x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Smartphone will be gaming world’s next Sony PlayStation

As an Abu Dhabi Media Summit panel discussion made clear yesterday, the future of gaming lies with the smartphone.

Picture the lonely gamer, sitting at home, tapping furiously away, with the TV screen the point of focus. For the bright young things of the gaming world, however, that’s all old hat, akin to a family gathering in the lounge around the wireless.

As an Abu Dhabi Media Summit panel discussion made clear yesterday, the future of gaming lies with the smartphone.

“There are 150 million to 200 million Sony PlayStations out in the world, but there are a billion smartphones today and that will be two billon in the next couple of years,” said Andy Kleinman, the chief business officer at Scopely, an American mobile entertainment network.

“It [the smartphone] is a huge platform in terms of reach with all kinds of audiences, and they interact with their phone a hundred times a day.

“It gives you access to social media, gaming and brand enhancement; it’s something we have never seen before. It is very hard to transition between platforms, so to have a phone as one platform is a huge chance but to monetise it is still challenging,” said Mr Kleinman.

While the smartphone may be the future of gaming, Sony is using social media to incorporate gamers’ views and generate new revenue streams for its PlayStation.

“My job is to engage and interact with the local community, all the gamers and users in the Arab world. The biggest focus we have had over the last four years has been the engagement with our gamers and embedding their feedback into our strategy” said Nicolas Aqqad, the Arabic community manager at Sony Computer Entertainment.

“We have a new revenue stream because we have games where you can buy clothes for the characters. Obviously a lot of clothing companies are interested in using the platform to brand the content.”

ascott@thenational.ae