尽管《愤怒的小鸟》没有获胜，最终摘走大奖的是《质量效应 2》（Mass Effect 2）——但要知道，在此之前还没有任何一款智能手机游戏曾经获得该项大奖提名，《愤怒的小鸟》无疑开创了先河。据游戏邦了解，这款手机游戏的开发成本仅为15万美元，却让芬兰开发商Rovio赚了个钵满盆满。
EA Sports主管彼得·莫尔（Peter Moore）在DICE峰会上表示，游戏行业就像“热锅上的蚂蚁”。意思很明了：站着不动，就只有死路一条；跳进海里，你可能还有一线生机。似乎每个人都觉得是时候该纵身一跃了，但很少人知道要游向哪里。
EA移动业务副总裁Travis Boatman表示，一般人之前都认为玩家只是在外出的短暂空闲时间玩手机游戏，但事实上他们有一半以上的时间是在家玩手机游戏。通过在iOS中植入像《死亡空间》（Dead Space）之类的硬核游戏，EA正在争取Xbox 360 和PlayStation 3的游戏用户，而这些用户也更倾向于坐在沙发上玩iPad。
她提到了竞争对手美国动视公司的《使命召唤：黑暗行动》（Call of Duty: Black Ops），游戏让玩家就在线战斗结果下赌注，她以此为例来说明如何开发一款受欢迎的游戏。她表示，“整个赌注系统为多人玩家的游戏设置增加了一个新的空间。”
育碧和EA都努力将他们的大型游戏推向Facebook平台，希望吸引社交游戏玩家，让他们对这一系列的游戏产生兴趣，从而心甘情愿地为这类大制作的游戏掏腰包。游戏邦了解道，育碧已在Facebook上推出《刺客信条》，而EA则针对即将问世的角色扮演游戏《Dragon Age II》推出了社交游戏版本。
As Mobile Games Rise, Studios Fear for Blockbusters’ Future
Celebrated game developer Mark Cerny says ballooning game budgets should be rolled back to 2005 levels in order to sustain development.
Photo: Elisabeth Caren/AIAS
LAS VEGAS — Blockbuster videogame heroes have tamed the Wild West, repelled alien invasions and driven the Nazis from Normandy. But can they fight off Angry Birds?
The popular mobile app hit 50 million downloads last year, and the iPad version made waves last week at the DICE Summit here when it was nominated for the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences’ prestigious Game of the Year award.
Angry Birds didn’t win — that honor went to Mass Effect 2 — but it was the first time a smartphone game had broken free of the Best Mobile Game ghetto and moved up into the big leagues. With a reported development cost of about $150,000, the addictive fowl-flinging game is racking up ungodly profits.
Ironically, it’s quite likely that a great portion of those dollars are coming not from your mom and other casual gamers but from hard-core players more likely to get deep into Halo than to spend a few minutes with an iPhone time-waster.
At the annual confab of game executives, eye-opening stats outlined the evolving habits of hard-core gamers, who are spending a surprising amount of time playing games on smartphones and tablets. Anita Frazier, an analyst with the NPD Group, said game console owners spend more time playing mobile games than do those in the general population. And 38 percent of people who play social networking games like FarmVille are “established console gamers,” she said.
“Is there anybody in this room who really thought they would have been spending a lot of time playing social network games?” Frazier asked the audience.
The surprising popularity of casual games among even the hardest of the hard-core foreshadows a sea change for an industry that over the years has grown to resemble Hollywood, complete with star directors, creaking franchises and budgets that dwarf the annual operating costs of a small city. As indie and casual titles lure gamers away from powerful consoles, some big gamemakers are scrambling to imitate the success of Facebook and iPhone games.
EA Sports boss Peter Moore’s assertion that the gaming industry is “standing on a burning oil platform” kept coming up at DICE. The metaphor is clear: Stand still and it’s certain death; jump into the chilly waters and you just might live.
Everyone seems to agree that it’s time to jump. But nobody quite knows what direction to swim.
“I think it’s going to be crazy in the next few years,” said BioWare CEO Ray Muzyka in his DICE keynote. “A lot of existing [industry] players are going to have to adapt in order to survive and to thrive.”
The Social Blockbuster
Travis Boatman, vice president of Electronic Arts’ mobile business, said that contrary to the popular belief that mobile games are played in brief bursts while on the go, about half of all mobile game time is spent at home. By porting hard-core titles like survival-horror game Dead Space to iOS, EA is pursuing Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 owners who would rather sit on their couch and play with their iPads instead.
‘I don’t think it’s all about us quitting our jobs and making Angry Birds and FarmVille clones.’“I don’t think it’s all about us quitting our jobs and making Angry Birds and FarmVille clones,” said Jade Raymond, managing director of Ubisoft Toronto and producer of Assassin’s Creed, in an interview with Wired.com.
Raymond, who referenced Moore’s dire predictions in her own DICE speech, said she wants any new gaming franchise created by her company to include robust social features that connect gamers with friends.
Games shouldn’t be the water-cooler discussion topic but the water cooler itself, the hub around which socialization occurs, she said. That’s already the case with FarmVille, but not with the type of $60 Blu-ray games that directors like Raymond create.
She pointed to rival Activision’s Call of Duty: Black Ops, which allows players to bet in-game currency on the outcomes of online matches, as an interesting example of how to build a better blockbuster.
“The whole wager system … adds a whole new dimension to multiplayer gameplay,” she said.
Both Ubisoft and Electronic Arts have made efforts at pushing their big game franchises onto Facebook, hoping that snagging social gamers and getting them interested in the series will get them to spend big bucks on the blockbusters. Ubisoft rolled out a Facebook game for Assassin’s Creed, while EA crafted a social game based on its upcoming role-playing game Dragon Age II.
Besides mixing social features into big games, publishers are likely to pursue core gamers who’d rather play on mobile devices. EA’s Boatman says the success of complex iPad games like Dead Space and Epic’s Infinity Blade show that many traditional gamers are getting sucked in by robust, console-style content sold at a cheaper price on mobile platforms.（Source：Wired）