MediaFile

GlobalMedia-Gaming giants differ on mobile, social games

kotickMuch of the buzz in gaming these days revolves around two small but fast-growing areas: social games and mobile ones played on smartphones. But two titans of the video game industry have decidedly different takes on those markets.

There are already tens of thousands of game apps available for the iPhone and competing Android smartphones, and tens of millions of people playing free games on Facebook.

Still, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick (pictured) sounded less than enthusiastic about those markets when he spoke to the Reuters Global Media Summit in New York on Tuesday. And that represented a stark contrast from what Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello said just a day earlier

Kotick on apps: “We don’t view the App Store as a really big opportunity for dedicated games.”

On tablets: “I think it is a different device than a mobile device, but from a gaming perspective it is probably not a big opportunity for us just yet.”

Activision’s Kotick: Game prices are OK; demand will come

Video game executives are some of the most optimistic you’ll ever meet. But you have to think they dream of the good old days (of only one year ago) when the industry was called “recession resistant”, thanks to the idea that “cocooning” consumers would, ad infinitum, plop down $60 for games.

Those days may be gone — just ask Nintendo. Now game makers are eyeing the holiday shopping season, with a lot on the line. Still, many are upbeat. Activision Blizzard Chief Executive Bobby Kotick, for one, says that at its core, the industry slowdown is about the wicked recession, not a shrinking appeal for games.

Reuters: Has the appetite for games dwindled?
Kotick: I think the reason why the take-up rates over the last 6 or 7 months have been what they have been, as compared with where they were, has much more to do with macroeconomics than fatigue in the category. Once you are getting to that gift giving (season), my sense is that you are going to see a change in consumption.