Last week, in the first of our preview features for 2008, some publishers talked about the way mobile operators are 'outsourcing' their games portals – getting outside companies to run them. The impression was that this may be a negative development.
However, Sven Halling of End2End, which runs the games services for several operators including Vodafone, has got in touch to give the opposing view.
"Most operator content teams today consist of only a few people to manage sourcing, retailing and marketing of not only games, but often also gambling, ringtones, pictures, music and mobile TV," he says, pointing out that many operators also have to battle with older billing and reporting systems, which make it harder to provide publishers with in-depth analysis of sales patterns and consumer behaviour.
"The industry needs world class retailing, which is why an increasing number of operators chose to outsource their games portals to companies like End2End who have this as a core business," he says.
"We have some of the industry's top talent in retailing and content management, and the technology to evolve the operator deck into a very sophisticated retail channel to drive significantly increased sales volumes and reach new market segments. This outsourcing trend can truly benefit the whole industry."
The debate is sure to rumble on this year. Of course, as far as us gamers are concerned, the main thing is that the operator portals are full of great games – it's far less of an issue who's actually in charge of them.