Stephane Labrunie of mobile game publisher, I-Play, has delivered a daring keynote speech at Leipzig, claiming that mobile game sales will top those of console titles this year. While the exec trotted out the usual stats - 48 per cent of mobile gamers are female, only 58 per cent are aged between 18 and 34 - he conceded that the industry still has problems. Only 5% of phone users have downloaded a game, while 16% cite cost as a key barrier.
I'm not surprised. As a T-Mobile pay-as-you-go customer I was charged ?10 last week to go onto a developer portal and download a Java title of around 350k. Confused and horrified, I rang the company's customer services line where a member of staff cheerily informed me that, no, there had been no catastrophic system error and that this was the correct charge based on the amount of data I downloaded. If I was a mainstream gamer - the sort that mobile games publishers are desperate to attract - that's the last time I'd ever do that.