Mobile Gaming Is For The Casual Gamer -- But Not The Casual Game Company
By Mike Masnick, Thu Mar 10 02:30:00 GMT 2005

The good news: mobile games are targeting a wide audience of casual gamers. The bad news: carriers are still a major bottleneck.

The news coming out of the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco this week concerning the mobile gaming market seems pretty clear. Lots of people believe in the mobile gaming market. While the technology is getting better, it's not so much about the technology as it is about creating a compelling gaming environment -- which means targeting simpler games at a much wider audience. This makes sense and fits with the growing realization that even online, most gamers fit into the casual gaming category -- where having the latest and greatest technology doesn't matter nearly as much as having something fun (and somewhat addictive) to play on the screen.

At the same time, however, mobile operators continue to make life difficult for the average mobile gaming company. Since they insist on keeping the garden walls locked up tight, they've made it very difficult for gaming companies to get their products out there to users. Since no one is really sure what mobile games will really catch on, this is a shame. This is a situation where operators should be throwing as many options up as possible to see what sticks. Instead, they're focused only on the "brand" names that they think will make them money.

This is a short-term focus. Looking for the games that will pay off now, rather than experimenting, and letting people find the killer apps that will pay off over the long haul.