Making the move to support wearables with games right now might seem like an odd choice.
While it’s undeniable that the market has potential, for most game developers the reward simply won’t outweigh the risk.
Of course, if you do decide to jump on the bandwagon early enough, and strike exactly as the iron turns hot, you might just be able to beat everyone else to some rich rewards.
One development studio aiming to do just that is German outfit HandyGames, which is about to release its first ever wearable-only title for Samsung Gear devices in the form of Super Party Sports: Football Wearable Edition.
Intrigued by the team’s decision, we caught up with HandyGames CEO and co-founder, Christopher Kassulke, to find out more about the firm’s leap into the future.
PocketGamer: Why did you decide to develop a game solely for wearable devices?
Christopher Kassulke: HandyGames started to develop games around wearables several months ago. We started with controlling your plane in Aces of the Luftwaffe with your Sony Smartband and Smartwatch and later on also with your Samsung Gear.
The responses were amazing and we love to be innovative and try out new technology, as you know.
We also just launched our Remote Effects Pro for Android Wear on Google Play, a unique soundboard which is a different kind of app. It is not a game but a nice showcase for us what the technology is capable of.
Now with our game Super Party Sports: Football Wearable Edition we start developing standalone products for your smartwatches.
We currently have already three more games in production which will be released the next couple of weeks! So we will invest heavily in our new established Wearable Team at HandyGames.
I am very proud of what we’ve achieved in such a short space of time.
What is the smartwatch development process like? Are there any unique benefits or pitfalls?
First of all you need to understand the possibilities and the limitations of the current generation of wearables.
Fragmentation is a big topic on the devices already. In one year we saw huge leaps from the first generation of smartwatches to the second generation.
We got new hardware and software, while new features and gimmicks are also implemented regularly. I’m keen to see what’s coming from our partners in the next months.
How well do you expect your game to perform? Are there any milestones you’re looking to hit?
It’s a first mover market so we won’t see a huge consumer market for quite a while. Expectations are currently very low when it comes to user downloads as the market is very limited.
As for us, we have plenty of time so we’ll wait until our big OEM partners roll out their wearables to consumers.After that, we’ll invest heavily in our wearable team, which we set up some time ago.
Essentially, we plan to secure a fair market share from the beginning, and build up a nice portfolio to boot.
How much potential do you think wearables have as gaming devices?
Some market research reports say it will be a $6 billion market, and that we’ll see close to 200 million units shipped in 2016.
Those are figures I like to see and hear, and the management of HandyGames sees a huge potential in wearable gaming.
Of course, you have to remember to keep in mind that you can’t compare those kind of games with titles you’re using on your mobile devices at the moment.
However, we will surprise consumers with completely new gaming and app experiences.
Should more developers be looking to tap into the wearable market?
I’m used to being one of the first movers in the mobile industry, and HandyGames is in a good position to take a leading role in the newly established wearable gaming market.
We love to be on new platforms, try out new concepts, and set new standards. As for other developers, I am quite sure that as soon as a certain company joins the wearables market, they’ll be chomping at the bit to invest as well.
Thanks to Christopher for his time.
We will surprise consumers with completely new gaming and app experiences.Christopher Kassulke