Popcap Games: “Given the install base of Windows Phone devices, our games have actually sold quite well”

imageGamasutra has a great article covering mobile gaming, including input from a variety of industry participants, including Popcap, who was recently bought by EA for more than $1 billion.

Popcap has Bejeweled, which was a launch Xbox Live title, and Plants vs Zombies in the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace, and Andrew Stein, PopCap’s director of mobile product management, who is currently a Windows Phone 7 user, notes:

Given the install base of Windows Phone devices, our games have actually sold quite well, and it monetizes very well for customers who have a Windows Phone. There just aren’t enough of them right now.

Windows Phone 7 is believed to have higher conversion rates from trial to paid games than other platforms like Android, making it an attractive platform even if the actual installed base is still small.

Stein notes the platform has not resonated with consumers as one would like,  but Mango will bring new APIs which should make gaming development easier on the platform.

He does however complain that Microsoft’s use of C# instead if C++ means cross platform gaming development is harder on Windows Phone 7.

"Microsoft insists on a different development paradigm with C sharp instead of C++," he says. "So it’s a lot more work for developers to support Windows Phone as a platform."

The article notes than in general games are moving to the fremium system, where success is first measured by how many players a game has, rather than how many has sold.  This means the upfront costs of games should go down, with monetization occurring via ads and micro-transactions.

The article concludes by saying for Windows Phone 7 to succeed as a gaming platform it simply needs to get into more hands, a sentiment I am sure we can all concur with.

Read the full article at Gamasutra here.

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