Anticipating an explosion in mobile gaming in the next five years, investors say they are taking a bet on the under-served market for iPad games.
“People say tablets have been over-hyped … but I say, they haven’t been hyped enough,” said Nabeel Hyatt, venture partner at Spark Capital. Currently, he explained, the vast majority of iPad games on the market are nothing more than upraised iPhone games. Hyatt referred to the tablet as the TV of the next 10 years and predicted that games would be the major channel.
At the VentureBeat’s Gamesbeat conference in San Francisco today, Hyatt laid out a few competitive advantages to developing a game specifically for a tablet device, rather than as an adjunct to a smartphone: iPads are more of a collaborative playing device, and most importantly, customer acquisition is easier as the market is less saturated.
“Developing for tablets is a relatively simple solution to the discovery problem,” he said. “There are simply fewer games.”
“The tablet will become the quasi-console, quasi-controller of this generation,” chimed in Atul Bagga, senior equity research analyst for Lazard Capital Markets. Bagga said the current offerings for the iPad and other tablet devices are just scratching the surface. He said that within the decade, tablets will far outstrip sales for desktop PCs. Apple released statistics this year that the global demand for the iPad has already exceeded the market for HP, Lenovo, and Dell PCs.
The late morning session, “Disruption and Adaption”, brought together analysts and venture capitalists from the gaming industry to discuss the next big thing in mobile and social gaming.
The parting feedback for young game developers? It’s not enough to make a cool game and expect users to discover it organically. “You must have a solid distribution and discovery strategy,” advised Jeremy Lieu of Lightspeed Venture Partners, an investor focusing on Internet and mobile.