Apple and Microsoft will go head to head to capture the ‘mobile gaming via music player’ market in the coming years. Apple certainly has a head start but Microsoft shouldn’t be discounted because of their own success in gaming (and their bottomless coffers).
Peter Moore said, at CES, that Zune will get mobile gaming capabilities in the next 18 months. Apple already has a variety of games available for the iPod.
An indicator of the current push towards a mobile gaming focus is EA’s 2006 purchase of Jamdat, a popular mobile games developer. In fact, that purchase is already paying off for EA.
The company in total has 5 games for the platform all of which are sold on Apple iTunes for $4.99 each. EA further said that mobile based games are increasingly becoming a relevant part of their revenue stream. Mobile gaming accounted for 14 percent of EA’s revenue in the fiscal year ended March 2006.
What fascinates me the most about all of this is the future of mobile gaming as it relates to marketing. There are hundreds of products out there that would be relevant to market in this space, and if consumers get a free game, rather than $5 each, out of the deal, they’ll likely not complain. I know I wouldn’t mind at all having to view an ad to get a free download.
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