Interview

Spil Games' CEO Peter Driessen on why HTML5 will eliminate barriers and grow the mobile gaming market

Spil Games' CEO Peter Driessen on why HTML5 will eliminate barriers and grow the mobile gaming market
Although it looks like Facebook has now delayed its Project Spartan reveal to a separate event, on the eve of its F8 conference, we thought we'd ask some of the companies in the vanguard of the mobile-social-browser revolution what they thought about all thing HTML5.

Here are the responses from Spil Game CEO Peter Driessen.

Pocket Gamer: How important do you think HTML5, and by extension technology such as Facebook's Project Spartan, will be for mobile gaming?

Peter Driessen: Very important. We believe that people like to play games anytime, anywhere, instantly on any platform. At the moment this isn't possible due to the different protocols, operating systems, and platform-approval processes within the mobile world.

Browser-based gaming/HTML5 will change this for users, who will be able to play a mobile game on any mobile device.

It will also be important for game developers. Thanks to HTML5's open standard, developers only have to develop a game once, and it can be easily deployed on all devices with browsers supporting HTML5, such as PCs, iPads, iPhones and Google phones.

Do you think Project Spartan will mean Facebook becomes a much more significant part of the mobile gaming ecosystem?

As Spartan isn't available yet we can't offer any opinions on this, but, we are enthusiastic that so many brands, such as Facebook, are supporting HTML5.

What, specifically, is Spil Games doing in this area?

Over a year ago, we announced our support for HTML5 and have since undertaken several activities.

We created HTML5-based versions of all our web platforms: it is now the largest collection of mobile HTML5 games. We have also begun rolling out social features (e.g. an activity feed) to these mobile platforms.

We continue to develop our mobile platforms and implement new changes based on what we see and learn. Additionally, we ran a six month contest for developers to encourage the development of HTML5 games, and hosted a Game Jam with Google to develop HTML5 games.

App stores have been incredibly good distribution networks so do you think the rise of web technology will reduce their importance, or can both types of distribution prosper?

Games need to be available to players anywhere and anytime. The future will see both app stores and browser-based models prosper.

At the moment app stores dominate, but as more browsers adopt HTML5 specifications, the open platform will prosper.

Do you think the rise of HTML5 will impact Apple's position as the most powerful mobile gaming OS?

We don't have a crystal ball to the future, so it's difficult to predict what will happen with market positions.

But, what's more important is that HTML5 will grow the market and bring more opportunities for players to play games on any device at anytime. The great thing about HTML5 is that it eliminates barriers for both developers and consumers to have access to great games.

Thanks to Peter for his time.
Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at PG.biz which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.

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