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  1. bitek's Avatar
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    Thread AuthorThread Author   #1  

    Default Blackberry’s hard sell: Volker Hirsch on why a new operating system is winning over developers

    source: Blackberry's hard sell: Volker Hirsch on why a new operating system is winning over developers | Features | Edge Online
    The “other fruit guys” kickstarted a mobile games revolution with iPhone, then with iPad. Now BlackBerry has set its sights on the mobile games space, looking to seduce studios worldwide with a new platform and developer-friendly approach. But is it too late?

    Certainly not, according to Volker Hirsch, Blackberry’s global head of business development for games. He is spearheading BlackBerry’s charm offensive after it acquired Scoreloop, his previous employer, in June 2011. Hirsch has been on the road talking to developers and extolling the virtues of the new BlackBerry 10 ecosystem, due for release early next year. There will be two new handsets, one touchscreen and one with the physical ‘qwerty’ keypad you’d expect from a BlackBerry.

    Galaxy On Fire 2 HD running on a Blackberry PlayBook

    When Hirsch presents to developers, he has what he calls a “myths and realities” slide, which really sums up the task ahead of him. He has to challenge the common perception of games on BlackBerry devices: they’re difficult to port to, no-one plays games on them, and developers don’t make any money from them.

    It’s clear that BlackBerry sees its biggest opportunity to set that straight in the innate shortcomings of existing rival marketplaces, the App Store and Google Play. “A lot of people feel the pain at the moment with Apple, and maybe even more so with Google,” Hirsch tells us. “With Apple, at least if you make it to the top you can make money, but with Google that’s questionable for most. I think we have very strong answers to both discoverability and monetisation.”

    Before getting into all that, though, BlackBerry needs to convince developers that porting games over to its platform is a worthwhile exercise in the first place. Hirsch has an answer for that, too. “Galaxy On Fire 2 HD was ported over by one engineer in one day,” he says. “We make it easy for people. [Developer] Fishlabs could only do this in a day because we made sure all the tools and engines and scripting languages are there so that they don’t have to change their development process around. They work with the tools they are used to working with.”
    Hirsch puts a lot of this down to the BlackBerry 10 OS. BlackBerry’s parent company RIM acquired QNX in April 2010, and based its new operating system on that tech. “It’s a multi-threaded OS which addresses multicore infrastructures much more efficiently,” he says. “Software engineers will smile when they see that.”

    The next perception BlackBerry needs to overturn is that no-one releases games on App World because, well, no-one plays games on their devices. “There are 103,000 apps already on App World – it’s not an empty place,” contends Hirsch. “A lot of the leading games are there already and it’s a vibrant space. It has had less attention from the gaming community in the past, but ever since we started talking to the community and talking to developers, we have changed that quite quickly.”

    Mobile’s evil twins, monetisation and discoverability, are problems Hirsch feels BlackBerry can capitalise on, too. With BlackBerry 10 it has built the Scoreloop technology it acquired last year into the OS. Hirsch says that in doing so, new devices will harness the power of social recommendation through BlackBerry Messenger, which already has 60 million active users.


    “You can use BBM to gift apps using the BBM API,” says Hirsch. “You can alert your friends and recommend a game using that and point them straight to it rather than coming out of the game and going into your text messages and so on. It’s really the centrepoint of the whole BlackBerry 10 proposition – to bring in a more natural flow.”

    And monetisation? BlackBerry owners pay more for games because it is a premium brand; Rovio charges £2.99 for Angry Birds on App World, for example. Carrier billing will help, too, and it’s something only BlackBerry 10 can offer. Hirsch is confident that purchasing apps through the carrier rather than via credit card is a better, slicker user experience and results in higher sales. “When it comes to monetisation, BlackBerry has always held up better than others,” he says. “We can’t share direct numbers, but when you look at the key metrics of how many people download, there are quite a few analysts that have stated that Blackberry App World is actually more profitable than Google Play.”

