DICE 2011: EA's Boatman Busts Five Mobile Gaming Myths
At the 2011 DICE Summit in Las Vegas on Thursday, EA Mobile VP of Worldwide Studios Travis Boatman said there are five "myths" about the rapidly-growing mobile gaming market that need to be busted.
Boatman helps to mastermind Electronic Arts' successful iPhone and iPad title portfolio, which includes
original IP titles like Reckless Racing
alongside board game licenses like Scrabble
, big-budget EA Sports games and even Dead Space
The EA exec's top five myths for the space were as follows:
Myth 1: Mobile players are on the run.
While people carry mobile games wherever they go, that doesn't mean that players are in a constant race to get from point A to point B. Mobile games don't have to be designed to be squeezed into tiny amounts of time and appeal to small attention spans.
"The truth is that most people actually play mobile games from their home," said Boatman -- on the couch, in bed and on the toilet. Forty-seven percent of mobile gamers play mobile games at home. Seven percent play in the bathroom, said Boatman.
Myth 2: Mobile games are for casual consumers.
Boatman said mobile game chart-toppers like Rovio's Angry Birds
-- published by EA-owned Chillingo -- and EA's Scrabble
have helped create the misconception that mobile games are for casual gamers.
But Boatman said that "mobile phones are really out there for everybody," and gamers want deep experiences in mobile games. Electronic Arts put that to the test with the release of Dead Space
on Apple's App Store. The game is an immersive extension of its third-person shooter console sibling, and the mobile version went to the top of the charts.
With Dead Space
for iOS, EA Mobile actively targeted people who want deep, immersive experiences. "I think it shows there's a hungry market out there looking for those experiences," said Boatman.
Myth 3: One size fits all.
Boatman told developers that when bringing a game to multiple platforms, developers need to be sure to tailor the experience for each mobile device.
When considering bringing a game to multiple platforms, Boatman said to consider whether the target device is selling well, if it has an efficient app store and whether the device can provide a good gaming experience. "Is it important to port to other devices? I think the answer is clearly 'yes,'" he said.
Myth 4: Brands don't matter.
EA has a big stable of intellectual properties, and tying those properties into mobile games has helped the company leverage that brand recognition on the app store.
A quick glance at recent sales charts shows the prevalence of mobile games based on major brands. "As the industry evolves, it moves in that direction," said Boatman. "...At the end of the day, brands aren't everything, but they do matter," he said. At the same time, he said "never bet against native IP" that was created specifically for a mobile platform.
Myth 5: This is as good as it gets.
"I don't think the industry stops here," said Boatman. Constant technological advances and young talent will continue to push the mobile industry upwards, to unexpected places.
"I think there's such a bright future [for young developers] that are attacking a space that is so familiar to them," Boatman said. "...We're just on the cusp of something great. ... I think in three years you won't recognize the state of the mobile industry."