Mobile Games are the Future of Entertainment, says Neil Young
Following remarks made to IndustryGamers in an interview yesterday where he expressed concerns about Sony’s NGP and Nintendo’s 3DS, CEO & Founder of ngmoco Neil Young used his GDC session to outline why he believes mobile games are not only the future for gaming, but the future of entertainment.
Early in his career, Young was not convinced by mobile games. “I did not like the mobile games industry,” he began. Young originally saw the mobile market as where you build “the lowest common denominator software for as many countries and devices as possible.”
The defining moment when this changed for Young was when he got his first iPhone home. “Within a few short hours I realized there was something special about the iPhone. I thought the iPhone would be a wonderful device to make games on.”
But it is not just the recent success of iPhone games that led Young to believe the future lies in mobile entertainment. For Young, the true indicator is the booming mobile market in Japan.
“Japan is finally a leading indicator for the West,” he said. “I say ‘finally’ because you have probably heard that before.” For Young, Japan has not previously been a good indicator simply because mobile games were successful in Japan because usage penetration did not reflect mobile usage trends in the West. But now, Young sees a development of trends in the west that mirror those that led to the boom of mobile games in Japan.
Young sees four main aspects that contributed to the Japanese mobile market: ubiquity, capability, compatability, and affordability. While he sees the West as still trailing on affordability, Young believes the West is currently on the verge of the first three aspects creating a perfect storm for mobile development.
“Exactly the same thing is happening here in the West [as in Japan]. Wireless has penetrated 93 percent of the population. 47 percent of all wireless subscribers are on 3G, well over the 40 percent usage crossover that powered Japan’s usage growth.” Further, today’s devices are far more powerful than those that existed at the beginning of Japan’s growth.
Young made no comment on the future of the big handheld companies, nor did he make any comment in response to Iwata’s scathing keynote attack on social and mobile games this morning. But he stated many times that mobile games are the future. “It really does look like mobile and mobile operating systems can be the future for entertainment.”（source:industrygamers）