For those who thought last year was a tough market for mobile games, this year's figures could be even worse, believes Jaakko Kaidesoja, Nokia's head of its gaming operations.
After years of double-digit growth, 2007, and now 2008, have both registered a decline in the overall mobile gaming market, with Western Europe and North America recording the sharpest downturn. To make matters worse, 2009 is likely to follow this trend given the growing pressure on consumer expenditure.
Kaidesoja attempted to put a positive spin on this dire situation by claiming that some parts of the market like pre-loaded games, emerging markets, N-Gage and iPhone, were viable. He urged operators that pre-installing the gaming software in phones before they are sold and having a local billing system in place, beyond credit card payments, were the keys to reach wider take-up of the service
Nokia has recently been criticised for holding back the progress of mobile gaming with Electronic Arts claiming it made twice the revenue from selling an iPhone game in Italy than it would from selling an N-Gage game at the same price.
EA, one of the largest developers of games, has also made disparaging comments on the difficulties of having a game certified by Nokia. This issue seems to be caused by Nokia's many and varied mobile platforms and the compatibility of gaming code across these operating systems.
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