Foci Mobile lead analyst Steve Palley discusses the key role of 'the carrier guy' in his latest 'Going Mobile' column, particularly referencing Jason Ford's move from Sprint Nextel to Namco as an example of why the guy in charge of picking games for the major cellphone carriers may not want to be there for ever.
Reflecting the importance of cellphone carriers in his introduction, Palley notes:
"Our strange little sect comes complete with a holy trinity--Verizon Wireless, Cingular, and Sprint Nextel--and the officials who serve as their avatars are subjected to the kind of creepy, quasi-religious adulation usually reserved for pop idols.
The carrier guys (and gals) stand like giants at the nexus of business, politics, entertainment, and yes, religion. For many developers and publishers, their favor is all that separates profitability from abject failure. How’s this for temporal power: if a particular carrier guy doesn’t like your game, it’s not going to secure premium placement on that carrier’s deck, and you’ll go from shopping for yachts to e-mailing the other two carrier guys every fifteen minutes.
If two carrier guys don’t like it, your company will be stuck with only a single meaningful distribution channel. If you strike out with all three carrier guys, there will be no reason to expect a Christmas bonus, if you catch my drift."
You can now read the full Gamasutra column on the subject
, including plenty more on the mobile game market from one of the most seasoned observers out there (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from external websites).