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‘Mobile key to mass-market’

by Lisa Foster
I-play boss David Gosen has laid down the gauntlet to his former company, claiming that Nintendo will not claim the casual gamer territory, but that rather mobile phone formats will be where the mass-market is found.

Speaking exclusively to MCV, the COO of the mobile games publisher formerly known as Digital Bridges, pointed to the presence of wireless entertainment at last month’s E3 as proof that the sector is truly coming of age.

“Mobile was very much on the periphery at E3 last year, but this time the sector had a very strong presence at the event,” he said. “The dedicated mobile companies were much more dominant, and this was helped by the big games publishers placing much more emphasis on the sector, too.”

Meanwhile, having seen through the launch of Game Boy Advance and GBA SP during his time as European boss of Nintendo, Gosen is now adamant that the key to the mass-market lies within the mobile games sector, rather than the standalone gaming devices arena.

“Nintendo obviously has a hold on the handheld side of the games market and the new Micro is certainly an interesting product,” he offered. “But we are convinced that the casual gaming market will be owned by mobile. Around 600 million mobile phones are sold every year, while only 500m Game Boy products have been sold to date. “If the games industry really wants to target the mass-market, mobile is the vehicle. Casual gamers have so far rejected traditional consoles and handhelds.”

l I-play has just launched Maria Sharapova Tennis, in time for the Wimbledon period. In addition, the firm has signed up Mahjong Quest from San Francisco online publisher iWin. I-play announced earlier this year that it had licensed Jewel Quest from the company which is set for release in Europe in July.

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