Games on Demand provider Exent has released some of its predictions for the games industry in 2012. Among the industry developments that the company’s Head of Content Programming, Rick Marazzani, expects next year are: Android tablets to go mass-market; location-aware mobile gaming to break out; and mobile carriers to take back smartphone content.
Regarding tablets, said Marazzani: “Look for them to take a much bigger slice out of the iPad’s market share in 2011.” On the smartphone side, “Social game makers like Zynga, Mocospace and Booyah will make their games more social by tapping users’ social graphs in locations to enhance the mobile versions of their games.” Mobile operators have lost control of smartphone content, following Apple’s “tight grip on the iPhone user experience and the openness of the Android operating system”, he added. However, 2012 should see carriers “bounce back as trusted advisors to offer their subscribers premium app stores with curated content and user friendly, integrated billing”.
On the downside of the market, said Marazzani, there are likely to be massive layoffs in the social web game space. “With multiple hit games and big marketing budgets needed to stay afloat at the top of the Facebook game charts, many social publishers simply weathered 2011 waiting to see what Zynga’s IPO would foretell for their own futures. Faced with the reality that there are too many people working on too many games for the market to bear, social developers will be forced to place smarter (and fewer) bets as user acquisition cost and competition grows. The result will be more belt tightening along the lines of developer RockYou (ZooWorld), who shed 40% of its staff in late 2011.”