Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Steve Palley: Requiem for a Carrier Guy!

Steve Palley at Foci Mobile blogs about the power the carriers wield when it comes to mobile gaiming. He states:

The carrier guys (and gals) stand like giants at the nexus of business, politics, entertainment, and yes, religion. For many developers and publishers, their favor is all that separates profitability from abject failure. How’s this for temporal power: if a particular carrier guy doesn’t like your game, it’s not going to secure premium placement on that carrier’s deck, and you’ll go from shopping for yachts to e-mailing the other two carrier guys every fifteen minutes.

If two carrier guys don’t like it, your company will be stuck with only a single meaningful distribution channel. If you strike out with all three carrier guys, there will be no reason to expect a Christmas bonus, if you catch my drift.
He then asks, "given their lofty status in the mobile gaming world, why would a carrier guy willingly renounce his powers and step off his pedestal?" He then discusses a couple of who have left the ranks to go elsewhere. Once such person is Jason Ford, formerly of Sprint Nextel and now with Namco Networks. He writes:
Ford’s joining up with Namco Networks is hardly a surprise. After all, Namco was one of Sprint Nextel’s first and most enthusiastic partners in the Game Lobby experiment. The company’s bottomless portfolio of classic arcade titles fits in perfectly with the Game Lobby ethos because everybody’s familiar with them, and also because their simple scoring schemes are easy to compare to one another.

Furthermore, Ford knows that he’s joining a winner. Although Namco Networks isn’t yet in the same category as an Electronic Arts, a Gameloft, or a Glu, it’s firmly ensconced in the top ten publishers worldwide, and I’m fairly certain the company turns a nice profit; much like Tetris, Pac-Man and his ghostly friends’ spot at the top of the download decks is probably secure for the next five to ten years, if not longer.