The Scattered MD talks mobile in the build up to his Apps World Europe address

Cousins: Freemium core games market as big on mobile as on PC

What do you plan to talk about at Apps World Europe this year?
I’m on a panel called ‘The future of mobile gaming’

What are the most important trends in mobile gaming today that you hope a visit to Apps World Europe might serve to address or inform?
We are seeing huge growth of mobile gaming in terms of audience, but also massive diversification and broadening of the types of games and genres that can work on these new class of devices.

After a long stretch in ‘traditional’ development, you in recent years seem to have committed completely to mobile. Is that fair to say, and if so, what gives you such faith in mobile as a gaming platform?
It is fair to say that. My interest in mobile is driven by adoption speed and depth that is incomparable to any other technology in history. In the matter of just a few years over a billion people have started using a completely new type of computing device.

These devices are with you all the time, simple enough for a child to use, and come fully integrated with content delivery and payment methods. This makes them not only the most ubiquitous gaming device in history, but I believe the best gaming platform in history for consumers.

What area of the mobile games sector today do you feel needs the most ‘investment’?

I like to play games with action and depth, plus adult themes and high-end visuals. I also find freemium mobile games are the most convenient to use. It frustrates me that these two things haven’t been combined more. I know there are millions of people like me, and we aren’t being served very well by current mobile games.

And what excites you most about the mobile gaming space today?
That we still have billions of people out there who haven’t yet adopted smart devices.

What have been the most important lessons you and the team learned making The Drowning?

Our main learning is that – contrary to popular belief – there is a very large addressable market for freemium core games on mobile. At least as large if not bigger than the same market on PC. The Drowning took two weeks to hit two million downloads. It look Battlefield Heroes three months to hit that same number.

What next for Scattered? How do you plan to evolve the studio?
Our current plans are secret – and actually we plan to keep the team the same size and focus on the same types of challenges in the future. The best studios grow carefully and don’t diversify too much.

You’ve talked of late about the rise of midcore on mobile and tablet. Is it really an audience financially motivated developers should target? And as genres beyond casual prosper on mobile, how diverse do you see the types of successful games on such devices becoming?
As I mentioned above, we learned from The Drowning that there is a large market demand on mobile for high end, core-focussed freemium games. If you can retain and monetiae this demand effectively, this is definitely an audience that can sustain developers.

My future projection for mobile is that it will simply follow the same pattern as the other two major gaming platforms – arcade and console. Mobile games will become more sophisticated, more complex, more expensive to develop, and the audience will grow and the top-grossing titles will make more and more money.

App’s World Europe, where Ben Cousins will deliver his talk, takes place in London from October 22nd to 23rd at Earls Court. For full details visit the conference’s official website.

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