Glu Mobile may have gone through a restructuring over the past months, but that’s not stopping the company from unleashing new cross-platform games.
The company today announced its first-quarter line-up of games, reflecting several months of internal resource realignment to incorporate platforms from Apple, the Open Handset Alliance (OHA) and Nokia into its existing J2ME and BREW platforms.
Glu CEO Greg Ballard said the company every day holds discussions around what titles it’s going to support on which platforms. “We’re trying to cover as many as possible,” he said. “We really think the advantage for us is doing multiple platforms.”
An example in the first-quarter line-up is Build-a-lot, a mobile version of the online real estate strategy game. Besides the iPhone, it will be available on Android in February and on J2ME, BREW, BlackBerry and Windows Mobile in April.
Glu was one, if not the first, in its space to make public that it was seeing the impact of the economic slowdown last year. The company started taking steps to make sure it was responding, including letting go of some office space and cutting vacation pay. Ballard, who took a 25% cut in pay, said the company now employs about 550, down from more than 600.
Ballard said he could not comment on rumors circulating last week that Electronic Arts might be considering an acquisition of Glu.
Meanwhile, the expectation is the mobile gaming business will be smaller overall in 2009 than it was in 2008, which reverses the previous years’ trend. Most analysts are predicting fewer handsets will be sold this year, and that has a direct effect on mobile games. People buy the most games in the first 90 days of owning a new handset, Ballard said.
More than half of Glu’s revenue comes from outside the United States, so currency fluctuations also affect its revenue.
That said, Ballard said he’s optimistic that once the economy turns around, platforms like Nokia’s Engage and Android will lead to more game play; consumers of devices such as the iPhone or Android-based G1 tend to consume more content than when they owned a Java or BREW handset.
Other games in the first-quarter line-up include Superman/Batman: Heroes United; Cooking Star; Age of Empires III; Bugs Bunny Rabbit Rescue; Watchmen: The Mobile Game; Brain Genius Deluxe; and Monsters vs. Aliens.