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Mobile must not make same mistakes as consoles, warns Gosen

I-Play points towards 25-year failure to break out of niche

David Gosen, CEO of mobile firm I-Play, has warned that the mobile gaming industry must not fall into the same trap as the console industry and create content for a niche audience that grows slowly.

Gosen, who held senior positions at Nintendo Europe before moving into the mobile space two years ago, said that the console industry had failed for 25 years to successfully expand the audience of videogaming beyond a niche audience.

"If you look at who's playing games, nearly fifty per cent of mobile games players are female. The console industry has really failed over the last 25 years to embrace women as games players," he said, in an exclusive interview to be published on MobileIndustry.biz tomorrow.

"Mobile has a tremendous opportunity to break out of what is a console niche environment for gaming. Over the last 25 years, 250 million consoles and handheld devices have been sold, but every year, 800 million mobile phones get sold. Tell me which one is mass market?"

"I think all stake holders who really understand this business need to ensure that they do create the broadest possible offering for the mass market and don't fall into the trap that the console industry has fell in, whereby they it just creates games for a niche. It's a sizable niche, but it's still a niche gaming community. It grows slowly over time," he added.

Gosen believes that the mobile gaming industry has to do everything it can to remain open and inclusive to potential consumers.

"What the mobile developer has to do is make sure it does not create barriers for entry for consumers. We're starting to see that carriers understand that mobile phone decks are in effect retail stores, so they need to be merchandised and able to help consumers to the right content for them."

David Gosen is due to address the London Games Summit this Thursday, with a speech entitled Making Licensing for Mobile Work.

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