Chapter 11
ere is no end in sight. For a moment, wherever you are, look toward the night sky. Count
every star that you can possibly see unaided. e number is trivial compared to the num-
ber of people playing games in almost any given city block tonight in Hong Kong alone.
Now imagine a billion smartphones. It’s a number we passed on Earth sometime before
you read this line. Imagine ten billion. Imagine that each is ten times more powerful than
the PlayStation 4 or the most powerful computer in your oce. Imagine each is a hundred
times more powerful. Imagine a network of tightly carved up radio wave spectrums, all
humming with the buzz of data from millions upon millions of simultaneous gamers play-
ing together, online, mostly for free. is isnt a world of distant science ction. It’s more
dazzling than either Edward Gibbon or William Gibson foresaw. And it is at hand, or very
nearly so.
And this means there’s no end in sight for you. Far below those stars and that ionosphere
of humming data, we mortals have to work to make sense of this fast- moving market. e
daily tide of gaming and business news brings fresh delights each morning. New acqui-
sitions that change the landscape of mobile gaming are announced every few days. e
technologies that let us dream up, create, balance, and maintain social and mobile games
continue to improve at such an incredible rate that just keeping up with the newest tools
requires a scholar’s discipline and a centurions stamina. And every few days three new
social games and ten new connected mobile games appear, any one of which could very
well change the landscape of the industry and the state of the art.
At the same time, the competition out there is erce, the discussion fast and oen
heated. LinkedIn maintains a steady stream of threads from social game developers look-
ing for work, mobile studios for hire in exotic sounding places, and chatter about part-
nerships, tools, designs, and potential new hires. Game development conferences like San
Franciscos GDC in the spring and ChinaJoy in the summer are crowded with insightful
lectures and panel discussions on the last year’s design trends, while the lobby bars of the
posh hotels in both cities create a watering hole where deal- makers can gather and discuss
the wars and rumors of war that comprise industry scuttlebutt.

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