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Bushnell: Mobile games are over

Atari founder sees Google Glass, Oculus Rift as next big thing, believes mobile market is glutted with competition

Mobile gaming is over. That's according to Atari founder Nolan Bushnell, who told All Things D that the smart money is no longer going into smartphones.

"All the money's out," Bushnell said. "Do I really want to do a mobile game that's one of 300,000, where discoverability is everything? You really have to have a little more sizzle on the steak."

Bushnell explained that the companies who have succeeded in the market so far were early adopters willing to take risks. Now that they've established themselves and shown the potential for making money on mobile, more timid entrants have jumped into the market and greatly expanded the competition.

So what will be the Next Big Thing, according to the man behind the First Big Thing?

"I think the next big game opportunity is Google Glasses [sic]," Bushnell said. "If I told you all my ideas for it, I'd have to kill you. And the Oculus Rift. The game business reinvents itself every five years. The last five years have been the days of mobile gaming and shortform gaming, exemplified by Rovio with Angry Birds and Zynga with FarmVille. And that is over."

Even if those platforms don't wind up as ubiquitous as smartphones, Bushnell said he would "rather be one of 100 apps for Google Glass than one of 300,000 for iOS and Android."

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Brendan Sinclair avatar

Brendan Sinclair

Managing Editor

Brendan joined GamesIndustry.biz in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot in the US.