应用发行商往往通过与规模较小、但较成功的iPhone游戏的开发商达成应用移植协议，来填补这一巨大的需求空缺。例如，创造了500万份销量的iOS手机游戏《涂鸦跳跃》（Doodle Jump），就已由Real公司的GameHouse部门开发出Java、Brew和Android运行版本，与此类似的还有由Namco Networks发行、曾销售300万份的《Fight Control》，以及Capcom公司推出的《口袋上帝》（Pocket God）。
但是，不同手机之间的跨平台互动并不像个人电脑之间那样无缝兼容，甚至是苹果Game Center目前也无法访问Facebook上的好友列表，但现在已经有不少公司开始提供跨平台服务技术。比如说社交游戏平台Plus+、OpenFeint和Scoreloop提供给发行商Gameloft的Live、Namco Network的Unite、GameHouse的Fusion等服务。
较大块头的手机应用发行商目前也只敢指望每年从自己最拿得出手的游戏中创收1000万美元，比如说Java/Brew手机游戏《速度与激情》（The Fast & The Furious）就属于这种情况。而且实现这一目标的前提是，这些付费应用的价格在5美元以上。
iTunes运营7年积累了广泛群众基础，苹果又在2008年适时推出了App Store，该应用商店也就轻松绑定了大量的信用卡/借记卡付费用户（目前已达1.5亿人），这确实是App Store的优势所在。
现在市场上已有不少质量较高的手机游戏，比如说Gameloft的《现代战争：沙漠风暴》（Modern Combat: Sandstorm）和《N.O.V.A.》，免费在线社交游戏《We Rule》，以及纯粹打发时间的《愤怒鸟》和《涂鸦跳跃》等游戏，优秀手机游戏越多，用户的选择权越大，手机游戏市场的版图才越可能扩张。
Ten key trends in the mobile games business
So many fortresses and ways to attack
There’s plenty going on in the mobile games business. Over 750,000 smartphones are being sold daily, with various OSes, platforms, and application stores springing up.
Making sense of the situation requires the ability to be able to focus on the woods and the trees.
So what follows is an attempt to highlight some of the key trends that everyone in the business of making, selling and promoting mobile games should be thinking about.
1. App discovery
The biggest issue facing developers on Apple’s App Store is how to stand out from the 47,623 other games. But, in time, this will affect all successful application stores, as fundamentally they are not ideal places to browse content.
The result is the growing important of brands in terms of gaining visibility, and more importantly, enabling premium pricing. Conversely if developers don’t have access to brands, they try to gain visibility through price promotions and sales.
However, there’s no competitive advantage when lots of games are priced at 99c or go free. This is why discovery is moving into other areas, such as press, promotions, marketing and other viral ways of gaining audience.
Key, for iPhone and Android, are social networks such as OpenFeint and Plus+, and price promotions tools such as FreeAppADay.
2. Cross platform (part 1)
With 230,000 iOS, 200,000 Android, 260,000 Nokia and 140,000 Blackberry devices sold or activated daily, there is a huge new audience for smartphone content.
This demand is being fulfilled mainly as publishers do porting deals with the small developers of successful iPhone games. For example five million iOS seller Doodle Jump was bought to Java, Brew and Android by Real’s GameHouse division. Similarly Namco Networks published three million seller Flight Control and Capcom Pocket God.
What’s also significant about these deals, is you can charge up to five or six times more on non-Apple platforms.
The launch of new smartphones provides new aggregation opportunities too, as we’re currently seeing with social network OpenFeint encouraging iOS developers to port to Android to develop its own business strategy.
3. Cross platform (part 2)
Aside for porting games, the other big opportunity in terms of cross platform gaming is the ability to enable people using any smartphone to connect in some way to their friends using any other smartphone and on any other carrier. This is crucial for the rise of social gaming as seen on Facebook.
Clearly the process is never going to be as seamless as on PC. Even Apple’s Game Center is currently limited as it can’t access Facebook to populate its friends list, but there are plenty of people providing the basic cross platform technology.
These range from the social gaming platforms such as Plus+, OpenFeint and Scoreloop to publishers, with examples including Gameloft’s LIVE, Namco Network’s Unite and GameHouse’s Fusion.
