Saturday, November 5, 2011

Panel: Mobile Gaming

Mobile Gaming Panel

Mobile Track sponsored by:

Panel sponsored by:

Rob Go, Partner and Co-Founder, NextView Ventures

Samir El Agili, VP of Production in US & Latin America, Gameloft
Justin Cinicolo, GM of Mobility, Zynga
Harlan Crystal, CTO and Co-Founder, Pocket Gems
Jennifer Lu, Director, Business Development, TinyCo
Chris Gibbs, Executive Producer, EA Mobile
Jim Cox, Director of Produce Planning, Microsoft

Selected conversation topics:
  • Many games are derivative of other games because there are big, universal themes.  We've all seen animals, we've all seen cities.  We know how to interact with animals and cities.  We could make a game about airports, but people don't related as well to an airport as they do to a city.
  • Twitter has been integrated with the newest iOS.  Worth looking into.
  • TinyCo has a tiny fund - $5M - to support developers who don't have the distribution or marketing dollars to get their product out
  • Apple is the winner at the moment.  The iPhone opened up gaming, because before gamers had to get partnerships with Verizon et al, which was much more difficult.  Now it's much easier.
  • Freemium is modern day shareware.  Freemium works depending on who your audience is.  If you're going niche, you probably do want a paid model and get your money upfront.  On the flip side, many games that do well are freemium because you get mass market + upside.
  • Many markets are just acquiring smartphones.  Understanding mobile payments models and how they evolved will impact mobile gaming.  For example, 90% of Apple iPhones in China are jailbreaked.  We shouldn't fall into the trap of looking at US/Western Europe and thinking that's a model we can take to the rest of the world.
  • Games are competitive, and our consumers are passionate, so this is an industry it really matters to say ahead.
What role do MBAs have in mobile gaming?
  • "Gaming economies are pieces of mathematical genius, and HBS grads are geniuses at this"
  • MBAs are great at managing creative types
  • Freemium space has made MBAs even more relevant, because now you need people who really understand capitalizing on growth.  Games are more considered as business units - it's finished, but not really because it can be updated every month - so you need really intelligent people who can run these businesses on a dynamic, ever-changing basis
  • If you want to get in, be passionate.  Anyone can code or run a SQL query.  We need people who love using games to be social.  Blow us away.

Want to continue the conversation?  Tweet @cyberposium and the panelists: @robgo, @selagili, @cinicolo, @harlancrystal, @jenlufer

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