HandyGames criticises Fishlabs for ditching the operators
His statement doesn't name Fishlabs, but it's perfectly clear who it's referring to when it mentions "the current discussion a trade rival started with a blog-article", not to mention the later criticism of a strategy focusing "solely on 3D-games".
Fishlabs had cited operator business models and marketing as its reason for pursuing other sales channels, but Kassulke disagrees strongly.
"The end customer prices are still stable, the network operators still gain the bigger part of the volume and a big amount of intermediate distributors are shaping the current market environment," he says.
"These are the rules. To be in the game you need to stick to them and to take the chances offered by these conditions."
He goes on to say that without operators and distributors, "there would not be any market for mobile games at all", and suggests that the mobile games industry is undergoing a "natural selection process" that's weeding out companies that aren't making a profit from their mobile games.
"Here and now the wheat is separated from the chaff," he says. We told you it was strongly-worded. The full text of Kassulke's statement is below. Something tells us a Fishlabs response may be on the way soon...
HandyGames management statement
In view of the occasion the management of HandyGames, the biggest German mobile games developer, feels impelled to go public with a statement to show their view in the current discussion a trade rival started with a blog-article.
HandyGames is considered as one of the companies with the oldest tradition and history in the mobile games market and so it has witnessed the industry's development during the last years. It is certainly correct that there were few changes regarding the value chain and the business models lately. The end customer prices are still stable, the network operators still gain the bigger part of the volume and a big amount of intermediate distributors are shaping the current market environment. These are the rules. To be in the game you need to stick to them and to take the chances offered by these conditions.
It is necessary to adjust the very own economical planning regarding these settings. Network operators, manufacturers of mobile handsets and free portals simply are the key to the mass market, because they are addressing the end customers via their mobile portals directly and also offer the opportunity of various billing methods. Without these market participants there would not be any market for mobile games at all at least not in the shape we are facing right now. And for sure an iPhone had never seen the light of the day.
Also it is a fact that the effort per game is slightly increasing. Being a developer nowadays you face an increasing task to have a handle on the production costs. If you fail this, you'll be a victim of the evolution. Currently we are observing a natural selection process at the mobile games market, which might be finished towards the end of 2009. In the times of economical crises it is a logical consequence that investors and parent companies are losing faith in companies or business units, which have not made it to realize one single Euro profit with their mobile games. Here and now the wheat is separated from the chaff.
In the past HandyGames was besieged with awards and we are very proud of each and everyone, but we also know, that such prices and good ratings have nothing to do with the economical success of the certain game and the other way round. And this fact has never changed in all history of computer- and video-games!
Single-edged strategies are dangerous per se. And to specialise, for example solely on 3D-games, in a mass market, which is actually influenced by a strong trend to casual games, can be lethal. The HandyGames team is looking ahead optimistically with the target to produce high quality mobile games and innovations made in Germany for all final customers, operators, mobile producers, intermediate distributors and free portals further on!
Having said this I wish everyone, who still believes in the international success of mobile games, a profitable year 2009!
Markus Kassulke, CEO, HandyGames