Making Mobile Phones The Ultimate Gaming Platform : Trip Hawkins
In this talk, Trip Hawkins, CEO of Digital Chocolate, talked about how mobile gaming can become stronger and gain more of an audience.
Trip started his talk by speaking about how only 5% of people who have a cell phone have bought a game for their cell phone. He continued stating that those who buy games on their phones buy one every 4 months.
He continued stating that this is the “…end of the beginning of mobile games.” He continued showing that people who buy data items such as games, ringtones, wallpaper, etc. are steadly doubling every year. But he feels that the industry is holding on to their old IP as he stated that only 15% of all mobile games released are original, 15% are from a property such as a movie or TV show, and 70% of games are from classic/retro area such as Pac-man, solitare, and sudoku.
He points out that in Japan, people are spending up to 20$ on mobile data and that we need to make first rate games. He continues stating that the Nintendo DS would have failed if Nintendo decided to put second rate games on the system.
*Off topic: He also commented on why he chose to start with the Genesis when going to console gaming because it was the first 16 bit system*
When he started the Genesis days at EA, He had to drop Quality for Customer Service and that he beleives that mobile game makers shouldn’t do that. He wants to see the Craftsman mentality in mobile gaming. Quickly he points out that on IGN, only 3 out of 500 companies had games that were 10% above the average score given to games. There needs to be more interactivity with carriers and private analyst groups to help in resolving this issue.
The Social Benefits of of a cell phone are that the phone is a contact medium and that word of mouth is the best way advertise your games. So make people want to tell your friends about your game. Skip continues by saying the average person spends 5 to 15 dollars on entertainment. This is increased by 30 to 150 dollars when it’s an social item. We need to become more social than entertainment.
Skip Hawkins then ends his talk with a few great quotes. “Games need to sell themselves” talking about creating demos and viral advertising. “Tetris is the best game design…” but that we need to create our own games. “That’s why they put milk in the back”, talking about how we put the awesome games in the front of the list making it so people don’t search the rest of the site for other games they may be interested in. “Not about power, about Heart”. He then ends his talk by saying we need to stop becoming the McDonald’s of the game industry and become the Starbucks with quality, imaginative, new games.