Game devs play catch-up in mobile market

2012-08-15 22:37
AFP

AFP

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cologne - The bass and drums are as loud as ever, but the mood music has changed at Gamescom, Europe's biggest gaming fair, as developers whose bedrock business has targeted console gamers play catch-up with the mass mobile market.

Smartphones such as Apple's iPhone and Samsung's Galaxy as well as tablets have revolutionised not only the mobile world but the gaming universe.

"Ten years ago we used to measure our market in terms of 200 million people. Now we are at a billion people playing games and we have a straight line view on 2 billion," said Frank Gibeau, head of labels at Electronic Arts.

In Europe, 36% of €11.3bn spent on games in 2011 came from mobile and digital channels, IHS Screen Digest data shows.

"We expect that to increase to 44% this year. By 2016 we are forecasting a 54% share for digital and mobile channels," said Piers Harding-Rolls, Head of Games at the research firm.

"At the moment, it's not only what you play that is important, but also where you play," Jim Ryan, Chief Executive at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, told a press conference.

Investors are beginning to ask how traditional games distributors such as Electronic Arts, Activision Blizzard and Take-Two Interactive Software will cope with the competition.

Will the makers of hits such as Star Wars, Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto be outplayed by the likes of Zynga, which distributes the large majority of its games via Facebook.

As if to mark a changing of the guard at the Cologne games fair, Sony, which makes the PlayStation console, is the only one of the big three console makers that has even turned up.

Microsoft and Nintendo, makers of the XBox and Wii consoles, respectively, have decided to showcase their products later this year.

Free-to-play

Since the introduction of so-called free-to-play games on personal computers, smartphones and tablets, the ground is changing beneath the feet of traditional makers.

Customers can get to know games without spending money, and only if they try it and like it do they have to start paying. And they can add new levels to a game for just a few euros, where once their only choice was to pay €40 or €50 for a disc.

The new model could also work to the benefit of developers.

Instead of spending millions upfront, they only need to build a very small portion of the game, test it with real gamers and learn what they like and don't like.

"We like this new model," EA's Frank Gibeau added. "It's a lot more like a life operation that you continuously build. It's a lot more like a service."

Although the gaming industry is usually fairly resilient in economic downturns, the free-to-play and online segment is actually helping it grow through the tough times.

"We know from the old Romans, even in worse times people need entertainment. People stay at home and spend more on home and family entertainment," said Uwe Bassendowski, managing director at Sony Computer Entertainment in Germany.

He expects a slight decrease in German sales from discs, but mainly due to lower prices. "However, this effect will be more than offset by revenues from our online business. So bottom line, we expect to grow our revenues."

"It is not even a blessing in disguise. They are right there," EA's Chief Operating Officer Peter Moore said.

Read more on:    sony  |  ea  |  zynga  |  germany  |  gaming
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

The rich will pay - Mpofu

The EFF in Gauteng will focus all its energy on improving the lives of the poor, the party's premier candidate Dali Mpofu says.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Watch what happened when we blindfolded Helen Zille and asked her to eat random things
13 days to elections - news you need to know
11 Julius Malema quotes you'll never forget
DA won't get 30% - Zille
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Tuesday Century City - 05:58 AM
    Road name: Ratanga Road Southbound
    ROADWORKS - lane closure between Ocean Spirit Avenue and Century Boulevard (until mid April)
  • Tuesday Mitchells Plain - 05:58 AM
    Road name: Spine Road
    ROAD CLOSED between Weltevreden Drive and Seafarer Drive due to roadworks (until mid April)
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Mother’s Day special offers!

Spoil mom with these awesome specials that will warm her heart. Shop now!

Twisp – the smoking alternative

Buy any 2 refills for R250 and save R149. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Mother’s Day specials on appliances

Browse our range of Mother’s Day appliances to spoil and pamper mom. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Curve 9360

The BlackBerry Curve 9360 smartphone comes preloaded with Blackberry OS7...

From R1595.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Treat yourself to something beautiful. You tend to put so much energy in making everything around you work harmoniously, and...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.