Gameloft is one of the most prolific and well-loved games developers across the whole range of Nokia phones, from feature phones like the new Nokia 301, to our latest and greatest smartphones in the Lumia range.
We met with Gameloft’s Nicolas Pochez in Barcelona to find out the latest from the company.
It was good timing. Three of the company’s latest games, Asphalt 7, Real Football 2013 and The Amazing Spider-Man went live in the Windows Phone Store recently. The releases mark the first of 12 titles for Windows Phone 8 smartphones scheduled for release over the next few months.
“We aim to bring our top-selling games to the Windows Phone devices,” says Pochez. The 2013 line up will also include Ice Age Village and Dark Knight Rises.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the games on the new hardware,” Pochez continues, “early signs are that performance will be extremely good.”
Gameloft is also a prolific developer for Nokia’s Series 40 feature and smart phones with a strong presence on the Nokia Store. Here, once again, Asphalt is a key franchise for the company, though it finds that there’s a heavier proportion of casual games as opposed to arcade games.
On Nokia Asha, Gameloft has put a lot of innovation into revenue models, with successful experiments in ‘try & buy’ and ‘free-to-play’ models. “We’re one of the only publishers using a ‘freemium’ model on Asha,” says Pochez. “The success of that has helped us to fund further development in Java gaming when many of our competitors are ramping it down.
“So, for example, we have a game called ‘The Littlest Petshop’. It’s about – surprise, surprise – running a pet shop. Not to be stereotypical, but it’s especially popular with young girls.
“We offer the game for free, so how do we make money out of it as a business?
“You can buy your way through some of the more time-consuming aspects of the game with special tokens, bought with an in-app currency. Some people are time-poor and cash-rich, so this in-app buying progress suits them.
“The other way to make money is by offering ways to expand the game by offering in-app purchases. For example new animals or furniture for the shop.
“It’s meant that we need to adopt a new way of thinking about our games. They’re more like services we need to continue to feed and evolve, rather than final products we’re shipping out of the factory.”
Finally, Pochez reveals that Gameloft is working with Nokia to improve the gaming experience by tapping into the different capabilities available on the Nokia platform.
Gameloft won’t let us tell you any more about this just yet. But watch this space…