Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Mobile Monday London 30 Jan 2012 Digest

I decided to join a few old colleagues to the Mobile Monday London yesterday evening and was quite glad I did - there were a lot of interesting points raised, which I will try and digest as concisely and impartially as possible, having worked with all parties involved: developers, store owners, companies of all kinds commissioning development of apps and games and lastly handset manufacturers and mobile operators.

The subject was: Mobile Games; current trends and what are the lessons for other sectors? This is very interesting as I have often seen games as an indicator of where apps may be going and sometimes even vice-versa. The panel had a broad and interesting background, the moderation animated and the questions slowly built up to a frenzy towards the end when beers were calling, so without further rambling, my bullets are:

Key Highlights
  • 16% of 5.4bn mobiles sold last year were smartphones
  • Fragmentation: One person in the audience remarked that they still remember the days of 14,000 Java SKUs and we seem to be heading the same way with Android. The panel commented that most developers they know are developing 6 SKUs for Android vs. 4 for iOS, so it really is not that big a deal. 
  • You can buy your way to the top of the (apple) app store 
  • Android was seen as more likely to promote an innovative idea...
  • the Android market is more freemium but the iOS market still quite premium, however, 
  • both the way you develop freemium as well as the gameplay is different to the way you develop premium apps, from the start, for the former marketing people are involved from the beginning and the game play is quite different
  • Developers are trying to diversify (more below) but none of them use a roadmap, and those that do only do it to launch and then follow public demand. (CB: I have seen this a lot shall write more on this later on this blog)
Other key points
  • Emerging market is still seeing a lot of Java vs. the two horse Android / Apple race of the ROW
  • despite 500,000 apps on the Appstore, the amount of copycat games is now growing rapidly
  • While developers are tying to get out of the "apple bin" they are still looking for incentives to get out and into Android, these maybe grants from the likes of Tiga, as well as other incentives such as pay for hire...
  • Developers are trying to get away from one big hit on on the app store
  • Piracy was seen as a barrier to Android market early on (CB: assume they mean rooting, however you can jailbreak an iPhone, so not sure how founded this is)
  • Mobile Ads are a part of a freemium strategy, typically can be 20% of revenue??
  • The big screen coming into play: yes (CB: even more need for a a roadmap!)
  • Gamification: is it a threat? the quorum was that gamification is for people who don't know how to develop games. 
  • Social gaming is growing 
  • developers are still spreading their developing bets between cross platform and not
  • The App Store is "more predictable" (CB: I think reading these bullets again its just that most developers, audience included, know the app store better, and of course, it is an older model)
So that's what I took away from the event, I would be interested to hear and points I may have missed, and comments people may have, etc. I recently moved this blog over from a tired 2006- html design of my own, and with it did a bit of a clean-up, but will be adding content back over frequently now, and will post updates on my Google+ profile, so please feel free to follow should you wish


  1. 'Tiger' is the UK game development trade body: Tiga.


  2. many thanks Ian, have edited and added link, C