Editors Note: Guest blog post from Anthony D.B. Ibanez which is one of the 5 co-founders of Gamistry which won Appcircus in Rotterdam, we asked them to do a post regarding their industry (games) and how they see it evolving. It provides great insight into how games will be a strong player in the coming years for mobile.
Play as a medium has been around for ages. Animals use play to develop their skill for survival, for example mock fighting. Humans have developed various different ways to use play as a medium like theater, sports and games. In the past warlords and rulers of countries have played games like chess and baduk for mock fighting, to hone their skill for strategy. Today we use electronic versions of these games, to play with anyone in the world instead of the few selected opponents in our surroundings. We improve our skill not for our survival in the wild but for our survival in the digital jungle.
Unfortunately there is a stigma on games as a medium as something for children, which is absurd if you think rationally about it. Play has evolved over time just like stories. First stories were passed on verbally by telling stories. Then visually by writing in books and then a combination of the two with films. Ever reaching a broader audience by using a device, television for example. Play has evolved exactly the same into electronic games over time. Physical games like tag, to board games like chess, to electronic games like Sticky. Ever reaching a broader audience by using a device, in our case a mobile device, the smartphone.
Not all books teach you skills, a lot of them are entertainment. That’s the same for films and series, games are no different. Each of these mediums are different, you have to treat them differently, you have to use them differently but when done right, each of them can be used very effectively. The evolution of play into electronic games is young. We strongly believe that within due time, games will prove themselves just as films have done, together with their corresponding devices. Play is just as important to transfer knowledge as stories are.
We believe the mobile industry will be a strong factor in this process. Just as books and TV have become a daily used “device”, so will mobile devices and some already are. You can bring it with you to make use of it when you have the time to do so, which offers you the possibility to play games where you are, at that moment and in that context. If you look at public transportation today, a lot of people are looking down at their lap and hands, where they have some sort of mobile device. And they are either reading, listening to music, making a phone-call, playing a game or a combination of the above.
This creates loads of opportunities for many people. There are more than enough ways to expand this medium called games to help mature it. Be it technology wise, better devices and faster networks or content wise, for example serious content like education and simulation, or adult content, which still holds a firm taboo in games compared to books and films.
The beauty of games is that they can be played on various devices. Currently we have reached a crossroad where we are able to start creating cross-platform games. An important landmark for this was when Apple switched to Intel Processors. People on MacOS can play games with people that are playing on Windows. Valve was quick to adapt and brought Steam to MacOS and released a MacOS version of Team Fortress 2, which enabled players on MacOS to play with players on Windows. In due time people will be able to play games together on various mobile devices with different platforms. People playing on desktops will play with people on mobile devices, everyone connected throughout the world on various devices with various platforms.
The mobile platform is an easier and lower risk step into the game industry compared to the full console or PC counterparts. A lot of young developers are developing games and applications for mobile. The big publishing companies are also branching out. Which makes it more difficult to compete, but a good way to come into contact with a publisher and work together developing great works of art.