It’s true that in recent years the mobile games industry has quickly become an oversaturated market. For as many games as we cover here on Gamezebo on a daily basis, there are literally hundreds of other games popping up on the App Store that we have to sift through each and every day just to find the hidden gems that get buried within. So if there are so many people these days with the knowledge of mobile app development, why should some keep working on the same mobile games that are only going to get lost in the sea of other App Store releases, when they could instead be using their talents, knowledge, and skills for other, brighter ventures?
As it stands, this is currently the mindset of Peter Relan, the visionary mind behind YouWeb and other successful mobile and tablet-based companies OpenFeint and CrowdStar. Now a part of a new team of technology innovations and an “incubator program” called 9+ Studio in Silicon Valley, Relan is encouraging mobile game developers to usetheir years of knowledge and development experience to tap into other consumer markets and products that are desperately in need of their know-how. And he’s also got some prettynice incentives to make the switch seem worthwhile.
The 9+ Studio program will offer a 9-month mentorship and $110,000 worth of investor support for selected development teams who want to bring their skills in the mobile games industry to new projects like consumer apps, big data, and wearable computing. Not too shabby, especially considering all of the knowledge and hands-on experience to be learned throughout those 9 months will be even more invaluable. Relan has this to say to all potentially interested parties: “Let’s change the app ecosystem and move away from the app assembly line. I invite game developers and product professionals to take what they’ve learned from building mobile games, to become founder-CEOs, and to re-imagine the way consumer apps are developed and monetized.”
There are three main reasons why Relan and his 9+ incubator project believe that most mobile game developers are already more than qualified for the challenge that he poses, and we’ve outlined all of those reasons for you briefly just below:
- Managing a user acquisition funnel for user growth, often called “growth hacking” – Basically, mobile game developers are already familiar with adapting to different platforms like iOS and Android, in addition to working with mobile storefronts as well as other social factors that are inherently tied together with this concept.
- Engagement and Monetization focus through big data and analytics in freemium products – Mobile game developers have all but needed to quickly adapt to the freemium models that have swayed the entire industry today, and so they most likely already have an inherent relationship with such things as monetization models, as well as data and analytics.
- Rise of the “Lean Startup Game Developer” – Many mobile game developers have taken on and battled much larger companies and organizations to a positive effect, and so they already know how to compete in like markets, in addition to utilizing third-party tools and services.
Relan’s ultimate goal with this new program is to shape future CEOs and visionaries of the mobile world, and the unique mentorship program is already said to be much more hands-on and extensive than most would be familiar with or expect it to be. In order to apply for a 9+ mentorship, all developers need to do is fill out a simple application at the 9+ Studio website, along with a video submission before August 31. Out of all the applicants, 12 developers will be chosen twice a year to participate in each mentorship class.
With more and more mobile game developers seeming to look towards other horizons in an oversaturated industry, will their talents truly be better for us as consumers, if they are more focused on different, untapped areas? Furthermore, if the idea catches on, will we start to see a slow shift in the world of mobile games, with less “shovelware” titles and fewer, but more quality releases? Be sure to let us know your thoughts on Relan’s new mentorship program in the replies, and if you’re a mobile game developer yourself, if you’ve ever thought of taking your work outside to other technology markets?