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Gameloft's Quest To Be The Mobile Leader
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Gameloft's Quest To Be The Mobile Leader

October 26, 2011 Article Start Previous Page 2 of 4 Next

It's interesting to see how many titles you've released for you the 3DS eShop, and for DSiWare, and WiiWare. There aren't that many publishers that focus on it -- even people who have strong digital presences.

GDV: So we've been supporting, very strongly, WiiWare and the DSiWare when they launched, and we've adjusted our support based on the success of the digital downloads on these platforms. The consumer experience and shopping experience was not optimized, and so the success was average.

But yeah, we've been happy with the support, and with the partnership that we've had with Nintendo. We support their 3DSWare. We launched Let's Golf! before the summer, and we have, of course, all our DSiWare titles that are also available on the 3DS.

And we also support the 3DS on the retail side. So that's the only outtake section to our digital motto -- as some of the consoles launch, we made a deal with Ubisoft in the U.S. and Europe, and with Konami in Japan, for the launch of Asphalt.

There's a PlayStation Vita Asphalt game, too.

GDV: That's coming, and it's the same story. It's published by Ubisoft in the Western world, and by Konami in Japan.

What about iOS and Android, and your thoughts on those platforms? You've had a lot of success on iOS.

GDV: Yeah, we've been very, a very early supporter of the iOS platform. When the iPhone came out -- and at the time it came out without the App Store -- we decided we strongly believed in the platform because it really brought innovation to the market.

So we were very active at launch and we've kept supporting the platform very strongly. I think we have around 80 titles launched on the iOS platform. So we'll be on the iPhone, on the iPad, we support the Mac App Store with some titles. We've been following up on each innovation, from the first iPhone, to the iPhone 4, and we will support them on the iPhone 4S.

What do you think of the iOS 5 and iPhone 4S launch?

GDV: I think there are two features interesting on the gaming side, which are iCloud and AirPlay, which will enhance the gaming experience. You'll be able to store, and have a real cross-device experience. AirPlay allows you to stream, and maybe to create a new gaming experience, by having a dual-screen experience, so that's very exciting for our teams.

On the 4S, our developers are always very happy to have more power in the devices to create better experiences graphically, so that's also very exciting for them.

Do you find the complexity of the games naturally rises as the power of the platforms increases?

GDV: Yeah, it's true. It depends on the type of games, and the types of people that you target. When you want to target a casual audience, you don't need, maybe, to leverage all of the power of the platform, and put polygons, and 3D, and everything. So it depends on the type of games.

But it's true that for a more "gamer" type of experience, more power means a better experience, and more complexity, and it's true that the development timelines of our titles have been expanding. As more power [comes] more fragmentation also [comes] somehow, because now you have to cover different devices, and more online and everything. So, yeah, it's adding in terms of development times.

Have you had any thoughts into entering into social games, on Facebook?

GDV: Yeah, we made a few trials there. We are still looking to find the right way to get there. There are some very strong leaders in the space that are hard to catch up with, so we are still investigating on finding what we can bring to the platform that the others don't bring.

Now to be transparent, our core focus is really on mobile -- so the smartphones, tablets...

Sure, though there's been a rise in social networks on mobile -- particularly Asian companies such as GREE, DeNA, and Papaya, which have been launching social mobile gaming networks. Is that something that's important in the Western market?

GDV: Those guys have been pretty successful in Asia -- DeNA and GREE -- and we have a strong presence in Japan, so we've been working with them in Japan. On the feature phone business, not yet on the smartphone business. DeNA, mainly.

And we are talking with them on their new initiatives. As Gameloft, we want to keep a direct relationship with the consumers, so we feel it can be dangerous that we have somebody in the middle, that will dictate whether the consumer will take. So we're still discussing with this company how we can find a way of working together.

Have you considered launching your own network?

GDV: Yes, that's also something that we are working on, and investigating to see if it makes sense to. We always value the consumer experience, so if it makes sense to add this component to our games, then we will do it -- and that's something we are studying now.

And you've moved into Android as well?

GDV: Yes. I would say the smartphone business, in general, is growing fast. Android is a natural extension of our business, and it's a leading platform in terms of penetration, so we've been accelerating our support to Android. We've been active from the beginning, but we've been increasing our support in the last month, and we have now pretty much synchronized launch between iOS and Android, on all of our titles. So we have a growing part of our resources supporting Android.

If you're synchronizing the launches, you definitely consider it to be a high priority.

GDV: Yeah. The thing is that if you want to maximize the marketing impact of a launch, it's better to be cross-platform, so that you can maximize the boost. And it's true that in the last 12 to 18 months, the Android platform has been skyrocketing in terms of volume. We are pretty platform agnostic so as long as the consumer experience is good, and of course there is a way for us to distribute our game. Then it makes sense for us to support them.

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