Yesterday InsideGamesAsia.biz (IGA.biz) spoke to Maxim de Wit, one of the main drivers behind the Global Mobile Game Congress. Maxim gave an intensive insight about the preparation of the conference which will take place next week in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.
IGA.biz: What is the profile of GMGC?
Maxim de Wit: The Global Mobile Game Confederation (GMGC) is an international platform for players in the mobile gaming ecosystem that aims to support the growth of a healthy industry and was founded in 2012 by David Song in Beijing, China.
We have different products and services to support the industry, the first one being events to help connect and promote the industry. We organize the two largest annual B2B mobile gaming conferences in China, the Global Mobile Game Congress held every spring in Beijing, and the Global Mobile Game Developer Conference held in Chendu, as well as the Mobile Game Asia conference series in Southeast Asia and smaller seminars throughout the year. However don’t mistake us for purely being a conference organizer, we also have an executive member network (currently having over 300 VP’s and C-level executives) that we provide summits, consultancy and personal businesses introductions for, as well as financial services in the form of connecting startups with investors, PR services, recruitment services, industry white books, and an industry news website.
What all these products and services, and the regions we operate in, have in common is that they provide industry players with ways to accelerate their business and explore new markets. Last but not least, we are completely self-funded to ensure we remain a neutral and independent organization, and currently have our headquarters based in Beijing, with offices in Taipei, Shanghai, Chengdu and Shenzhen, with representatives in Scandinavia, Vietnam, South Korea and Hungary.
IGA.biz: Why do you chose different cities for GMGC and why Ho Chi Minh City?
Maxim de Wit: Southeast Asia is the next frontier of growth for the mobile gaming industry, however apart from small meetups and some larger events in Singapore, we saw that nobody was providing a platform for international companies to explore the different Southeast Asian markets as well as no opportunities for the local communities in these markets to show what they are working on and connect with companies outside their own markets.
Because of this, in the beginning of 2014 we decided to focus on expanding our platform to Southeast Asia by expanding the member network there and creating the Mobile Game Asia conference as a roadshow event that bounces around all the hot and upcoming Southeast Asian markets to give every local community a global spotlight and provide international companies with a great opportunity to explore these markets.
For the third edition of the Mobile Game Asia Conference we chose Ho Chi Minh City because of multiple reasons: Vietnam boasts a strong and eager local community (which is needed to have a good conference, organizing conferences in places that lack a local community to support are a waste of everyone’s time in my personal opinion), it is a market that is seeing a rapid increase in smartphone penetration and thus potential players, and has a few local giants such as VNG and SohaGame and the presence of international players such as Gameloft, DeNA, OPPO, Garena and Viber.
IGA.biz: What are the main topics for GMGC in Vietnam?
Maxim de Wit: As can be seen on the conference website’s agenda page, Mobile Game Asia focuses on providing insights into different Asian markets including Vietnam, Southeast Asia as a region, India and China, but also covers more general opportunities and challenges such as the challenge of talent sourcing, the opportunity of e-sports and tips and tricks for the pre-production stage of creating a new game. The main topic of the Mobile Game Asia conference is the Asia markets, and that is why all the speakers are active in Asia. The event does not cover other regions such as the Western markets or South America.
IGA.biz: Are there any more things you plan to add to the agenda for GMGC Ho Chi Minh City, or are you just about done with it at this point?
Maxim de Wit: As can be seen from the website we are pretty much set in terms of confirming the speakers and exhibitors. The only thing left for us to do is to make sure that all the logistics are executed properly and deal with the massive wave of last-minute registrations. No matter how early you announce an event, people always register at the last moment which is not only challenging to deal with for us as organizers in terms of administration, but also results into some unlucky people that already booked their flights and accommodation only to find out they cannot attend the event because they cannot get their hands on a ticket, as we have sold out our conference tickets for every Mobile Game Asia conference so far.
IGA.biz: What do you think of the mix of people showing now? Do you see more developers than business people, for instance?
Maxim de Wit: In terms of attendance demographics we are expecting about 600 to 700 people to fly in from outside of Vietnam. In terms of developers vs business people, it is a healthy mix, however the vast majority of attendees flying in from abroad are business people while the developers are mainly local Vietnamese.
IGA.biz: How many people do you expect this year, and how many exhibitors?
Maxim de Wit: We have confirmed 76 speakers and 43 exhibitors for the show and are expecting an attendance of well over 1,500 and will more likely end up being near to 2,000.
IGA.biz: How about we talk about your personal history in the games business? When did that start?
Maxim de Wit: My career started back in 2010 when I first came to China for a five month exchange program at Beijing Normal University. After the exchange program finished I had fallen in love with the city’s dynamic atmosphere and instead of going back to The Netherlands I joined GWC, an organization as one of the original employees that provides a similar platform for the mobile internet industry and organizes Asia’s and Silicon Valley’s largest B2B mobile internet conferences today. That organization was founded by 3 people, and one of them left in 2012 to set up a new organization that more specifically focuses on just the mobile gaming industry; that person was David Song, and after one year I jumped over to GMGC to head the internationalization of the organization at the end of 2013.
IGA.biz: What is your favourite game ever, and for what reason?
Maxim de Wit: That’s a tough question! I love PC games, console games (currently the proud owner of a Playstation 4) and mobile games. When it comes to mobile games I will limit it to 4:
1. One Epic Knight, which in my opinion is the best endless runner game ever made
2. Crazy Kings, a fantastic tower defense game
3. Angry Birds Fight!, Rovio’s new hit which is a match-3 puzzle game and has become my favorite in its genre for its RPG features
4. Drop7, a simple puzzle game that will keep you busy and entertained for quite while
IGA.biz: Thank you for the interview, Maxim. Looking Forward to see you next week in Ho Chi Minh City.