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Secret Knowledge from the Future
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Secret Knowledge from the Future

August 13, 2012 Article Start Previous Page 2 of 3 Next

Extending this metaphor and looking at the numbers you mentioned earlier, you believe in potentiality for a $30 billion a year global business in mobile games. Is that your fundamental belief -- that things will be that size?

NY: Yeah, it will be of that scale. You know, 20 Or is it 50? I don't know. We shouldn't make the mistake of thinking that mobile games are exclusively trading card battle games. I think that there's so many different types of games that we can build when we take this knowledge and we employ it directly.

We're trying a range of things, some of which you eventually get to see, and others which you don't, because they were ahead of their time.

We've got a wide range of things. Ben Cousins is building, essentially, a free–to–play social shooter, which is trying to build on his experience at EA, with the experience that we've had here and in Japan. And it will be really interesting to see what happens there.

I actually went to Stockholm in December and spent some time with Ben and the team.

NY: Yeah. Really interesting group of people. Super high quality team, and I think we're going to do something really interesting.

I was trying to calculate their salaries, and figure out how much money was being spent on it, just as a mental exercise.

NY: (Laughs) I would be interested to know what you came up with. It turns out it's expensive in Sweden. I really do think that there's a tremendous opportunity, and we're just at the very beginning of it.

Do I think the trading card battle game business is going to be a $30 billion a year business? No. But I think when we put in racing, and shooting, and sports, and trading card games, and strategy games, and role playing games, do I think that we can start really changing things? And then do I think that as mobile operating systems move from phones to tablets to televisions, that the traditional console space is going to get massively disrupted? I absolutely believe that, one hundred percent.

Ngmoco and DeNA's Rage of Bahamut

You mentioned some things just now, and I don't know necessarily that you were trying to be prescriptive. Do you consider yourself going after the casual, Bejeweled Blitz market, too? Because the games that you've been showing lately, and the games that you've been really successful with recently, are more hardcore gamer games. You mentioned a shooter, potentially racing, stuff like that. How do you see yourselves?

NY: No, I think that there's an opportunity to build those type of products. I think we would want to extend them, and think differently about them.

There's a game in Japan which is a really interesting game called Puzzle & Dragons, and it's one of the most successful games in the App Store in Japan. And what they've done is, they've taken Bejeweled Blitz and mashed it up with a sort of RPG battle game. It's kind of like the Final Fantasy battles, but with all of your moves being determined by a match-3 type mechanic, and I think there's something really interesting there.

I love Bejeweled Blitz, personally. I think it's really awesome. I don't really spend very much money in it. I like to spend money, you know? Spending money is not a bad, evil thing. I spend money on things that I like. But I don't spend a lot of money in Bejeweled Blitz, and I wish that I could, somehow.

I wish that there were mechanisms for me to do that. It's very short attention span. I don't feel there's much continuity. There's no continuity from round to round to round to round, and I wish that there was. And I think that if there was, there might be different ways for it to monetize.

So I think what we'd do is, we'd look at those categories, and we'll say, "Oh, okay, they're obviously very appealing, fun-to-play games. Is there a way that we can make them work from a business standpoint?"

And when we make them work from a business standpoint, is it legitimate? Because there's two types of ways that you can run a business. You can basically run what I think of as legitimate businesses, and then illegitimate businesses. And I think the legitimate businesses are the ones that when you spend money, you feel good, versus you're spending money because you feel like you have to. Because it's a difference there in the way you feel about the experience. One is it kind of makes you feel dirty. The other is like buying something that you really like. It's a different feeling. So I'd love to find a way to make it feel legitimate.

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