Glu Mobile is one of the largest publishers in the mobile games business today. The company has over 25 Android games on the market and has teamed up with NVIDIA to design games to take full advantage of NVIDIA® Tegra® technology. Mike Breslin, vice president of marketing at Glu Mobile, talks about what Tegra adds to the mobile game experience in this exclusive interview.
How does Glu Mobile work with NVIDIA in developing Tegra games?
Well, it’s definitely a partnership because we’re both vested in Tegra. We want both our business and their business to grow. That’s a true partnership. We work with them on a strategic level and at an engineering level on the code level. We share our game code and we exchange best practices. It’s a really cool relationship and having worked with NVIDIA in the past in my previous gaming careers on PC and console, they’ve always been that way. There’s a reason why NVIDIA is still around and some of the other companies aren’t, to be honest. It has a lot to do with the people that run the show there. They’re passionate about games. They know their business, and they’re poised for really big things.
What are your thoughts on this new mobile revolution and what Tegra is bringing to the table?
Well, first and foremost, it’s just bringing more and more exposure to mobile gaming and tablet gaming, which is better for all of us. Secondly, it’s really adding horsepower to the device. Now we can really drive more 3D types of games, action games, and games that have higher frame rates. Essentially, it allows us as developers to create games that are more fun and immersive. We can build games that look richer and provide more entertaining experiences. The Tegra chip set gives us the ability to do this because of its dual core processors. But at the end of the day, Tegra gives a better experience for the end user and I think it’s going to be really big for driving tablet usage today and moving forward.
What impact will the ability to have console quality gaming experiences have on your ability to cater to more hardcore gamers?
It’s a good question and it’s something that I think has really started to erode. Back when I personally started in mobile gaming in late 2003, it was like oil and vinegar. They just didn’t mix. And thank god for the John Carmacks of the world that have had the guts to say, “anybody that can put a two-ton gorilla in a thimble and make it dance is pretty amazing, man.” You go back to those days and you were squeezing every pixel you could out of the platform. Now with Tegra we have dual core processors. We have all this processing power. It’s crazy what we have now versus what we had then. So it’s an exciting opportunity for anybody developing for a platform.
NVIDIA is working with ARM to bringing Tegra processing power to the PC. What impact do you see that having on gaming moving forward?
It just really opens the floodgate for more exposure to games because a lot of people are becoming more accustomed to games on their mobile devices when they have short bursts of time to fill. Then they might find an online version or vice versa. But when you really connect the dots and get people that are online gamers to go and dip their toe in the mobile waters and have the mobile folks dip their toe in the online waters, then you’ve really got something. That’s really what’s happening right now. We call that social mobile gaming and I think that’s going to be driving this cross-platform movement. When the platform is ubiquitous, you have mass reach, and no offense to all the console manufacturers, but you combine all their install bases together, and they’re not a fraction of what mobile phones and tablets are going to be.