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Focus on GCDC: Mobile

Industry experts to discuss the growing importance of mobile as a gaming platform

Mobile gaming is becoming an increasingly viable route for developers and publishers alike - it also represents unknown territory, leaving many unsure of how to best take advantage of the opportunities the platform represents.

At this year's Games Convention Developers Conference - co-sponsored by Nokia - mobile gaming will be a key topic, with the first day alone featuring five panels and two presentations dedicated to the subject. These sessions will be contributed to by some of mobile gaming's most promiment figures, including Maarten Noyons from International Mobile Gaming Awards and Aki Järvilehto, Global Head of Business Development and Innovation at Nokia.

Analyst Alistair Hill, of M:Metrics, will kick off proceedings with an overview of the state of the mobile gaming market in Western Europe, the US and China. His speech will focus on handset trends and their usage habits, as well as the size of the market in terms of subscribers, game downloaders, as well as game purchasers.

Later on the Monday a panel will take a more focused look on the European mobile market, discussing the ups and downs of the region's companies. This panel will include Nokia's Aki Järvilehto, Alex Caccia of Ideaworks3D, Maarten Noyons from the International Mobile Gaming Awards, Malte Behrmann of the European Game Developer Federation, Michael Schade from FishLabs Entertainment and Xavier Carrillo-Costa of Digital Legends Entertainment.

Another panel discussion entitled "Mobile Games Outside the Box" will detail the potential of cross-platform mobile games, as well as the technical barriers such projects face. This session will be staffed by Benjamin Zuckerer form Chipsoft, Exit Games' Christof Wegman, Frank van Oirschot of Ex Machina and Matthias Hellmund from Exozet Games.

"Getting the Numbers Right: An analyst point of view" will be a panel that points a sceptical eye at the buzz surrounding mobile gaming, in particular the group will discuss why many of last year's predictions fell flat. Taking part will be Alex Caccia of Idealworks3D, Nokia's Ari Tulla, David MacQueen from Strategy Analytic and Maarten Noyons of the International Mobile Gaming Awards.

The panel "On- or Off-Deck: Is there a future for mobile games distribution without the operators?" will feature industry figures offering their insights in the present and the future of off-deck distribution strategies.

This year's GCDC: "Post Mortem in 20 minutes" will consist of three developers given 20 minutes each to go through the do's and don'ts of mobile games creation.

Following the panels and speeches, there will be a competition between six pre-selected teams, made up of a maximum of four developers each. The team will be given 20 minutes to prepare a two minute pitch to a panel of specialists. The specialists will score developers between 1 and 10, with the winning team walking away with a special trophy. will be reporting on the events taking place throughout GCDC.

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