CTIA industry perspective: Digital Chocolate CEO Trip Hawkins
Long before mobile social networking took off, software gaming pioneer Trip Hawkins was integrating the phenomenon into his mobile games. After founding Electronic Arts in 1982, he took the reins of Digital Chocolate, one of the few successful pure-play mobile gaming developers, in 2003 and kicked off a series of games devoted to casual interactions. He caught up with Telephony Associate News Editor Sarah Reedy at CTIA to share his insights into the world of social gaming.
On social-networking apps at CTIA: To me this is all part of a bigger picture. I call it the “Omnimedia Revolution.” The mobile market is an example, but it's happening on other platforms also. We used to be in a situation where people were afraid of computers or reluctant to use them. Most people did not think of themselves as gamers. There wasn't a lot of special, accessible, convenient personal digital media. Now, we've had this explosion of all these platforms and new forms of short-form media that are convenient and simple. It's truly a mass market, and everyone is likely to participate in it.
On convergence: Someday we'll have a lot of these converged services, and the public will think increasingly that they are a member of this club or service that uses this brand, and whatever platform I am on I should get access to it, and it should work in a consistent manner. It's exciting for our industry, and it will make the markets much, much bigger.
On checking consumers back in: There has been a bias in the industry to rely heavily on other media and older, retro games, and I think this is an indication that that approach is slowing down because the marketplace has matured and is ready to move on to do things that are original and have more social value. That model of killing time, being amused — a staple of conventional forms of entertainment content — is becoming obsolete. People are feeling checked out. That's why we are seeing an uptake in things that have social value because people are looking for ways to check back in.
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