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Feature: 'Question Of The Week Responses: The Future Of Mobile?'

In today's main Gamasutra feature, we present the responses to the latest Question Of The Week: “What interests you most about the prospects for cell phone gaming, and wh...

Simon Carless, Blogger

October 10, 2005

3 Min Read

In today's main Gamasutra feature, we present the responses to the latest Question Of The Week: “What interests you most about the prospects for cell phone gaming, and what innovations and trends do you think all game professionals should keep a close eye on in the mobile gaming market?” While there was no clear consensus of a single 'killer app' for mobile, a number of different views and insights came to light. One of the more intriguing responses was from Coray Seifert of Large Animal Games, who commented: "I think there exists a great deal of potential in the mobile market, with some very exciting work being done by developers both large and small. Specifically, I am very excited about the translation of casual games to the mobile market, as the medium fits the nature of casual games very well. Mobile and casual gamers are looking for a quick and compelling game experience, as opposed to the 3+ hour play sessions of console and traditional PC games. That said, I think the mobile market is severely hindered by the infrastructure and attitude of key executives at major companies. Just look at last month's Game Developer magazine interview with Jason Ford from Sprint. He first knocks the mobile game development industry by saying "I hate to say this, but I don't think gaming is as sexy as it once was...I mean, who doesn't have a Tetris?" He goes on to point out Sprint's key area of innovation by saying "But we do have exclusives on certain ringtones and streaming music videos; those are the kind of things that show that we're innovative." What makes this worse is that in the next paragraph, he tosses the industry a proverbial bone by saying "And maybe we're able to keep them here longer because, heck, they buy a few games and get hooked on them. That's what makes the games so important to us." So important to us? It may just be my own personal politics, but I was quite offended reading that passage, going as far as throwing my hands up in the air. This was a poor decision as I was on a packed subway car, but indicative of my extreme disappointment and surprise at this statement. I don't mean to single Ford out. In fact, I applaud his refreshing honesty and bravery in going to a magazine entitled "Game Developer" and basically saying that games aren't very important to Sprint. Still, it seems that these statements are all too indicative of the attitude of the mobile carriers as a whole. With these attitudes in place, I find it very hard to see the mobile game development industry maturing and evolving. Here's hoping those opinions change." You can now read the full Gamasutra feature on the subject, including a number of other responses by video game professionals (no registration required, please feel free to link to the article from external websites).

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About the Author(s)

Simon Carless


Simon Carless is the founder of the GameDiscoverCo agency and creator of the popular GameDiscoverCo game discoverability newsletter. He consults with a number of PC/console publishers and developers, and was previously most known for his role helping to shape the Independent Games Festival and Game Developers Conference for many years.

He is also an investor and advisor to UK indie game publisher No More Robots (Descenders, Hypnospace Outlaw), a previous publisher and editor-in-chief at both Gamasutra and Game Developer magazine, and sits on the board of the Video Game History Foundation.

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