Interviews

New head of IGDA Mobile SIG, Kevin Dent says developers need to remember 'top of the charts is vanity, top grossing is sanity'

Less hype, more regular income

New head of IGDA Mobile SIG, Kevin Dent says developers need to remember 'top of the charts is vanity, top grossing is sanity'
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Earlier in 2011, the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) caused controversy, complaining about the terms and conditions of Amazon's then just launched Appstore for Android.

"I was critical of the IGDA. I didn't think it should be washing its dirty laundry in public, but the fact remains that Amazon has refused to enter into further dialogue, which is disappointing to say the least," says Kevin Dent, once of publisher Hands-On, now running his own consultancy Tiswaz.

The reason his views are interesting is Dent is now the new chair of the IGDA's Mobile Special Interest Group (SIG).

Vocal chair

The fuss over Amazon wasn't why he got involved however.

"We need to put power into the hands of developers," he enthuses. "This industry is at an inflexion point, but at the same time, we have to remember while there's lots of hype, few companies are actually making money."

It's the desire to educate the smaller, less experienced startups that's Dent's first point of business.

"I want to help studios sign deals that are economically viable for them, as well as ensuring developers get fair treatment from the platform holders," he explains.

Steady accumulation

Continuing the theme, Dent says too many developers still think they can make the next Angry Birds.

"They should be focused on making say $400 per day every day from a game, and then make another game making $400 a day, and then another," he says. "Everyone's expectations are so lofty now."

It's in this context that he points to the fallacy in the conventional wisdom among many small creatives that Android is a waste of time.

"Android has been wildly profitable for ad-funded content," says Dent. "The volume and activity on the platform is amazing."

"You can have a great creative brain but if you don't have a good business person in your company, it's dead in the water," he continues.

"Top of the charts is for vanity, top grossing is sanity."

You can find out more about the IGDA's Mobile SIG here.

Jon Jordan
Jon Jordan
A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon can turn his hand to anything except hand turning. He is editor-at-large at PG.biz which means he can arrive anywhere in the world, acting like a slightly confused uncle looking for the way out. He likes letters, cameras, imaginary numbers and legumes.