Challenged in developing new console brands in the current climate, developer-publisher Gameloft is relying on the mobile platform -- particularly iPhone games -- to boost its revenue this year.
The company says its mobile games business will account for close to 93 percent of its sales, beating its own expectations, thanks to a sharp increase in mobile game revenue growth in 2008.
That mobile revenue will drive a 15 percent year-over-year boost for Gameloft's revenue overall, it says, expecting revenues of €110 million ($145 million) for the year.
The company has launched 21 iPhone games so far, several of which it says rank among the 10 best-selling iPhone games in various regions -- and Gameloft intends to increase its investments on the platform in 2009. It also looks to strengthen its position with emerging Smartphone platforms, such as Google' Android and Nokia's N-Gage.
While the Paris-based studio has high expectations for its downloadable console games (on WiiWare, Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Store, and the upcoming Nintendo DSi Shop), it notes that sales for its three recent console game retail releases, TV Show King Party
(Wii), Guitar Rock Tour
(DS), and Real Football 2009
(DS), have been disappointing.
As a result, Gameloft has scaled down its console games sales projections and now expects its console games business to account for only 7 percent of its overall sales, compared to its initial projection of 15 percent.
"The current economic situation has prompted distributors of conventional console games to exercise more caution than usual, thus making it increasingly difficult to develop new game brands," says Gameloft.
The company, however, expects 2009 to "stay on the growth course both in terms of sales and profitability," noting that its net cash position is solid and has remained stable in the past nine months.