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3GSM: RealNetworks calls on industry to address key issues

Larson discusses challenges of reaching mainstream audience

Gunnar Larson, director of mobile games for RealNetworks, has called on the mobile gaming community to address three key issues in order for the industry to reach a mass-market audience.

Speaking at 3GSM, the EMEA executive highlighted quality, retailing and technology progression as the three most important issues holding back the mobile gaming market.

"First of all, we have to solve the 'churn' issue. There's about 80 per cent of users that don't buy a game after their first. For every hundred people only four come back - that's a key issue we have to address," said Larson.

"We need game quality, game design and game innovation... To satisfy the gamer in all of us. We need to satisfy the gamer with better quality games."

Looking outside of the mobile industry at traditional retailing practices could also help unify pricing and promote consumer understanding of the packages they're buying, according to Larson.

"We need to look at retailing across the entire supply chain. Together, we have to improve the shopping experience to decrease the 'time to fun' - from service to actually playing the game on a handset.

"Operators need to adopt some high street retailing practices and we need to help them by offering things such as try-before-you-buy and bundles," he offered.

Although Larson believes handset technology is currently perfectly tuned for mobile gaming, he said the adoption of 3D will help attract new users.

"This is key - the technology progress and adoption needs to continue. Handsets are good enough today to play the games, but they can always improve.

"Once we get these three key drivers in place, we will become closer to the mainstream market," he concluded.

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