Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Time Warner Invests In Mobile Games

Forbes.com reports on Time Warner's $7.5 million investment in wireless game publisher Glu Mobile. The relaitively small investment (for Time Warner ) seems to demonstrate the company's commitment to the growing mobile content business.

The article cites NPD Group's recent report that "estimated 27 percent of all U.S. cell phone subscribers have used their handsets to play games, up from 20 ercent last year." It also uses figures from Jupiter Research that predicts mobile games revenues could rise from $75 million in 2004 to $430 million by 2009.

According to the article, mobile games generally cost from $4 - $7.50 and that "after the carriers take their cut, developers may keep up to 70 percent." Not a lot of money, but Piper Jaffray analyst Anthony Gikas "estimates that mobile games cost developers up to $300,000 a pop to create," which is a lot less than front-line console games that can reach in the mid-seven figures.

What's left unsaid in these numbers is the time, effort and cost that goes into porting a mobile game to various platforms, and then for each handset. Whether this effort is worthwhile we'll hopefully soon find out...