There are as many opinions concerning Google’s smartphone OS as there are industry commentators, with Nokia’s outgoing head of mobiles Anssi Vanjoki providing the most vivid statement.
Certainly, Android doesn’t fit into everyone’s business strategy but it is providing a massive opportunity for companies who were previously struggling, such as Motorola and Sony Ericsson, as well as additional growth opportunities for the likes of Samsung and HTC.
Of course, there are also many issues with the platform ranging from OS fragmentation, too many devices to support, and a lack of a solid application store with global billing methods.
Yet, in the short term, it’s a differentiation opportunity for OEMs and operators; witness Vodafone’s adoption of the technology in conjunction with its new All You Can Eat games subscription service.
There are many ways in which the volume of game sales is important. Obviously, the more games you sell, the more money you make, which is vital when you’re talking about selling games at 99c.
However, if sold fast enough, the volume of games sold can also become a discovery mechanism – and a virtuous feedback mechanism – in terms of visibility in a chart driving more sales.
The other way volume can be important is in terms of the number of releases a developer or publisher outputs. The best example is US developer Backflip Studios, which with almost 50 million iOS downloads (mainly free apps), can now easy gain four million downloads of its new free games within months thanks to cross promotion.
And this doesn’t just work for free games. Gameloft released 55 iOS games in the first 18 months of the App Store, but plans 60 releases during 2010. On one level, more games means more sales.
6. App pricing
It’s no surprise that competition and use of low price as a discovery method on the Apple App Store has been deflationary. To that extent, the fact that the best selling iOS game Angry Birds has only generated $4.5 million for publisher Chillingo and developer Rovio is disappointing.
Indeed, big mobile publishers now talk about the likelihood of generating $10 million per year from their big smartphone titles; something that mobile game franchises such as The Fast & The Furious managed on Java/Brew.
At present, the only way to do this would seem to be via paid licensed titles priced at $5+.
Alternatively, with the average revenue predicted to be generated from freemium mobile games estimated at $1-2 per player per month, the same figure could be reached from one freemium game with around one million active players per year.
The App Store launched in June 2008 on the back of seven years of iTunes operations, giving Apple as massive advantage in terms of the number of credit and debit cards it has attached to the marketplace (currently 150 million).
Similarly PayPal, with its 200 million accounts, provides a strong opportunity for integration into smartphone application stores, as we’re eventually seeing with the Android Market.
In general however, any app store that doesn’t offer operator billing will be limited in terms of the number of global consumers it can connect with. As Nokia points out, operator billing increases revenues by up to 13 times compared to pure credit card billing.
Hence, billing is a massive opportunity for operators to leverage their customer relationship, as well as enabling them to experiment with more flexible business models such as subscription or rental.
8. Application stores
Are there too many app stores or not enough? Perhaps it’s a more philosophical than practical question, but fundamentally the more app stores there are, the more apps will be downloaded and sold.
The issue for most developers and publishers is which app stores are economical to support in terms of provided sale volumes and brand development?
And let’s not forget that the majority of game sales are still mediated through the operators’ decks, which despite their closed environment, lack of viral promotion or pricing dynamism, can be seen as rudimentary app stores.
The bottomline is the most successful app stores will be ones that fulfill the public’s demand to easily find, download and pay for the sort of entertainment they enjoy.
At present, the immaturity of smartphone app stores is demonstrated in the lack of coherent marketing, especially from mobile publishers such as EA Mobile and Gameloft. What marketing and advertising does occur is mainly piecemeal and direct from developers.
Significantly, this wasn’t the case in the Java and Brew era, where publishers promoted direct to consumers much as with console games. For the past couple of years however, companies have been relying on the creation and deployment of brands and viral promotion to drive sales.
Clearly at some point this will have to change, or publishers could find their value in the mobile ecosystem being squeezed – down by operators and bigger media brands and up by fast growing development companies and smartphone-only publishers.
10. Great games
Despite the growing number of social platforms and device availability, what’s fundamental to the expanding mobile gaming market is the quality of the games.
From 200 MB console quality titles such as Gameloft’s Modern Combat: Sandstorm or N.O.V.A., to freemium online social games like We Rule, and pure time killers such as Angry Birds and Doodle Jump, there are high quality experiences for all types of gamers to enjoy.
And it’s this, more than any other factor, that will continue to grow the market.（source:pocketgamer）