Mobile Games Forum 2015: The cross-platform challenge facing developers

Mobile developers need to be increasingly aware of cross-platform support, according to the opening keynote speech at London’s Mobile Games Forum.

Anatoly Ropotov, CEO at Game Insight, explained that as we now live in a multi-screen age, consumers are expecting a gaming experience that provides fluid transitions between different platforms.

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While core gamers are beginning to see mobile and tablet devices as viable platforms, developers need to not only create titles across these platforms, but ensure that these varied platforms are all integrated with one another. When this is coupled with each platform requiring its own unique selling point, developers are often left with a difficult challenge.

Software engineers are not simply tasked with developing for different mobile operating systems, such as iOS, Android and Windows Phone, but also making sure that their apps can integrate with Facebook Connect, Google Play and Amazon.

According to Ropotov, in order for developers to achieve this, teams need to be aware of “continuous integration” at all times.

He also highlighted some of the reasons why cross-platform integration is so important for mobile developers. Gaming is lagging behind a number of other services in terms of growth rate, and traditional marketing methods are no longer effective. Instead, Ropotov tasked developers and publishers with creating a buzz around their titles.

In order to do so, companies must use standard forms of marketing like push notifications, along with cross-platform and multi-screen advertising to ensure as many consumers as possible are targeted.

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Ropotov’s firm Game Insight is one of the largest developers of free to play games, with more than 900 members of staff and 14 development studios. For many companies, large developer teams are a necessity, as any cross-platform approach still requires a detailed understanding of the different patterns of consumer behaviour and technical challenges that each platform brings.