Interview: Matt Turetzky about RealNetworks mobile games

November 8, 2007 at 11:12 pm 1 comment

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You may know RealNetworks best as the creator of a popular Web audio format. On the PC, RealArcade has more than 40 million unique game users each month, giving RealNetworks the opportunity to build a cross-platform community with mobile users. We recently interviewed Matt Turetzky, vice-president of non-PC platforms for RealNetworks’ game division.

So what’s new at RealNetworks as far as games go?
Turetzky: We are very excited about our three new mobile games launches this Q4. Coming first, in October, was Luxor 2, our second game based on one of the best selling PC games of all time. The Luxor brand has been downloaded over 60 million times on the PC and we are very pleased to be able to bring it to mobile gamers. We launched the first Luxor mobile game last year and it was our best selling game of 2006. The new version features all new levels and power-ups and much sharper design and effects, thanks to the capabilities of the newer handsets.

What games are you releasing next?
Turetzky: In November, we are launching MTV Cribs, in which the gamer adopts the role of a struggling hip-hop artist. In order to earn money, he takes DJ-ing gigs throughout the world. The money earned is used to create fantastic cribs, decked out with everything an aspiring star could dream of. The player can then visit his crib online and share it with his friends.

What else?
Turetzky: I’m probably most excited about Collapse! Chaos coming in December. Collapse! Chaos is the latest mobile version of the Collapse! PC franchise which has been downloaded more than 160 million times, making it one of the top casual games in history. The previous Collapse! mobile game launched in 2003 and, despite a lack of refresh, has been a top 20 game every year. In the new game, the player experiences a series of frenetic challenges in which colored blocks are destroyed before the screen fills up.

How are mobile gamers different from PC gamers?
Turetzky: Mobile gaming is a very different experience. People generally play mobile games to kill time while they are waiting for something: a train, a friend, a class or my wife to finish getting her nails done. The typical play experience is 5-10 minutes. A game has to be very easy to pick up, learn and resume. Casual games are a natural genre here because they are so easy to learn, yet hard to master. In comparison, typical console games are significantly harder to learn and require a great deal of concentration

How are mobile games changing society? Doesn’t it chill face-to-face relationships to be staring at a handset all the time?
Turetzky: That’s an interesting point. Personally, I haven’t made a lot of friends at the bus stop, but we don’t ignore people who are less anti-social than me. In fact, many of our games, such as the entire Playman series and our Trivial Pursuit games (Europe only), feature a pass-around two-player mode, where you can play against a friend (or stranger) by handing the phone back and forth. While this hasn’t yet been popularized in the U.S., we find it is much more accepted in Europe, where you can actually find people in bars passing their phones around.

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Entry filed under: interview, matt turetzky, mobile applications, mobile content, mobile games, realnetworks.

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