Friday, March 12, 2010
The results of my latest poll are in... and considering that 2 of the most popular responses show that readers believe that 2010 will be remembered as a year of "pain" and "consolidation" it's pretty clear, despite consumer smartphone exuberance, the general mood amongst those that provide content for those devices is pretty negative. I must say that this echoes the majority of sentiment (with several notable exceptions) that I heard from mobile games publishers at GDC this last week. Competition is intense, iPhone growth is not offsetting carrier declines, price erosion continues on iTunes and no other smartphone platforms are close to providing meaningful revenues yet. Basically we're going through the mobile equivalent of a console upgrade cycle... where consumers (particularly those with a propensity to buy mobile content) are rapidly moving to sexier hardware. The problem is that the content distribution channels are developing unevenly, with business models that don't necessarily play to the advantage of incumbent players. No doubt the landscape of top performing companies in mobile entertainment will look quite different a year from now than it does today.