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APP STORES 

APPS

upside their heads The shift from carrier decks to app stores has turned game publishers’ strategies upside down, Stuart Dredge reports... ou have to feel for Glu Mobile. It became one of the top three mobile games publishers by spending big on brands, porting the resulting games to a huge selection of handsets, and running big-budget comarketing campaigns with operators to secure deck placement. It was an effective strategy, tailored for the market at the time. Then Apple launched its App Store. Glu found itself in an environment where its porting skills weren’t an advantage, where featured slots were entirely down to Apple’s editorial whims, and where brands simply weren’t as important. Not to mention the fact that Glu didn’t have the rights to bring many of its big brands to iPhone in the first place. Glu isn’t the only mobile games company to face a challenging transition to the App Store world. Its big rivals from the carrier days have done okay – Gameloft ploughed resources into iPhone early and has reaped the rewards, while EA Mobile is benefitting from its in-house megabrands, launching FIFA and Madden onto iPhone in the last month alone. But mid-tier mobile games publishers have faced the same challenges as Glu. Chumming up with carrier games managers is out, and clever, nimble social media marketing is in. ‘Will-this-do’ games based on movies and TV shows are out, and creative, imaginative and innovative games are in. And instead of competing against a restricted number of publishers handpicked by the operators, the

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Chumming up with carrier games managers is out, and clever, nimble social media marketing is in

www.mobile-ent.biz

November 2009 19

Mobile Entertainment Issue 57, November 2009  

For everyone in mobile content