A panel of gaming industry leaders met to discuss all things gaming and BlackBerry 10. They covered issues such as the new features of BlackBerry 10 and how gaming studios will utilize them. It’s undeniable that the BlackBerry Playbook/BlackBerry 10 is much more game-friendly than legacy BlackBerry OSes.
Hosted by Anders Jeppsson Director of Gaming at RIM, the panel discussed developing games on the BlackBerry 10 platform and Playbook tablet. The consensus is that smartphone game development as far as studios are concerned has gone the way of multi-platform development. The ecosystems have become too similar to ignore porting to you secondary and tertiary platform choices. This opens up brand new markets and sales channels for very little development effort. One success story of a game being ported from iOS, saw a game’s porting cost pay for itself in just 27 hours after launch.
Here’s what some of the panelists had to say about gaming on BlackBerry 10:
Andrew Kamondy – 90NineCents CEO:
90NineCents was founded in July 2012 to focus on developing great cross-platform games. The team currently has 10 people in its Toronto, Canada headquarters and is poised to launch 5 original games in the next two months. The games range from casual to puzzle, they’re called Around the World, Buzz, Jackpot Street, Backgammon and Solitaire as well as a co-production with Spin Master Toys called Crazy Cubes.
A toy, entertainment and gaming world veteran, Kamondy believes cross platform development is crucial in garnering awareness for games. He thinks that BBM integration will be crucial in order to make his games go viral on the BlackBerry 10 platform.
Martin Herdina – Wikitude CEO:
Wikitude will be launching an SDK for blackberry 10 enabling 3rd parties to embed and create their own Augmented Reality games and apps. Martin went on to say that “social gaming” was coined a bit too soon (in reference to the hit browser game Farmville) and that social gaming will have a new meaning when smartphones eat up more of the portable game console market share. BBM is great for this, instantly populating people gaming lists with their pre-existing contacts.
He went on to discuss a few of the problems Wikitude has had in terms of people returning to the app, he called it stickiness. He says that the after the Wikitude SDK gets put in to a few apps, so too will the compelling use cases grow. The SDK represents a gaming input that is unique to mobile, and is something that BlackBerry can take the lead on.
Troy Johnson – Director, OEM and new Platforms from Magmic Games:
Troy spoke about how BlackBerry 10 has become his favourite OEM platform. He was particularly excited about how the new BlackBerry 10 UI will help people stay in the game as opposed to the current problem of people multi tasking away from what are already short play sessions.
He went on to say that RIM is the only company that is really focused on getting hardware in to the hands of developers. Within Magmic, it’s the hardware that gets developers excited about a platform and it’s something that simulators and specs just can’t match.
BBM has been getting more play within Magmic too. Troy said that this sort of on-platform social discovery is tough to match with word of mouth or traditional marketing.
Daniel Jeppsson – Funkoi Games:
Recently started a gaming company of 14 people making games for all smarphone platforms. They had a great demo of their space shooter game: Alpha Zero.
Coming from a console gaming background, Daniel also has experience developing some early mobile games in Java. He seems very impressed with the BlackBerry 10 Platform calling it both capable and powerful. He’s already integrated Scoreloop in to his game and loves the way it allows for a consistent, non-repetative gaming experience.
Stephane Jacoby – Co-Founder and Technical Director of Square One Games
Stephane has lots of experience with mobile consoles having developed for the Nintendo DS. The thing he likes most about BlackBerry 10 as a gaming platform is the ease of porting. His company decided to give the BlackBerry Playbook a shot and after a very quick port and polish made back their development costs within 27 hours of launch on BlackBerry App World.
He said that RIM is the best in terms of developer relations and getting physical hardware in which to test and deploy. He had great things to say about Scoreloop, especially how the instant pause helps players play longer games a little bit at a time. Says battery life is the real glass ceiling for mobile gaming tech and that GPUs and mobile hardware will be limited by battery performance of the foreseeable future.
Anders Jeppsson – Director of Gaming at RIM:
Anders says that the BlackBerry Playbook is doing great in terms of gaming and attracting studios to port. Studios are seeing the value of porting their existing game, especially considering how quick of a development time studios have to spend in order to access a great ecosystem of users willing to send money on quality games.
Scoreloop adds lots of value to the social proposition, and cross-platform is becoming the standard for game studios. Developing for the top 3 platforms is becoming a reality for a lot of game studios, and Scoreloop’s method of switching devices while playing the same game (even across platform) is a boon for gamers. Social Hub for gaming on BlackBerry is going to be good with lots of BBM-like game discovery built in.
All of the panelists were coming from totally different places but could all agree that the BlackBerry 10 platform is very appealing for games and an easy sell for mobile gaming studios.
If you’re interested in developing games for BlackBerry 10, visit RIM’s BlackBerry game development portal.