Tuesday, July 31, 2007

20 hot trends in mobile gaming

Ooh, how I like a good list, and this is a really good one from the lovely folks at Mobile Entertainment magazine summarising the key points from the Develop Mobile conference in Brighton recently. Michael French has summarised Stuart Dredge's key points from the closing keynote and I've interpreted them below. See the full article for the original comments.

The 20 hot trends in mobile gaming are:

1. Loadsamoney
Folks are making money in this sector.

2. Local Brands
Doesn't need to be a big brand, but you need a brand (same with anything product or service you're selling IMHO)

3. Developers for Sale
Mergers and acquisitions happening.

4. Unified release dates
Same release date for all formats of a game. (Makes sense to me).

5. Herd Mentality
Companies are copying other companies' successful game formats, and doing well out of it.

6. Lack of Innovation
Speaks for itself.

7. D2C opportunities
Games companies are looking beyond operator portals and exploring ways to connect with consumers direct.

8. Ad-funded Portals
Still to be proven. Early days yet.

9. The Gong Shows
Awards ceremonies 'n stuff help raise developer profiles which increases chances of deals.

10. Casual Crossover
Using game formats in other media is helping move folks on to their mobile variants.

11. New Hardware
More devices, improved accessibility.

12. 3D Improving
Is 3D all that on mobile? Go read Stuart Dredge's comments in the full article to make your own mind up.

13. Going Native
A challenge as to who does what and who will win the development war.

14. Play Together
We're still not playing nicely together in the playground which is odd since online social media is huge. Seems this bit still hasn't been worked out yet properly on mobile.

15. User generated content
Some firms are letting their players upload content to personalise the game. I like this idea. The PC game Trackmania, which BeepMarketing did some marketing for a few years back, used exactly this concept. The idea was that you created your own racing track and then connected with other gamers over the internet to share and connect your tracks and enjoy racing on them. I don't like racing games particularly, but I really liked this one.

16. Social networking
Can the "stars" of social networks help promote and sell mobile games?

17. The Whizzy Stuff
Will the new stuff help sell mobile games, like wii style gaming on your phone?

18. Micropayments
Seems more payment models are coming in because of the ability to manage micropayments.

19. Word of mouth
Dredge has some interesting comments on this topic.

20. We love journalists
Can and should editorial sell games direct since they're so important in promoting mobile games.