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Metacore’s Chris Hong on how games connect people | Pocket Gamer.biz

Chris Hong, Tech Lead for Backend and Service at Metacore Games, started his career as a server programmer in 1995.

He successfully led 13+ real-time massive multiplayer games on PC/console and 5+ mobile games. He has founded three game startups and ran them for almost 15 years. He has also lectured in game programming.

In his Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #8 presentation, Chris will discuss design, implementation and automating the backend in Liveops.

With the labour-intensive service environment constantly changing, needing to be improved by reflecting user requests and feedback, continuous monitoring and maintenance work can be a huge burden.

This session will share the experience of automating Liveops, talking about what must be considered and how to implement it. Chris will also share his lessons learned along the way to help with automating Liveops.

PocketGamer.biz: Tell us a bit about what you do?

Chris Hong: Metacore Games is the developer of Merge Mansion and one of the fastest-growing mobile game companies in Helsinki.

Downloads for Merge Mansion have now exceeded the 10 million milestone, with 10.7 million installs made in 11 months to be precise. We are edging closer to $40 million from player spending since launching on September 16th 2020.

Supercell has backed the game studio for years, with an initial investment of $5.9 million in 2018 followed by a $17.9 million investment and an $11.9 million credit line in 2020.

Games are not just about the playing anymore: they connect people.

Chris Hong

The new credit line financing strengthens Metacore’s capability to accelerate its growth while maintaining its current ownership structure and autonomy.

What does your role entail?

I lead the tech team for live services and the backend in the studio.

Why did you want to work in the games industry?

I joined the game industry almost by accident. At the beginning, it was a lot of fun to develop games and there was big potential for business. That was 26 years ago and now my whole life is full of games!

What advice would you give to anyone looking to get into the games industry?

Game development isn’t just about fun anymore. The game industry changed a lot and is now more about business and services. You have to be prepared to take feedback from everyone.

What are your thoughts on the industry in the last 12 months?

As you know, the biggest global topic has been COVID-19. It changed people’s lifestyles significantly and that effect will remain permanently. People spend more time with games; they talk more about games; the wave of metaverse talk also raised up as a big trend because of this, I think.

Now the game industry is the living platform of a new human society.

Games are a main topic for everyone, not only for gamers.

Chris Hong

What major trends do you predict in the next 12 months?

Following my previous answer, one new trend will be ‘live and seamless connection’. Games are not just about the playing anymore: they connect people.

Even if a game is simple and doesn’t have any live features, we talk about it, we share the topics of the game and we build social relationships from those topics. So, games will become more a part of our real lives.

How has the games industry changed since you first started?

During the early 1990s, there was no industry. It was more like a closed society or club for the game developers. Nowadays, the game industry is one of the biggest and most powerful contenders in the business industry.

It’s not only for enjoyment or to spend your free time on – it is part of life. Games are a main topic for everyone, not only for gamers.

Which part of the Connects event are you most looking forward to and why?

I’m not sure yet!

You can find Chris at Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #8.

Join the conversation

Hear from Chris Hong and more than 250 other expert speakers at PG Connects Digital #8, September 27 – October 1. Don’t forget to check the full conference schedule to see exactly who you could be learning from throughout the week.

It’s the perfect time to register and secure your spot as the MeetToMatch meeting platform is now live, meaning you can hop straight in and start requesting meetings with industry professionals from across the globe today.

Book your ticket now!


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