Features

PG turns 10: Nitrome's Mat Annal on why the iPhone and App Store gave birth to modern mobile gaming

And why he longs for innovation

PG turns 10: Nitrome's Mat Annal on why the iPhone and App Store gave birth to modern mobile gaming
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As you've heard a bunch of times already, it's Pocket Gamer's 10th birthday. And, to celebrate, we've reached out to our favourite developers and publishers to get their thoughts on the past and future of mobile gaming.

This time it's Nitrome's Mat Annal on why mobile didn't really take off until the iPhone and the App Store were released.

What was the biggest change in mobile gaming over the past 10 years

"Without doubt the iPhone and the introduction of the App Store.

"The iPhone introduced a radically different way to interact with your phone that was fresh and robust to developers.

"At the same time the App Store legitimised mobile gaming as a viable platform for indie developers, and changed how the entire industry thought about digital stores."

Is it better to be a developer now or in 2006?

"Definitely now, though there was a gold rush period directly after the introduction of the App Store which was the best time to be a developer.

"Though developers now struggle for visibility, you still see new developers get into the spotlight and have breakout successes. The same could not be said back in 2006 when mobile was still very reliant on getting pushed by operators or ad spots which only big publishers could realistically achieve.

"Fragmentation of devices and poor input methods also ensured that games were generally of poorer quality."

What do you want to see from mobile in the next 10 years?

"I feel like I get asked this question quite a lot. At the moment the market is getting relatively mature and with that a lot of the rules seem set in stone.

"I'm sure, like myself, a lot of developers are seeking to see some major innovation that will keep things fresh."