Nolan Bushnell: Mobile gaming on the way out

Tuesday, 26th March 2013 22:19 GMT By Phil Owen

Navigating the mobile gaming universe can be a nightmare, because, well, there are a whole lot of those games. I play 5-10 new ones every week, in fact, but at the same time it’s rare that a new game will break into the top overall downloads chart. And Atari founder Nolan Bushnell tells All Things D that an environment like that will burn out developers.

“All the money’s out. Do I really want to do a mobile game that’s one of 300,000, where discoverability is everything? You really have to have a little more sizzle on the steak,” Bushnell said.

“I think the next big game opportunity is Google Glasses [sic],” he continued. “If I told you all my ideas for it, I’d have to kill you,” he said. “And the Oculus Rift. The game business reinvents itself every five years. The last five years have been the days of mobile gaming and shortform gaming, exemplified by Rovio with Angry Birds and Zynga with FarmVille. And that is over.”

We will see, I suppose.

Thanks, GameSpot



  1. Hussar

    This man speaks the truth. Every bubble bursts sooner or later. It’s just a matter of time and escalation.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Clupula

    B-but American McGee said…!

    #2 2 years ago
  3. povu

    Sure, and PC gaming is dying.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. No_PUDding

    PC gaming will recede, as soon as new consoles happen. It happens every single time, toward the end of a console generation.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Stardog

    Mobile’s only just getting started. There aren’t even many proper games yet. We’ll see some serious ones in the next year or two.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Eddie Rodrigues

    @3 I can’t read sarcasm, so I really hope it was.

    @4 Yours doesn’t seem like sarcasm, I guess. I will assume it isn’t and say you are wrong.

    @1 Indeed.

    @5 There won’t be any proper games outside a TEGRA 4

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Clupula

    @4 – Isn’t it hilarious how people don’t see the cycles when they seem to happen every single console generation? I remember when Quake was a sign that consoles were on their way out.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Diingo

    Guys, just think of the potential of Google Glass for gaming. At the snap of a finger an entire hologram will arise from your dinner table. Imagine playing Starcraft 3 where you command your troops with your fingers – where your space marines take cover behind your cup for coverage, or snipers perched up on your dinner plate.

    Imagine playing Pokemon with your other friends with Google Glass where you have a virtual Pokeball in which you must train & take care of your Pikachu. Everywhere you go wild Pokemon run around in which you must capture them to later compete with your buddies.

    See the potential here?

    #8 2 years ago
  9. zinc

    @4 +1

    @8, That holographic chess set out of Star Wars IV? Not in our lifetime chum.

    Looked dire anyway. No way was that 60fps.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. DrDamn

    Don’t agree with Nolan, but I think we are going to see quite a big retraction at some point. Not a full bubble burst, but deflation.

    “There won’t be any proper games outside a TEGRA 4″

    Because proper gaming is only about power?

    #10 2 years ago
  11. mojo

    yeah that had serious framedrops and the animations where horror..
    and that in a world where they have so much other advanced technology.
    gaming is doomed!

    #11 2 years ago
  12. monkeygourmet

    Maybe is going to make a HD remake of ‘ET’ for the occulus rift.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. Stardog


    I’m assuming you’re joking. You do realise Google Glass is just a little box in the top-right of your eye?

    #13 2 years ago

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