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Ideaworks exec says mobile gaming will beat consoles

Ideaworks' VP of business development, Thor Gunnarsson, has told <i>GamesIndustry.biz</i> that the next-generation of consoles poses no threat to the growth of mobile gaming - which will eventually take the lead.

Ideaworks' VP of business development, Thor Gunnarsson, has told GamesIndustry.biz that the next-generation of consoles poses no threat to the growth of mobile gaming - which will eventually take the lead.

"Mobile gaming is a complimentary category to games on other platforms - there's not really evidence that console gaming is having a negative impact on mobile game sales," Gunnarsson said.

"Mobile gaming is a higher growth category in terms of adoption by consumers than the console space. Over the next few years we expect to see more people, certainly on a volume basis, playing mobile games than any of the individual consoles."

That includes handheld consoles, too - Gunnarsson went on to say that he doubts the Sony PSP and Nintendo DS will make things tough for mobile game publishers.

"Those are dedicated handheld platforms, and you have to take a conscious decision to take that in your pocket when you leave home each day," Gunnarsson said.

"With a mobile game, you're playing on the single platform that you always leave the house with. The mobile gamer is a different type of consumer than necessarily the person who would buy a Nintendo DS or a PSP and take that out on the go - this is appealing to a broader consumer audience than some of the dedicated handheld platforms."

Gunnarsson's comments come after Ideaworks signed an agreement with Japanese publisher Square-Enix to co-develop a new title for mobile phones. Gunnerson the company was "absolutely thrilled" to have signed the deal, adding: "This is the first time that a Western company has been chosen by Square-Enix to develop an original mobile game from scratch. They have in the past used external companies for porting activities and so on, but this is the first time that they are contracting an outside studio to work on one of their core properties. "

"I think to some extent you could say that working with a tier one Western developer is in part a creative attempt to deliver a game that has stronger appeal to a broader Western audience than a project that is entirely developed in Japan," Gunnarsson continued.

The title of the new game has yet to be announced, but it is set for release in 2006 and, Ideaworks hopes, will be the first of many games developed together with Square-Enix.

"I can't comment on future projects with them, but we certainly would hope that this is the beginning of a long and beautiful relationship," Gunnarsson said.

"Our model at Ideaworks as an independent developer is to work with a very select number of publishers, and to deepen those relationships over a number of projects."

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Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.

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