HandyGames: Hold Tight to Survive in ’09!

January 7th, 2009 by Arjan Olsder Posted in Analysis & Editorial | 17 Comments »

Yesterday, we reported about the bold move from Fishlabs to ditch the traditional market channels and start selling mobile games directly. In a clear statement sent in by HandyGames, Markus Kassulke advises mobile game developers and publishers to experiment, but not let go of any moneymakers.

HandyGames management statement

In view of the occasion the management of HandyGames, the biggest German mobile games developer, feels impelled to go public with a statement to show their view in the current discussion a trade rival started with a blog-article.

HandyGames is considered as one of the companies with the oldest tradition and history in the mobile games market and so it has witnessed the industry's development during the last years. It is certainly correct that there were few changes regarding the value chain and the business models lately. The end customer prices are still stable, the network operators still gain the bigger part of the volume and a big amount of intermediate distributors are shaping the current market environment. These are the rules. To be in the game you need to stick to them and to take the chances offered by these conditions.

It is necessary to adjust the very own economical planning regarding these settings. Network operators, manufacturers of mobile handsets and free portals simply are the key to the mass market, because they are addressing the end customers via their mobile portals directly and also offer the opportunity of various billing methods. Without these market participants there would not be any market for mobile games at all

    17 Responses to “HandyGames: Hold Tight to Survive in ’09!”

    1. Jan says:

      It seems they dont like each other.
      Everyone has to make their own moves but I personally doubt any publisher can survive without the operator channels. Directly or over partners they still make a good part of the total revenue.
      Selling mobile games only over the own site will not work. PC companies tried the same long time ago with online shops and failed. Operators and portals are required to adress the real mass market.
      The iphone shows that something is possible! For how long?
      Perhaps Fishlabs can prove that they can survive without the current partners but I believe this will be very hard and very expensive for the VCs and owners.
      Its funny to see the same statement on pocketgamer but with a totally different kind of view from the editor.
      Such statements from Fishlabs and HandyGames are good to discuss.
      I wish both companies good luck cause both are doing good games. At the end perhaps in 5 years we will see which company was correct.

    2. Hold on tight? well I’ve got one hand on iPhone, the other on Android recently, one foot on Java content and the remaining foot in unrelated content and development contracting.
      If I fall off the mobile industry rollercoaster now in 2009 as smaller passenger, I don’t think I could of done any more than this to stay in business. This year is also my 20th official year in bsuiness as an indie developer so I hope I make it thru to the next 20 in one shape or another!
      I think in truth the impact will be far greater on the medium and larger guys and not me however as I have no large overheads in comparison.
      See you in 2010 then? 🙂

    3. realist says:

      Oh I don’t think we need to wait for 5 years to see which strategy was right or if both were wrong. We will have the answer within a year.

    4. realist says:

      On another note, I think it’s hilarious that Handygames think that they need to respond to Fishlabs decision as if it was an attack on them! And in bad English too. Keep it coming!

    5. fortune teller says:

      I thought that Handygames is developing in Romania… And this hasn’t been “Made in Germany” for 60 years. Check your history books handygames 😉

    6. Ahem says:

      @ realist and @ fortuneteller: Perhaps you would want to reply in the German language? I do not think that such slightly tendentious comments should be made at all. Let us keep to good standards, please. Thank you.

    7. Sam says:

      Coming from a company which seems to have attacked a compatriot for no outwardly reasons except perhaps malice…
      There were in fact some valid counterarguements made in this thread IMHO.

    8. realist says:

      Ahem, a German IP doesn’t necessarily mean a German-speaker, dear Mobilegamesblog, sorry, Ahem… 😉
      As far as the comments go, I’m sorry, I think something as petty as the Handygames release could be commented with far worse statements than the ones posted in this threat.

    9. tshermanspeaker says:

      HG hat scheinbar ein Problem mit der Oeffentlichkeitsarbeit
      … So gut die Gebrueder K. ansonsten sind, hier sollte man erwaegen einen Profi zu engagieren.

    10. Arjan Olsder says:

      Please comment in English so the whole community can understand it.

    11. sorry arjan says:

      HG seem to have a problem with public-relations. As pro as the brothers K usually act, they should consider hiring someone to take care of this part of their activities.

    12. Horst says:

      “Coming from a company which seems to have attacked a compatriot for no outwardly reasons except perhaps malice…
      There were in fact some valid counterarguements made in this thread IMHO.”
      Why is Handygames even responding to the Fishlabs announcement? I think there is only one reason: They have to say it in public they are still kissing operator asses. Oh and this is a nice comment compared to their Fishlabs feedback!
      Having said this I wish everyone, who doesn’t kiss operators asses, a profitable year 2009!

    13. Ulrich says:

      Who even cares what Handygames is doing? Not one of their games look like a Fishlabs game!
      Oh and yeah… an ISO game on the iphone… wow!
      … wake up! We are living in 2009 and NOT 1999!

    14. Paul der Arbeiter says:

      @Ulrich – it’s like comparing apples with pears 😉
      Sure, everybody says woah and boah if a new 3D movie comes out, but does that mean “spirited away” sucks?
      Conclusion: 3D games are insanly expensive to produce compared to 2D games, and a businessman will take that into account.
      And imo: a well defined pixel-art game is a lot more readable on a small screen than 3D. And therefor the right choice.
      Note: the Fishlabs-bubble exists because of the strong tech-link. Not because everybody has a high-end device he can play their oh so awesome games on.

    15. fortune teller says:

      I agree on Paul regarding 2d and 3d on standard mobile phones: any game is about gameplay and not about the best graphics. So pure technology does not sell a game.

    16. Ulrich says:

      @Paul der Arbeiter: Your conclusion is the right one… Handygames is producing cheap games. So why are they even start talking about the Fishlabs announcement when they are not even in the same league?
      And right… a game should be about gameplay and not about graphics alone. But you know what: The best games are the ones with great graphics AND great gameplay… just like the Fishlabs games.
      And regarding fortune telling: I bet Handygames will not survive 2010 with this kind of games.

    17. SamII says:

      1. will Fishlabs survive that long?
      2. producing cheap games means getting a faster ROI or?
      But what is cheap? Is only 3D the way to go for you?
      3. same league? which league is Fishlabs playing a higher or a lower one? how do you compare it? revenues, profit, burnrate, output of games, awards won, sold titles
      Just give us more info if you have insights

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    Arjan Olsder is the Vice President of Pixalon Studios. Opinions expressed on this publication do not have to represent those of Pixalon Studios.


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