In the second of a series of Q&As with Japanese-headquartered game publishers making the plunge into the U.S. mobile game biz, Gamasutra had a chance to talk to Scott Rubin, VP of Sales and Marketing for Namco Networks, regarding the company’s history and plans. Rubin discussed both the formation of Namco Networks in North America and the popularity of Namco’s classic titles, such as Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Galaga and Dig Dug, on cellphone, answering the same questions as Capcom’s Midori Yuasa, the first in this mobile Q&A series.
GS: How does the U.S. market differ from Japan and other Asian markets? What are some of the difficulties in entering the market?
SR: In Japan, for a small monthly fee, consumers can access a catalog or channel that contains about 20 games, which typically rotates on a monthly basis. These games tend to be simple and easy to play. In America, games are typically sold ala carte and have longer playability. Additionally, in Japan, each publisher distributes content directly to the consumer, whereas in the U.S., the content is primarily sold through the carriers.
When we entered the market, consumer awareness surrounding mobile games was one of the greatest obstacles. While consumer awareness is still a challenge, publishers entering the mobile game industry today find themselves in a highly competitive and consolidating market, which makes it very difficult to compete at the level necessary to be profitable and successful.
Full Interview Here.