The iPhone has changed everything
Question: What has been the evolution of video games for mobile so far?
Answer: Well, between 2002, when we really began to work and when the technology was developed WAP (mobile Internet), and 2006, there has been an explosion, with a market of nearly 1,000 billion dollars annually worldwide. Then, during the past two years, we have experienced an important period of transition, especially innovations in devices, platforms ...
Q: What factors have marked the transition you are talking about?
A: Well, especially two, the evolution of devices, more powerful and with innovations such as touch screens, and new platforms that help develop games more interesting. Note that in two years we have gone from barely 600 Kb games, not downloadable directly from the Net, etc.., Devices like the iPhone, much more powerful-released games over 50 megs, and flat rate plans with partners him, in addition to its connectivity through WiFi or a computer. The iPhone is the clearest example to discuss the change because it has been the most innovative. Has given us the opportunity to grow a lot of us, not only because the device is very good platform for games, but because the market has broken the market. Before, we were in the hands of operators, which imposed all sorts of conditions, including price.
Q: I understand that the reasons for these changes are, firstly, new devices like the iPhone, and secondly that carriers have lost the ‘monopoly’ of the games on your mobile ...
A: Yes, I think the iPhone has shaken the entire ecosystem of the mobile industry - it has changed everything. On the one hand, Apple has pushed other manufacturers to develop the touch screen, and here is the Samsung Omnia or the 5800 XpressMusic, Nokia. On the other hand, the iPhone has also changed the relationship with carriers because Apple itself is an ecosystem, with its very effective device, their own store ... It is very easy to handle, and the truth is that it generates an enormous amount of traffic. So if you have the appropriate device, the appropriate rate plan and the appropriate content, you have everything you need to succeed.
Q: Are we then at the beginning of a new explosion of the market for video games online ‘?
A: Yes, indeed, we see how it is growing again. I do not know if I would call it an explosion, but perhaps a reaccelaration.
Q: It seems that the iPhone is the platform of choice for Gameloft ...
A: We feel very comfortable making games for the iPhone, but we like other platforms, such as Ngagara, Nokia, and any platform ‘native’ (like Windows Media). The products are stronger than those designed in Java. Ngagara, for example, we like to do sophisticated 3D games, although the difference with the iPhone is missing that ‘ecosystem’. You can create very good games, but what fails is the distribution, it’s much more complicated to buy a game for a Nokia, for example, in iTunes.
bold emphasis by me
He goes on about the problem of downloads with “normal” phones. Where the carrier can easily charge 10 euros for a 3 euro game. It’s all about who gets the money. By the old way the carrier has the benefit (from the download) and they ddn’t share it with the Game developer.
To the question if apple is their principal market the reponse is:
Apple is our most important client, but not our most major market. You have to know that we are working in video games that can potentially work 1.5 billion mobile phones arround the world while there are 20 million iPhones out there. If you see this proportion, you can make yourself an idea what it means, that Apple is our most important client.
While talking about the crisis and the persectives for mobile phone sales he mensions:
... the mobile phones that people are buying today are more sophisticated, and that helps us. Let me give you an example, although I can not tell you the brands: a US operator will bring an exclusive touch-screen phone that competes directly with the iPhone. It isn’t a cheap offer, it is not for the mass market, but 20% of the users buy video games. Compare this to 4% of mobile phones without touch-screen.
Sorry for the edit. I did not go through the whole text before publishing. If you care to read the whole interview just go to El Mundo and copy/paste the text into translate.google.com[ Edited: 11 February 2009 12:55 PM by ghobi ]
Certainly developers love it.
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