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Gameloft asks: Where are all the games?

Alexandre de Rochefort, Gameloft CFO, says he is surprised about the lack of big budget games available for the iPhone.  He is quoted to have said “We are amazed at the absence of big Triple-A titles on the iPhone.”

“Most of the games are from small developers, and the production values are not that high. There are only around 15 of what we would call Triple-A titles, although I can assure you that we have quite a few more coming to market very soon.”

It is fairly simple to understand Rochefort’s interest in the iPhone as it has just been announced that the App Store now generated more money for the French games publisher than mobile operators.  Alexandre de Rochefort is even claiming that Gameloft is now “the biggest or second biggest publisher on the iPhone in terms of revenues generated.”

His remarks came as Gameloft declared overall revenues of €26.2 million for the third quarter of 2008.  No wonder he’s showing such a keen interest towards the future of the iPhone as a hand held gaming platform.  Rochefort is sure that the time of opportunity for smaller developers is coming to an end and we’ll soon be seeing the larger developers marching over the hill and onto our iPhones.

“The window of opportunity for small developers is going to close. From a consumer’s point of view, it won’t make any sense to buy a game even for £1 or £2, if it’s significantly less exciting than a game sold for £4 or £5.”

Reflecting on the success they have achieved from the iPhone, Gameloft will certainly be turning more and more attention towards the N-Gage and Android platforms, but perhaps it’s time to turn away from basic mobile games for Gameloft.  Rochefort has agreed recently with comments made last week by Nokia’s Jaakko Kaidesoja who stated that the progression of mobile games had lately been seen to be rather flat for some time, and this state of affairs may not change in 2009.

“We have been saying this to analysts for the last 12 months, but Nokia have a bit more weight than us, so people have taken notice more of what they are saying!” he says.

Rochefort went on to say “The industry has very little growth at the moment, because there has been a lack of innovation for the last 12 months. Key platforms like iPhone and N-Gage were supposed to launch last year, but instead iPhone’s gaming came in July this year, and N-Gage in September effectively.”

Rochefort can definitely thank the iPhone platform for a great boost to Gameloft’s third quarter revenue but it is fairly easy to understand his interest in other developers bringing their Triple-A games to the market.  If things don’t change soon people will start looking elsewhere for their gaming needs, simply because of the lack of bigger developer’s games, leaving Rochefort and Gameloft out in the cold.  Surely Gameloft can’t hold the iPhone gaming market steady on it’s own?

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