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The Future Of Mobile Games Lies With Publishers, Says Industry Leader

Mobile games have long been a free-for-all market, where there hasn’t been a single dominant force. It’s made the bar of entry low, creating both schlock and ingenious innovations. But what’s the future hold? In an interview with Gamasutra former PopCap franchise manager Giordano Contestabile says that he believes the

A month ago, Contestabile joined Tilting Point Media, a company which is “…investing $40 million in the next three years to fund the development and marketing of mobile and tablet games…”, according to their announcement. Their goals are to empower independent developers and make it easier for them to achieve commercial success.

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Contestabile starts out by referring to the fact that on iOS, “…75% of [mobile games] are made by independent developers.” Even big publishers, says Contestabile, like EA or Activision – who made huge investments on that market, only have about a 10% share of the market each. He goes on to say that the problem he saw with many independent games, was that there were “…many indie developers with great ideas and skills but it’s going to become more difficult for them to succeed in mobile, because it’s starting to become an expensive proposition.”

Unlike a company like EA, Tilting Point won’t be developing their own games either, which Contestabile sees as an advantage. He believes that many indie developers might be skeptical of the big publishers’ desire to market indie games properly when they have their own products to market.

He is also adamant that Tilting Point will only support innovative developers with a lot of experience, and not simply churn out medicore copyware. He also believes that the market is simply moving too fast for that to be a viable business strategy. Instead, the company’s goal is to find “Someone who looks at what people play and like, but wants to add more novelty and more polish.”

Contestabile also sees great potential for the industry as a whole, due to the fact that the number of people with smartphones has grown exponentially. This reduces the barrier for games as a medium, as hundreds of millions are being exposed to games for the first time, and that “…games are finally becoming a mainstream phenomenon.” Just think about the breakthrough Angry Birds had in the general public. Far from a nerdy hobby now, games are suddenly everywhere. Constabile closes by saying that he thinks this will lead to people games that “are deeper, better and higher value.”

Honestly, having a company like Tilting Point seems like a very good idea. Even with the dawn of digital distribution and the internet, it can still be hard to get word out about your game, especially if you’re not well-versed in marketing. Because of the negative influences publishers can have, I think people sometimes underestimate just how important a good publisher can be to the success of a game. Although the interview may read a bit like an extended statement, Tilting Point seems to have their hearts in the right place. They seem to have understood that to succeed in the long run businesses must innovate or perish.



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