Rising costs are killing the mobile gaming space

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Have we reached the pinnacle of video games?

Mobile gaming is set up to reach $315.9 billion this year, according to statistics, but it’s not easy money: different subscription models, IP, operating costs and how people access games make it an expensive venture that can be prohibitively expensive for anyone looking to try something new or different.

Ryan Horrigan, co-founder and CEO of game developer Artie, understands the obstacles to overcome when it comes to publishing new games. “If you look at mobile game publishers these days, it’s kind of like the movie industry,” he said. “You either have indie arthouse titles in gaming, like what you find in Apple Arcade. These are really high-quality, story-driven games that don’t make a lot of money, but they are very artistic and they win prizes. Or you have the equivalent of summer movie blockbusters, these mega games from these mega publishers.

As a result, he argues, there’s little room for anyone in between: newer developers trying to bring their games to people’s attention.

“It’s very difficult for new game developers to bridge the gap to compete with the established order,” Horrigan said. “If you started making games more than 10 years ago, at the beginning of app stores, and you succeeded, there’s a pretty big ditch between you and any new people that come forward.”

Horrigan outlined the specific issues that make the moat between new developers and the established order prohibitively wide and deep, and it starts with cost.