IPhone Hurt Mobile Gaming, Expert Says

The problem of transferring games to new phones has actually plagued the mobile gaming industry since its inception.

LAS VEGAS -- While it would seem that the growth of smartphones, with their bigger screens and faster processors, would be good news for mobile gaming, handsets like the iPhone are in fact hurting the mobile game industry in the short term, one expert said Sunday.

Apple's iPhone is a capable phone that holds promise for the future of gaming, said Travis Boatman, vice president of worldwide studios for Electronic Arts' mobile division, speaking during a panel session at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. "But it's a replacement for someone who had a Razr before. They still want their content but there's no distribution platform in place so there's a negative impact on the industry," he said.

Because Apple so far hasn't allowed iPhone users to download just anything, iPhone users may be giving up games that they played on a phone they previously owned, he said. "These devices are capable and powerful," he said. "They'll be great in the long term but it will take some time as people adapt to devices."

The problem of transferring games to new phones has actually plagued the mobile gaming industry since its inception. When users upgrade to a new phone, they most often can't bring a game that they bought for their old phone along with them.

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bikingbill3965d ago

In my 25+ years in the game business, including six years at Activision where I was the VP of Technology for the Studio, I have never seen such an incredable misstatement in the gaming media.

The iPhone is a AWESOME game platform. There are over 100 games already released for the iPhone. We've (MyNuMo) released eight iPhone game titles (Blackjack, Darts, Bowling, Backgammon...) as well as partnered with TableStar to launch the multi-player strategy game Swatches, where up to 6 players can chat and play this cool board game. All these games run in Safari (no install) and they run very well.

I'd stack our card and casual games against any mobile title for look and feel. The iPhone's touch screen interface is exceptional and we see thousands of new players every day. Our development team prefers Safari to J2ME as well.

Many of these games are free, ad supported titles. The ad-sponsored model works on the iPhone for two reasons. First, the iPhone browser supports most e-commerce sites, so the users can actually buy something ... Seconds, multiple portals feature and rate the games and other applications so the best games get an instant audience.

You can see these games here:

You're going to see some great social games for the iPhone in the next few months. The iPhone is the BEST THING to happen in Mobile Gaming.

William Volk