In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, VU Games executive Paul Maglione has spoken for the first time about the new mobile gaming division of Vivendi that he will lead as its president. The branch will be called Vivendi Universal Games Mobile and will release mobile games based on both licensed content as well as Vivendi's original IP.
"VUG is becoming increasingly interested in high-growth areas like MMOGs and online, and that, of course, includes mobile," said Maglione. "Besides, these last five years, our mother company has become extremely keen on mobile across all our divisions -- not just with VUG but also SFR, which is one of the leading European wireless network carriers; Universal Music, which is the most active music company in mobile music; and the Canal+ Group, which is doing a lot of things in mobile TV. So there's a wider corporate focus on mobile which fits VUG very nicely."
"Only about 40%" of the VUG Mobile titles will be developed externally, according to Maglione, "the other 60% are being done in-house. And we'll probably stick to that ratio going forward. VUG already has a very well-developed internal studio, an excellent proprietary porting technology, and a very innovative group of folks. In addition, we're talking to at least three or four outside studios, but I'm not at liberty to disclose those yet because those aren't signed deals."
Maglione also predicted a shift in game promotion from the cellular carriers to the game publishers themselves. "There won't be a managed deck but a deck that relies on a search function. The result is that the publisher will manage their own inventory, not the carrier. It's a win-win situation because, I think, the carriers simply don't want to invest the amount of resources necessary to manage such a detailed operation."
The full interview, including Maglione's comments on EA's purchase of Jamdat Mobile and the costs of porting games, is available at the Hollywood Reporter website