts and go that little bit deeper on some of the more interesting things that have happened in mobile gaming in the past week.

Craig Chapple
Head of Content
Craig Chapple is a freelance analyst, consultant and writer with specialist knowledge of the games industry. He has previously served as Senior Editor at PocketGamer.biz, as well as holding roles at Sensor Tower, Nintendo and Develop.

UK skills crisis prompts call for games industry-led body to tackle key challenges

I highly recommend checking out the Skillful report on the ‘Skills Crisis in the UK Games Sector’.

Issues with junior developers breaking into the industry has long been a key challenge. When I previously worked at Develop magazine, we published a feature 10 years ago about the difficulties graduates faced. There simply weren’t enough jobs for the amount of talent coming through.

A decade later, there remain few opportunities for graduates and inexperienced developers. Last year Games Jobs Live director Colin Macdonald presented data showing a lack of opportunities – with just 34 roles out of 1,170 openings in November last year open to juniors. And now the sector is being hit hard by widespread layoffs, further limiting opportunities and leaving some of those who finally broke through without a job once again.

This report highlights that problem – it noted that only 7% of vacant roles were open for new entrants, which it said risks “creating a stunted pipeline of skilled workers, which could hinder future growth”.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum, there’s a shortage of experienced and skilled talent to fill mid-to-senior level roles. It’s hardly surprising when you consider factors such as developers exiting the industry entirely, heavy competition with other global games hubs, and a lack of support for mid-career progression.

The report, which brought together representatives from 65 games sector employers, comes at a critical moment for the UK games industry. It has called for the formation of a games-led body to take on these challenges and find practical solutions. The report sets out clear problems that need to be fixed to improve the situation for what remains one of the world’s most successful games hubs. And without action, they will only continue to fester.

Week in Views - The search for skills, billion dollar birthdays and terrific tra | Pocket Gamer.biz

Daniel Griffiths
Editor – PocketGamer.biz
Daniel Griffiths is a veteran journalist who has worked on some of the biggest entertainment media brands in the world. He’s interviewed countless big names, and covered countless new releases in the fields of videogames, music, movies, tech, gadgets, home improvement, self build, interiors and garden design. Yup, he said garden design… He’s the ex-Editor of PSM2, PSM3, GamesMaster and Future Music, ex-Deputy Editor of The Official PlayStation Magazine and ex-Group Editor-in-Chief of Electronic Musician, Guitarist, Guitar World, Rhythm, Computer Music and more. He hates talking about himself.

Monopoly GO! celebrates its first birthday and shares its behind-the-scenes story

A year? Already? We love it when a plan comes together and the hard work went into making Monopoly GO! a success – as the game celebrates its birthday – just got a welcome spotlight shone upon it.

While mobile insiders are all too aware of the work required to break through and have a hit, for many outside of mobile, its games remain simple, random, free-to-play moonshots where today’s colourful clone is  equally likely to be smash as it is to disappear without trace.

Therefore to hear Scopely tell their game’s story and the six years they spent building the team that could put it together perhaps represents something of a sea change for the perception of mobile games. Simple has become a science that takes years to get right. A famous franchise is merely a leg up rather than a guarantee of success. And taking the time to tweak, listen and achieve perfection rather than rushing to market with a ‘fire and forget’ will – as this $2 billion dollar+ earner clearly shows – eventually pay off.

This is a different way of making games and hitting the target, and anyone who wants similar success needs to learn from the best.

Week in Views - The search for skills, billion dollar birthdays and terrific tra | Pocket Gamer.biz

Paige Cook
Deputy Editor
Paige is the Deputy Editor on PG.biz who, in the past, has worked in games journalism covering new releases, reviews and news. Coming from a multimedia background, she has dabbled in video editing, photography, graphic and web design! If she’s not writing about the games industry, she can probably be found working through her ever-growing game backlog or buried in a good book.

Fallout Amazon series boosts Fallout Shelter downloads by 516%

The release of Amazon Prime series based on Fallout has boosted revenue for Fallout Shelter, which is perhaps not much of a surprise. We’ve seen a similar outcome with other video games once they’ve been adapted to TV or film, such as HBO’s The Last of Us, which had a similar impact on game sales. I don’t think the impact would be quite as successful if the show was a flop, but in this case, the show is great, and that can only help.

The fact that Fallout Shelter had a boost of 516% in downloads and managed $200,000 in total gross revenue across just five days is a true testament to the power of a great IP adaptation. As I mentioned, it may not be a shock, but it is still interesting, even more so considering the rate at which games are now becoming a wider part of mainstream media culture. I remember when gamers would hear that ‘X’ game is being turned into a movie, and we would all wince in pain knowing that the odds of it being done well weren’t high, but I feel like we’re finally getting to the point where – mostly – these adaptations are actually good!

Not only is it nice to see video games getting a new level of respect, but it’s also smart business. There’s clearly much to benefit from getting things right, and while game adaptations may not be a new thing, there’s undoubtedly been a shift in how frequently we’re seeing them get picked up, and I’m all for it.

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