THE explosion of content on mobile has given consumers a huge amount of choice. Of course, it also means that developers are often reduced to chucking a good product into a vast ocean.
“Having a good product isn’t good enough,” says Gareth Edmondson, chief executive of mobile games service provider and publisher Thumbstar Games. “There are thousands of great games out there, but self-publishing is tough.
“Three or four years ago it was fine because there wasn’t enough product there to be a problem, but getting seen is really hard now.”
Edmondson left Newcastle’s Ubisoft Reflections to take the helm at the mobile firm, which has offices in locations including Newcastle, Hong Kong, Liverpool and Columbia. The company helps developers to get their games to a wider audience, taking advantage of market links across the world.
It has distributed 3,500 products to date, and supported more than 150 development teams.
Thumbstar signed a deal last week with Viva Red Ltd and government-run mobile operator China Telecom which will make it the exclusive supplier of games for the operator’s new copy protected platform. It gives them access to an audience of around 130 million subscribers.
During his GameHorizon talk, Edmondson highlighted that the mobile market was growing fast, going from $8.5 billion in 2011 to $12 billion in 2014, according to estimates from PricewaterhouseCoopers. Most of the growth is happening in Asia and Latin America. In a statistic-filled talk, he revealed that there are almost 5.8 billion mobile phones now in circulation, 32% smartphones. There are a billion mobile phones in China, while India is expected to be the second biggest growth market.
“There’s a huge opportunity in the market, due to the number of mobile phones out there.”
With the huge growth in mobile markets in the developing world, there’s also a focus on different types of payment models.
“It’s very important to look outside the traditional methods of payment by credit cards. Mobile payments are now number two behind cash for transactions in emerging markets.
“Pay per play or pay per day is also going to be quite disruptive, and mobile developers in developing nations are looking at things like this right now”