Steve Jobs Named Most Influential in Gaming Industry



When I think “games industry” I tend to think of those games “played on consoles that account for more than half of all game sales” (MW, 204). And, while most of the reading focused on the production and processes, design and development of console games, a recent report draws attention to the more “casual” games designed for mobile devices, particularly because of the name we all know and love: Steve Jobs.

In a recent survey taken by 1000 games industry employees, Steve Jobs and the Apple iPhone were named the most influential in the games industry. A report from Forbes states; “Anyone who’s paid close attention to the gaming industry today – and not those who just play the top-tier console and PC games — can see that the future of games is migrating away from the console and to mobile devices.”

Today, many of those involved in the industry believe mobile platforms and “casual” downloadable games to be a key in the future of the gaming industry. “In just over three years the iPhone and the App Store have transformed what consumers expect of games, and how the industry makes and sells them – today, download games have come to the fore,” said Michael French, editor-in-chief of MCV, the leading trade magazine of the video games industry. “It seems that Jobs has captured the imagination of the industry and changed the way developers have thought about games and the way they are distributed.”

As several of us have already mentioned, the report uses the popular game “Angry Birds” as a prime example of how Jobs’ innovative technologies have changed the gaming landscape. “A small developer in Helsinki, Finland was able to create a simple, yet addictive game that became an instant hit on iPhone before expanding to every platform imaginable. The game has been downloaded over 350 million times to date and now Rovio is developing Angry Birds movies and other games. Keep in mind that this franchise launched in the mobile space and has built its audience without the help of Sony, Nintendo or Microsoft” (Forbes). While surely never totally replacing multi-billion dollar companies like Sony, Nintendo or Microsoft, it seems quite understandable to see that Steve Jobs and his Apple products have emerged as such a great influence in yet another important media industry like games. In years to come, it will surely be interesting to see what effects the ease and simplicity of this type of gaming have on the industry as a whole.



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