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Mobile free-to-play consultant and Battlefield vet’s advice to indies: “Make PC games”

Battlefield Heroes

Former Battlefield producer and free-to-play consultant Ben Cousins has advised indies not to brave the App Store, which is fast becoming the sole preserve of Rovio, King, and those with backing from Apple.

Instead, he suggests, they should be making PC games.

Ben Cousins’ career has straddled the PC-first, AAA likes of Bad Company 2; EA’s early free-to-play experiments in Battlefield Heroes and Lord of Ultima; and iPhone shooting in The Drowning. As such, he’s uniquely placed to give advice – which he now does professionally.

“It’s been clear for several years now that mobile gaming is rapidly evolving into a later stage (similar to consoles in the late 1990s and early 2000s) where the major players take most of the revenue through highly polished products supported by large marketing investments,” Cousins told Pocket Gamer.

Even a featured slot from Apple or Google doesn’t guarantee success, said Cousins.

“I think the best move for indies would be to move to new platforms like Oculus, Google Glass, other upcoming wearable (iWatch?) or to make PC games.”

Thief designer Randy Smith seems to have found a modicum of success with his mobile-first indie studio, Tiger Style. But they did eventually release their Waking Mars on Steam. Do you think Cousins has it right?

Thanks, CVG.