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GDC: Carriers need to choose quality over quantity

Mitch Lasky, senior VP of EA Mobile, offered GDC attendees some insight into what he believes are the main reasons for a stagnated mobile gaming market, laying blame on an excess of "bad games" hosted by mobile carriers.

Mitch Lasky, former Jamdat CEO and current senior VP of EA Mobile offered Game Developers Conference attendees some insight into what he believes are the main reasons for a stagnated mobile gaming market, laying blame on an excess of "bad games" hosted by mobile carriers.

Likening the situation to the demise of the Atari 2600 console, which was swamped with an abundance of low quality titles with a lack of quality control, which ultimately resulted in a lack of consumer trust and dissuaded the gaming audience from purchasing software for the console, Lasky commented: "There are too many bad games. The fact is, most games suck. It's the greatest danger to the future of this business."

Lasky claims that quality should take precedence over quantity in the mobile gaming space, and whilst his comments appear to mirror those of the mobile carriers, who are pushing for more innovation from developers, it's a lack of quality control and appropriate selection of titles on the carrier's part that is stifling the industry, in his opinion.

"It's crazy that games like Tetris and Madden are getting the same attention from carriers as some Chinese whack-a-mole game," Lasky commented, adding that the appropriate number of titles available for carriers ought to be at least halved, in order to maximise revenue.

"Too much choice is bad," he added, suggesting that almost all revenue is generated by the top 20 games, making the remainder superfluous, unnecessary and damaging to the business.

Lasky also re-iterated comments made by Nokia in terms of the user experience of downloading mobile games, discussing the current "unpleasant shopping experience" and stressing that changes need to be made to encourage and support a fluid, simple and intuitive experience for finding, purchasing, downloading and managing mobile games.

"In the last two years, content providers have gone through an entire console transition from 2D to 3D. In contrast, the shopping experience has not changed at all," Lasky stated.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Lasky also suggested that EA Mobile, having recently completed it's acquisition of Jamdat, is exactly the kind of industry powerhouse the market needs to drive things forward. "This was exactly what the market needs to realise the future of mobile gaming," he said. "Before the merger, Jamdat could not match EA's reach, and at the same time, EA did not have the execution ability that Jamdat has. The merger has created a company that is necessary."

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