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EA: Core gamers under-served on mobile

"In three years you won't be able to recognise the state of the mobile games industry"

The dedicated hardcore gamer is under-served in the mobile market, as developers assume handsets are purely for casual gaming experiences, according to EA.

Setting out to bust a number of myths about mobile gaming, Travis Boatman, vice president of Worldwide Studios at Electronic Arts also told the DICE Summit today that although handsets are an item users carry at all times, almost 50 per cent of players experience games when at home, not on the move.

"Dead Space 2 targeted the core gamer and that surprised a lot of people," he said of the recent hit release. "And if you're targeting the at home player you can have a bigger file size."

The myth that mobile players are experiencing games "on the run" is wrong, said Boatman. 47 per cent play when at home, 14 per cent at work and only 12 per cent whilst commuting.

The idea that mobile is only for casual gamers is wrong said Boatman. "There's a hungry market looking for different games experiences. It's not just casual, core gamers are under-served in mobile market."

He also said that porting content between devices was important, and developers shouldn't just focus on one system such as Apple's iOS.

Using the Kindle as an example, Boatman said his company's Scrabble game for the system was a massive success, outselling all books and other content for the device.

"It has a great digital distribution method. Most [developers] think they can't push the technology, but the experience on a Kindle is awesome.

" It's a unique and fascinating experience to sit in direct sunlight and play Scrabble. When we put the game out it outsold everything. Everyone wants to play games. Is it important to port games to other devices? Yes."

The final myth - that current technology is offering the best games experience on mobile, is also wrong, said Boatman.

"Is this is as good as it gets? I don't think it ends here. We're in a place where there's a lot more room to go. I don't think the industry stops here. The young developers of today grew up with this stuff. Think about how they are attacking the space."

"We're on the cusp of something great. In three years you won't be able to recognise the state of the mobile games industry," he concluded.

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Matt Martin avatar
Matt Martin: Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.
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