Mobile Gaming Will Overtake AAA Business, Says Developer
Despite the fact that mobile gaming really isn't as lucrative in actuality (and hard facts) as many mobile studio adopters would lead everyone to believe, there are some who are still drinking the fruity liquid of mobile propaganda like it was 1999 and going out of style like Prince heading into the aughts.
GamesIndustry.biz managed to get in an interview with Ubisoft's current online content supervisor, Teut Weidemann. He stats right off the bat that he's only working with Ubisoft under contract, hence why the headline doesn't read “Mobile Gaming Will Overtake AAA Business, Says Ubisoft”. Also, Yves Guillemot would have a heart attack if anyone in the company even remotely suggested that their money-milker franchise was in trouble... Assassin's Creed.
Anyway, Weidermann makes it known that the smartphone market is the disruptive market and that we could be seeing history repeat itself the way it happened with the original NES when it came onto the market and destroyed the Colecovision, Amiga and Atari after the great gaming fall of the 80s. Weidermann also goes on to say...
"The reach the smartphone gives us into territories where we'd never done business before is so immense, and still growing,"
GI.biz paraphrases how Weidermann believes the typical AAA business and boxed retail market are nearly done and over with and that the emergence of the smartphone business will overtake the flailing gaming sectors.
Weidermann does have some criticisms of the mobile market, though, noting that curation, quality control and monetization are still a problem...
“The first challenge is there is no access barrier to the market," ... "And that means there's a whole lot of [junk] on these app stores. This usually is a problem for healthy markets. If there's no access barrier, the markets sooner or later collapse."
This is a problem bemoaned by many developers, as noted by those who stated that mobile gaming sucked and that they were going back to PC and console.
Weidermann also makes a very good point about the free-to-play market on mobile devices, citing that they're closer to gambling dens than actual gaming experiences...
“They don't sell a game; they sell a monetization platform," ... "And if you do that, the game might do really well in the first couple months, but later on it will actually fail. If you're in it for the long run, you should actually have a healthy mix."
Also, cutting out Weidermann's excess adulation toward the rise of mobile gaming, I do agree that the traditional AAA business model is doomed. The development costs and marketing cannot be sustained in that way for long and it will either have to change or die.
I do disagree with boxed copies of gaming products, though. I hope there's always an option to walk into a brick and mortar retail outlet and pick up the latest or greatest game... sometimes, as an enthusiast and collector, it's fun just browsing the store shelf and buying a plastic-packaged copy of a title for your game system. Nothing beats that new case plastic smell.
(Main image courtesy of Mashable)
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