MGF 2010: Aurora Feint's Citron: It's going to take Google a while to figure out mobile

Also needs a better billing solution says Vodafone game manager

MGF 2010: Aurora Feint's Citron: It's going to take Google a while to figure out mobile
The impact of Google's Android platform on the mobile games market during 2010 is one of the talking points of Mobile Games Forum.

One person who doesn't seem to be holding his breath however is Jason Citron of the iPhone OpenFeint social gaming network provider Aurora Feint.

While rivals technologies such as Scoreloop now support iPhone and Android, Citron said he expected iPhone to provide a large and sustainable market in the near future.

"We're not looking to port OpenFeint yet. To be honest, I think the App Store will be a big enough opportunity for some time to come. Developers complain about the visibility of their games but I think a lot of those games just aren't very good. If you have a good game, there are ways of getting it seen and making money," he said.

Pressed on the subject of Android, Citron clarified his position.

"Porting to Android isn't a development event for me. It's a business issue. I think it's going to be a while before Google figures how to streamline the purchasing process for apps and games. Also, if you look at Nexus One, it only has 512 MB of memory for apps. There are iPhone games bigger than that, and it shows Google isn't prioritising the same thing as Apple. But when it does, OpenFeint will certainly be there.

"I think it's the small things that make Apple and the App Store so great and there are a thousand of small things that Google does which suggest a different approach. And it's called Android. My geeky programmer friends have Android phones, but my mum has an iPhone."

In another panel talk, Jessica Gwyther, global content development manager for games at Vodafone, said that Google need to work out a better billing solution that the current creditcard-based Google Checkout solution.

"Google needs to sort out operator billing or another more seamless billing system," she said. "People are uncomfortable entering creditcard details into their phone to buy games."
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