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MGF讨论话题:投资者对手机游戏行业或持观望态度

发布时间:2011-01-28 16:39:16 Tags:,,,,

目前手机游戏领域的投资情况如何?风险投资家和投资者对手机游戏市场有多大兴趣?在日前的伦敦2011年手机游戏论坛的座谈会上,来自XMG Studio公司的创始人Ray Sharma、DF J Esprit公司的合伙人Nic Brisbourne、Other Ventures的创始人Barry O’Neill等业内人士共同讨论了这个话题。

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Brisbourne首先发言表示,他认为Android平台的崛起是2010年的大事,也是2011年的发展趋势,但今年这一行业的投资应该主要集中在手机中间设备上,而不是手机游戏及应用。

O’Neill则以DeNA去年收购ngmoco为例,说明了出售手机游戏公司的方法,同时也指出谷歌在Android Market的应用营收方式上鲜有作为。

Sharma认为,EA圣诞节前的促销价格战,以及苹果对EA的支持,给中小开发商施加了不少压力,迫使他们不得不采用免费模式。同时还表示,因为EA大规模的节日促销活动,XMG Studios在2010年12月的营收损失了15%至20%。

除此之外,他还称Android平台是一个矛盾体,谷歌原先把Android定义为一个开放性的平台,但结果却遇到了手机操作系统技术标准不一的这个难题。他赞扬微软的Windows Phone 7,并预测该平台在今年的运营会很顺利,同时还指出手机游戏将占所有应用营收的70%。

据游戏邦了解,Sharma认为RIM转向了QNX手机操作系统将对黑莓应用市场造成消极影响,因为这一做法将导致开发商需要耗费数月时间重新为QNX编写代码;当前的手机游戏行业过度夸大了HTML5和手机网页应用的发展前景,“这些技术根本不适合我们开发的手机游戏”。

不过Sharma仍然称对手机应用市场表示乐观,但认为医疗应用及其他生活服务应用在未来会超越手机游戏的地位;投资公司对手机游戏公司的估值,很大程度上取决于后者能否持续推出好游戏。

O’Neill认为,手机游戏开发商并不一定需要传统的风险投资,小型开发商可以通过项目基金会(游戏邦注:Other Ventures提供的就是这种帮助)以及其他融资渠道获得资助。

XMG Studios速最近刚结束一轮融资,所以Sharma的观点是“你成立一家手机游戏公司后,最好在6到12个月内就筹集到足够的资金”,那些有望吸引大量用户的公司会更需要风险投资,“我不会找风险投资者帮忙,但会和天使投资人合作,他们更容易打交道。”(本文为游戏邦/gamerboom.com编译,转载请注明来源:游戏邦)

MGF 2011: Venture capital and investment in the mobile games industry

What’s the status of investment in mobile games? A panel of experts tells all.

How are venture capitalists and investors seeing the mobile games market – and the more general apps and mobile technology market? That was the subject of a panel at the Mobile Games Forum in London this afternoon.

The panel: Nic Brisbourne, partner at DF J Esprit; Ray Sharma, founder of XMG Studio; Jack Kent, analyst at Screen Digest; Barry O’Neill, founder of Other Ventures; and Edward Kershaw, VP EMEA of mobile media at The Nielsen Company.

“The big thing for 2010 and I think we’ll see more of it throughout 2011 is the rise of Android,” said Brisbourne, kicking off the debate. “We’re back into a multi-platform world.” However, he thought more investment will be focused around middleware, rather than consumer-focused mobile games and apps necessarily.

O’Neill referred back to DeNA’s acquisition of ngmoco last year as a lesson into how to sell a company – and an “astonishing leap of faith” from DeNA’s perspective. He also criticised Google, saying the company needs to get its act together and run a store “that people can monetise on”.

Sharma talked about his company’s response to EA Mobile’s controversial price-drop campaign before Christmas, as a sign of what’s happening to the market.

Sharma estimated that XMG Studio – a developer – lost 15-20% of its December revenues due to EA’s promotion.

Brisbourne turned his attention to monetisation of non-iOS games, saying that “something’s got to click” before we see more investment in that space. Meanwhile, O’Neill warned against sky-high valuations of mobile content companies based on assumptions of a certain level of growth in the market.

Sharma talked about the paradox of Android, where Google wants its platform to be open, but is suffering from fragmentation as a result. He praised Microsoft’s approach with Windows Phone 7, which he expects to “really run” towards the latter end of this year. And he also pointed out that “70% of the app economy is being driven by games”.

The discussion, it’s fair to say, was a little fragmented. Sharma also said RIM’s shift to the QNX OS will have an initially negative impact on the BlackBerry apps market – with developers wondering why they should make apps for BlackBerry when they’ll have to recode them for QNX in a few months. He also said buzz around HTML5 and mobile web is overstated when it comes to mobile games – “those technologies don’t work for the games we do”.

Sharma was very positive about the overall app economy though, although he thinks this will go beyond games and focus more on medical apps and other lifestyle services. And there was a discussion around how investment companies can assign a value to mobile games firms – who often will only be as good as their next game.

O’Neill said that mobile games developers don’t necessarily need traditional VC funding – smaller games companies can look for project funding (something O’Neill’s Other Ventures has been set up to do), and other funding sources.

XMG Studio just went through a financing process, and said the reality is “you should be able to start up a mobile games company and be gunning for cashflow within 6-12 months”. And then it’s the companies that show the potential for scaling to millions of users that will need venture finance, if at all.

“I wouldn’t go with the VC, I’d go with the angel investor,” he continued. “There’s plenty of high net-worth individuals out there, and they’re easier to deal with.”(source:mobile-ent)


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