Games developers prefer smartphones

British developers are increasingly choosing to release their games as apps on smartphones and Facebook, rather than traditional players such as the PC or games consoles.

Almost half of UK developers now produce games for mobile devices and social networks – with two-thirds opting for Apple’s iPhone – according to the survey of 104 businesses by Tiga.

The shift to a new generation of mobile phones and websites comes as gamers have flocked to Facebook for titles such as Farmville and Cityville, and Angry Birds has dominated the market on smartphones.

Of the 47 per cent of developers who self-publish – rather than the work-for-hire model behind popular games such as Call of Duty and Fifa 12 – almost a half make games for the iPad and a third for Facebook.

More developers make games for the iPhone than they do for the PC, according to the study.

“This trend is an overwhelmingly positive thing, because it allows developers to cut out the publisher and sell directly to the consumer,” said Dr Richard Wilson, chief executive of Tiga. “Because smartphones are increasingly prevalent, used by large proportions of young middle aged people – as well as the increase in internet connections – the market for video games has increased and is increasing.”

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