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Paris-based Gameloft (EPA: GFT), which distributes mobile games in 80 countries, reported limited figures for its third-quarter period this…

imageParis-based Gameloft (EPA: GFT), which distributes mobile games in 80 countries, reported limited figures for its third-quarter period this year. But the big news announced in its earnings call? The company declared this year as a turning point in the mobile game industry because of strong sales coming from new platforms such as the iPhone and Nokia’s N-Gage. In Q3, Gameloft reported sales of $33 million (26.2 million euros), an 8 percent increase over the year-ago period. In the nine-month period, the company’s revenues totaled $96.4 million (76.5 million euros), a 9 percent increase over the same period a year ago. In North America, sales jumped 18 percent, partly due to the success of such iPhone titles as RealSoccer 2009, Bubble Bash and car-racing game Asphalt 4. Europe still makes up the majority of the company’s business at 41 percent, but North America is now 31 percent and the rest of the world is 28 percent.

Despite the tough economic climate, Gameloft said it anticipates its growth rate to accelerate dramatically in Q4 thanks to the upcoming release of several games for iPhone, N-Gage, Nintendo DS and Nintendo Wii. In a release, the company said: “2008 is a turning point in the mobile gaming industry. The major innovations introduced by companies such as Apple (NSDQ: AAPL), Nokia (NYSE: NOK) and Google (NSDQ: GOOG) have radically transformed and improved the gaming experience, consumption behaviors, as well as the industry’s business model.”

A lot of mobile game companies were anticipating an uptick in mobile-game adoption from the iPhone, but this quarter will be the first time we can really see the impact since the iPhone App Store was launched in July. Tomorrow, after Glu Mobile releases its Q3 figures, we’ll be able to see if the impact was broader. However, not all companies are optimistic — just last week, Nokia cautioned that the global economic slowdown will hurt the mobile gaming market this year and in 2009. Jaakko Kaidesoja, head of Nokia’s gaming operations, told Reuters: “This year is as tough or even tougher. There are hiccups in Western Europe, North America.”

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  1. how much revenue comes from DS, wii, and xbox live?

    is gameloft #2 mobile game provider in the world or would be #3 if you remove all the extra platforms?

    Does anyone knows how many studios they have closed in this quarter after the financial crises. There are many gossips in the industry that they layoff more then 200 employees around the world in the last month. Can anyone confirm?

    Gamelfot claimed last quarter they were #1 game provider in the world, but they are not even close of the $47 mil that EA reported last week or the 24% growth compared to the 9% above. Are the French bad in revenue predictions or the financial crises already took its toll on them as well?

    Is the mobile industry doomed cause of bad business models or greedy carrier's around the world?

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  2. greedy carrier’s around the world thats the problem – uninspiring titles from the big two publishers. The 100th jump´n run from gameloft isnt attracting consumers.

    Who is Nr.1 or Nr.2? No one really knows cause fact is on which platform. Gameloft figures shows clearly that without iphone if its their nr.1 partner in the moment they will have a bad quarter. iphone is saving their asses. gameloft as well as ea having problems in their cost structures!

    But the biggest problems are and will be the operators that dont realize that everyone needs to make money not only getting money.

    open up the market for every publisher and let the consumer chose what is good and you will see a good market. Why is the iphone market so interesting? An interesting business model for the content owner PLUS everyone can provide content for it. At the operator only EA and Gameloft are fighting for the topslots.

    Doomed industry? not really just having tons of challenges that need to take care of it.

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  3. Hi Oracle and Robert, I just wanted to respond to your comments. First off, I contacted Gameloft's PR, and they said they have not had any layoffs in the last month, and that their headcount remains at around 4,000 worldwide. They added: "In fact, we are one of the only publishers that are still recruiting."

    As for marketshare, yes, EA has been at the top for some time. We wrote about the top publishers in Q2 here: http://www.moconews.net/entry/419-nielsen-mobile-ranks-top-five-mobile-games-publishers-for-q2

    And, as far as the iPhone being a new opportunity, it definitely is, but I don't think the mobile game industry is out of the woods yet. There's still a lot of issues to be worked out. It's costly to develop a game because they have to share revenues with so many people in the value chain, not to mention support many handsets. That's the beauty with the iPhone. Will that change? Maybe. Other players like Google are changing things, as well…

    Hope that helps,
    Tricia

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