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Gamasutra Debuts 'Going Mobile' Column From Steve Palley

Gamasutra Debuts 'Going Mobile' Column From Steve Palley

May 18, 2006 | By Simon Carless

Gamasutra is proud to debut 'Going Mobile', a new regular editorial column dealing with the mobile gaming market, and written by former GameSpot Mobile and Wireless Gaming Review chief editor Steve Palley, one of the most respected journalists in the cellphone gaming sector.

Steve is now heading up mobile game consulting firm Foci Mobile, and his first mobile column for Gamasutra focuses on the massive Electronic Arts deal with Jamdat, and how 'touching the monolith' has meant that cellphone game publishing has been changed forever, for better or worse.

In the opening part of his column, Steve lays out the paradigm shift that he believes has just occurred:

"The mobile games industry has inaugurated a fourth era, and it will be characterized by the rule of a few. There are, of course, many arguments to be made about constructive oligopolies, but these are normative points for later discussion. At the moment, I'd like to lay out the facts: mobile games publishing has a superpower. It presides over a kingdom populated by eight or so other notable powers. Out of that number, we have a pretty clear second banana, and a third power may be in the process of stepping up to the plate. Spots four through nine are a wash, in my estimation.

These entities have carved out their own fiefdoms based on geography, "golden goose" licenses, powerful business relationships, or exclusive access to their parent companies' legacy content. Tenth place and below may have solid revenue streams, a hit game or three, and positive balance sheets, but they're missing a secure future, and they won't get it back without seriously motivated corporate backing.

Mobile publishing's freshly minted hegemon is EA Mobile. The corporate marriage of Jamdat Mobile and Electronic Arts owns the high ground in several key areas. The first peak is the mountain of money EA's standing on; everyone knows that it can muster more financial resources than its competitors (and certain non-competitors, like, say, Tonga), and they've proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that they're willing to spend whatever it takes to own mobile gaming."

You can now read the full Gamasutra column on the subject for more of Palley's insight, including his ranking of EA Mobile's competitors for the mobile gaming throne (no registration required, please feel free to link to this article from external websites).

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