The Byronic March

I have just finished reading Simon Byron’s article on the final page of this month’s Develop magazine (Oct 2007). He stumpled upon something that I’ve secretly suspected for a long time when he said “Imagine if they (shopkeepers) tested mobile phone games before completing the transaction. It’d be the death of the market, because everyone would realise that they’re all actually s***.”

As much as it pains me to say it, Simon has a point. Since Snake have any mobile phone games really taken their players by storm? Not many. One of my friends who I worked on a recent cross-platform title with had prievously worked for a company which made mobile phone games in Java. He had plenty of stories of bad implementation by people who were just trying to break into the mainstream games industry. If the people who are making the games aren’t interested in them how can we expect them to be of a high enough standard to take on the PSP or the DS?

And yet, there are reasons why mobile games should be able to. More gamers have mobiles than have PSPs and DSs combined, mobiles are with people where ever they go, and people are familiar and comfortable with using them. Until we stop getting games that are rip offs of classic titles or just plain old uninspired we are never really going to tap into a potentially very lucrative market. No one is going to want Burnout or Civ 3 on their mobile, it’s the wrong game for the platform. Asteroids on the other hand…


Play nice. Nice and mobile ;)

About John

INX's resident professional games designer!
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2 Responses to The Byronic March

  1. r2d2 says:

    Agreed, I wish i had a decent game to play on my way to work everyday.

  2. daveyp says:

    Yeah i agree. They need to start thinking about what the mobile phone gamer wants in a game rather than just bashing out games knowing they will sell. I’d say that’s part of the reason snake did so well, you could just get straight in to a game and play it whilst you waited for a bus or whatever. You want something you can just pick up and play for a bit to kill time whilst you waiting for something rather than a complicated in depth game.

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