MWC: Glu’s Big Overhaul, No More J2me

February 17th, 2010 by Arjan Olsder Posted in Companies & M&A | No Comments »

Glu Jon Jordan sat down with Glu’s new CEO Niccolo de Masi, The interview he had pointed out that Glu will drop J2me, abandon brand licensing and hopes ‘Freemium’ will work out.

Over the past years, Glu (the number three mobile game publisher) has seen many transformations to keep hold of its position in the market. During their whole history, Glu was known for their large number of J2me games based on huge brands. Many competitors even admitted that Glu’s J2me sales team used to be one of the best. It seems most of this is to change over 2010.

The company started the year with a new CEO, Niccolo de Masi, and by firing a small percentage of their staff (according to rumors). In this interview with Jon Jordan, Niccolo explained that the company sees no hope in the J2me market since revenues for J2me are dropping while smartphone platforms (that often support J2me as well) are growing. He expects hundreds of millions of dollars in revenues from them in three to five years.

Apart from dropping future J2me development and distribution, the company announced to focus mostly on the iPhoneOS, Android (Java), BlackBerry, Windows Mobile and WebOS platforms. Symbian, LiMo and Meamo/Meego haven’t been mentioned as target platforms for growth. Glu will also be cutting back on the number of releases and limit itself to inhouse productions.

Niccolo also noted that the company will focus on original IP. In other words, the company will start building IP instead of burning millions on licensing it. By combining original IP with games that match the abilities of the target smartphone, Niccolo expects to build a valuable company.

Finally, Glu will work more with Freemium games. The strategy there is not clear yet, but the company will try to find ways to monetize non-paying customers.

There is an update to this story here.

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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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