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PocketGamer.biz's Top 20 interviews from 2008

Looking back at the people we talked to
PocketGamer.biz's Top 20 interviews from 2008

It's been an eventful year for the mobile games industry, what with the rise of iPhone gaming and the App Store, the launch of N-Gage and Android, ongoing consolidation in the publishing space, and the quest for new business models.

As part of our end-of-year posts, we thought we'd round up 20 of the most interesting PG.biz interviews from 2008. Read on for more details.

EA Mobile - Javier Ferreira

"More and more of our games will start incorporating connected experiences. It will enhance the social aspect of mobile gaming."

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Gameloft - Gonzague de Vallois

"The market is in need of a giant step forward in terms of experience. The innovators are getting bored, because we've reached the maximum we can do with 600k."

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Glu Mobile - Greg Ballard

"We made a tough decision about how much we were going to invest in iPhone, and frankly we made the right decision, although it was a controversial one."

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Qualcomm - Mike Yuen

"To really tip this, we'll need to see someone like Blizzard create a cross-platform title with mobile tied into WoW. MMOs seem like naturals."

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Nokia - Jaakko Kaidesoja

"We will take a few key partners and really do something extra. We'll say 'we have this device coming, these are the features, let's do something unique here'."

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MED - Lewis MacDonald

"We didn't foresee that the native market wouldn't grow in line with analyst expectations. We didn't foresee that investment in the mobile gaming arena would completely dry up. And we didn't foresee the effect of the credit crunch in Q4 last year."

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Tapulous - Bart Decrem

"People say that Tap Tap Revenge is a Guitar Hero clone, but with this new stuff, we're defining our own experience."

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Fishlabs - Michael Schade

"It is tough to make money from high-quality games on the operator decks. They're not the best channels for us. The OEM channels are where you make your money."

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Playfish - Kristian Segerstrale

"Instead of designing for solitary engagement, you're trying to get the player involved in the game in such a way that the game becomes an object around which that person interacts with their friends."

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FinBlade - John Chasey

"Making your game or application stand out is incredibly hard. It's still open and anyone can do it, but there's definitely not the money being made by individual developers that there was in the first month after the App Store launched."

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Digital Chocolate - Trip Hawkins

"We are not one of those money-losing companies that needs to shut down. We are not one of those companies that can't make it on our own. We are not one of those companies that is running out of cash."

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Capcom Mobile - Midori Yuasa

"There is often a perception that the North American market is very different from the European, but there are actually more similarities than differences now."

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Zed - Juan Carlos Gonzalvez

"We're becoming more like a typical mobile games company like Glu, Gameloft or EA Mobile. Our catalogue is quite big and the quality of our games is high, so why not?"

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Firemint - Robert Murray

"The web spaces are your social and public window into the game and they are focused on organising information, relationships and long term goals. The mobile is your personal window into the game, and it is focused on short term goals and immediate rewards."

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Connect2Media - Eric Hobson

"It's a great time to be in the market with money and a roll-up plan. So many people are leaving the industry at the moment. If we can roll up a bunch of companies, we can increase our weight in the market."

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Greystripe - Michael Chang

"Good titles in our channel can make up to thousands of dollars per month. For some publishers with a number of good titles, this can add up."

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PlayFirst - John Welch

"People buy stuff on the iPhone and they don't buy stuff on social networks (yet), so the iPhone is a better fit right now for companies that make and sell games."

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Sony Ericsson - Peter Ahnegard

"70 per cent of the revenue generated from our existing channels comes from games. The consumers who came to those channels were primarily looking for games, so we have to recognise that with PlayNow Arena."

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Oberon Media - Don Ryan

"Some brand-owners just want the maximum advance today, and you're always going to have that type of licensor. But frankly we're looking for people that have the bigger picture in mind."

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HandyGames - Christopher Kassulke

"I don't know a single operator that's making more downloads because they squeezed down their number of partners. They just end up with no innovation or variety for the consumer."

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That's all, folks. Stand by for more interviews with the movers and shakers in this industry in 2009!