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Mobile Gaming Changing

by August 17, 2007
Mobile Gaming Needs to Change to Prosper

Mobile Gaming Needs to Change to Prosper

Andy Nulman, CMO and president of 8-year-old, Montreal-based Airborne Entertainment, recently gave a keynote address and addressed the state of mobile gaming. An interview given about his speech was taken by GameDaily and offered some insight into why he feels that mobile gaming has pretty much stagnated before ever leaving the starting gate.

Mobile gaming has been, to-date, operating under the false assumption that it shoudl simply be a smaller screen version of what is available on primary gaming systems. The problem is - what happens when you take the exciting gameplay experience associated with a 5.1 surround experience and 52-inch screen and try to adapt that onto a 1.5-inch screen? You get a very unimpressive, unexciting, lifeless experience.

That's, aside from the occasional Tetris and poker apps, been the current mobile gaming trend, according to Nulman.

While the regular gaming community gets excited about games, spawning viral marketing opportunities and a group of people who "eat, breathe and sleep gaming," you will be hard-pressed to find the same in the mobile gaming crowd. Nulman says mobile gaming lacks passion - and the fault is the game direction. Instead of trying to produce big-screen (traditional) gaming onto the small-screen, the object should be to refocus on interactive, community-based games that cause users to interact with each other and their environment. Airborne Entertainment already has 4-5 of these types of games in the can, but they feel it will be around 2 years before the mobile community will be ready. It may take that long for carriers to want to branch out into something other than re-branded games based on movies and TV shows.

Part of being ready is the targeting of the new genre towards cell-phone users, not gamers. Gamers may never be satisfied with these types of games, but the appeal will be to a different crowd, with an emphasis on what makes gaming on the cell phone so unique. I don't know about anyone else, but I could see the feedback and gyroscopic capbilities of the Nintendo Wii integrating nicely into a cell phone for a very unique gaming experience.

Until then, Nulman feels the game developers will have to be content selling what the market is buying. That's not exactly a visionary approach, but I guess not everyone is Steve Jobs and can single-handedly change an industry overnight... Perhaps he should pitch Apple on his new ideas.

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Clint Deboer was terminated from Audioholics for misconduct on April 4th, 2014. He no longer represents Audioholics in any fashion.

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Thunder18 posts on August 18, 2007 13:34
abboudc, post: 298282
The nomad was an awesome device, the only problem with it was it ate batteries like crazy. It would be a much better device today, with the new Lithium batteries

Unfortunately for Sega, they made a bunch of bad hardware decisions in a row…32X, Sega CD, Saturn.

Absolutely correct. I still have my Nomad and I wish I could find an new GameGear rechargeable battery pack because I lost the little adaptor that holds 6 AA's. What's really sad about Sega is that the best software always came out toward the end of the hardware's short life. I still have my Sega Saturn that I purchased at Target on Clearance along with a copy of Street Fighter Alpha. As far as I know, the Saturn was the only system of it's time which could reduce loading times by adding a memory cartridge. Those old Capcom fighters looked great on the Saturn.
The Dreamcast had quite a following as well though. Unfortunately, it was more of a cult following and wasn't enough to sustain the system for any real length of time.
abboudc posts on August 18, 2007 12:09
Thunder18, post: 298157
Good points abboudc. I remember a long time ago buying a Sega Nomad on clearance at Toys R Us. For those who don't know, the Nomad was a portable Sega Genesis. It played Genesis cartridges and even had an a/v output so you could connect it to a TV and had a player 2 controller port so that you could still play 2 player games. It was a great device, but much like most Sega hardware it was too little too late.

The nomad was an awesome device, the only problem with it was it ate batteries like crazy. It would be a much better device today, with the new Lithium batteries

Unfortunately for Sega, they made a bunch of bad hardware decisions in a row…32X, Sega CD, Saturn.
Thunder18 posts on August 18, 2007 00:47
Good points abboudc. I remember a long time ago buying a Sega Nomad on clearance at Toys R Us. For those who don't know, the Nomad was a portable Sega Genesis. It played Genesis cartridges and even had an a/v output so you could connect it to a TV and had a player 2 controller port so that you could still play 2 player games. It was a great device, but much like most Sega hardware it was too little too late.
abboudc posts on August 17, 2007 19:53
The mobile market is a different market than the console market, not just a smaller version. The mobile market skews much younger, and more towards casual games. Who wants to play a 40 hour rpg on a two and a half inch screen? Who wants to play 3 hours at a stretch?

The mobile market is about casual games and younger players playing while their parents are driving them somewhere. As a younger audience, it's also more price sensitive, no one's going to buy their 8 year old a $300 mobile game system.

Which is why the DS is crushing the PSP. Nintendo has mastered the mobile market, and has essentially controlled it since the introduction of the game boy in 1989 w/Tetris. I don't think it's changed much in the past 18 years….Nintendo continues to dominate, with casual games selling better than ever.

I'm not sure who Airborne Entertainment is, but they're not a relevant player in the space. They should be asking Shigeru Miyamoto or Mr. Iwata about the status of mobile gaming, as they've sold over 10 million DS's.
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