I-play CEO David Gosen has told our sister site, MobileIndustry.biz, that more games will be played on mobile phones than consoles in the future - meaning that mobile offers the best way to reach a mass market audience.
Speaking in an exclusive interview, Gosen said, "If you look at the console industry, over 300 million consoles have been sold in the last 25 years, while 800 million phones get sold every year. Which one's mass market? It has to be the mobile device.
"2006 marks the first time that there will be more touch points for mobile gaming than there will for console," he continued.
"In terms of revenues, of course, console's far greater, but more games will be played on mobile than they will on console. So if you are a brand owner, if you're looking to get your content out to the mass market; mobile offers tremendous scope to do that."
According to Gosen, there are already 2 billion mobile subscribers around the globe, and the market is set to reach a value of US$ 6 billion by 2010 - with annual growth of between 30 and 35 per cent predicted.
"Although console's been successful, it's been successful for a pretty tightly defined niche of players. I think that's perhaps starting to change, and will take time, but mobile is true mass market," he argued.
Before joining I-play in 2004, Gosen spent five years working at Nintendo Europe, where he helped to launch the GameCube and Game Boy Advance. While he concedes that Nintendo is likely to attract new, non-traditional gamers with the DS and Wii, he believes that there is still a way to go.
"If you look at who plays mobile games, 50 per cent of players are women. That doesn't happen in console land, so again, we've got a whole range of new players that we can bring into gaming through mobile," Gosen said.
However, he continued, there will be benefits for console publishers and platform holders as mobile gaming becomes more popular.
"I think mobile can be a recruitment device; someone that gets a great gaming experience on mobile can easily move up to console, or move to handheld and then move to console.
"The more people we get into playing games in general, whether it's on mobile or on DS, is a bigger pool for all of us," Gosen concluded.