    Hirsch and BlackBerry show a really strong understanding of what games developers want – easy ports, return on investment and discoverable games. BlackBerry 10 is an interesting proposition for studios, but setting those ‘myths and realities’ straight in the hearts and minds of the development community’s feels like the first part of BlackBerry’s wider challenge. Those same preconceptions about games on BlackBerry in the minds of the phone-buying public might be tougher to overturn, up against well-established players like Android, Windows and those “other fruit guys”.

    good read
  2. LuvULongTime's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blackberry’s hard sell: Volker Hirsch on why a new operating system is winning over developers

    Agreed. Good read. Thanks for posting. I agree with the author, no one said/thinks it will be easy to convince users of other platforms to jump over to BB10. But if the OS is as good and as slick as it looks (from what has been shown), then they have a fighting chance.
  3. elmit22's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blackberry’s hard sell: Volker Hirsch on why a new operating system is winning over developers

    Quote Originally Posted by bitek View Post
    source: Blackberry's hard sell: Volker Hirsch on why a new operating system is winning over developers | Features | Edge Online
    The “other fruit guys” kickstarted a mobile games revolution with iPhone, then with iPad. Now BlackBerry has set its sights on the mobile games space, looking to seduce studios worldwide with a new platform and developer-friendly approach. But is it too late?

    Certainly not, according to Volker Hirsch, Blackberry’s global head of business development for games. He is spearheading BlackBerry’s charm offensive after it acquired Scoreloop, his previous employer, in June 2011. Hirsch has been on the road talking to developers and extolling the virtues of the new BlackBerry 10 ecosystem, due for release early next year. There will be two new handsets, one touchscreen and one with the physical ‘qwerty’ keypad you’d expect from a BlackBerry.

    Galaxy On Fire 2 HD running on a Blackberry PlayBook

    When Hirsch presents to developers, he has what he calls a “myths and realities” slide, which really sums up the task ahead of him. He has to challenge the common perception of games on BlackBerry devices: they’re difficult to port to, no-one plays games on them, and developers don’t make any money from them.

    It’s clear that BlackBerry sees its biggest opportunity to set that straight in the innate shortcomings of existing rival marketplaces, the App Store and Google Play. “A lot of people feel the pain at the moment with Apple, and maybe even more so with Google,” Hirsch tells us. “With Apple, at least if you make it to the top you can make money, but with Google that’s questionable for most. I think we have very strong answers to both discoverability and monetisation.”

    Before getting into all that, though, BlackBerry needs to convince developers that porting games over to its platform is a worthwhile exercise in the first place. Hirsch has an answer for that, too. “Galaxy On Fire 2 HD was ported over by one engineer in one day,” he says. “We make it easy for people. [Developer] Fishlabs could only do this in a day because we made sure all the tools and engines and scripting languages are there so that they don’t have to change their development process around. They work with the tools they are used to working with.”
    Hirsch puts a lot of this down to the BlackBerry 10 OS. BlackBerry’s parent company RIM acquired QNX in April 2010, and based its new operating system on that tech. “It’s a multi-threaded OS which addresses multicore infrastructures much more efficiently,” he says. “Software engineers will smile when they see that.”

    The next perception BlackBerry needs to overturn is that no-one releases games on App World because, well, no-one plays games on their devices. “There are 103,000 apps already on App World – it’s not an empty place,” contends Hirsch. “A lot of the leading games are there already and it’s a vibrant space. It has had less attention from the gaming community in the past, but ever since we started talking to the community and talking to developers, we have changed that quite quickly.”

    Mobile’s evil twins, monetisation and discoverability, are problems Hirsch feels BlackBerry can capitalise on, too. With BlackBerry 10 it has built the Scoreloop technology it acquired last year into the OS. Hirsch says that in doing so, new devices will harness the power of social recommendation through BlackBerry Messenger, which already has 60 million active users.


    “You can use BBM to gift apps using the BBM API,” says Hirsch. “You can alert your friends and recommend a game using that and point them straight to it rather than coming out of the game and going into your text messages and so on. It’s really the centrepoint of the whole BlackBerry 10 proposition – to bring in a more natural flow.”

    And monetisation? [B]BlackBerry owners pay more for games because it is a premium brand; Rovio charges £2.99 for Angry Birds on App World[B], for example. Carrier billing will help, too, and it’s something only BlackBerry 10 can offer. Hirsch is confident that purchasing apps through the carrier rather than via credit card is a better, slicker user experience and results in higher sales. “When it comes to monetisation, BlackBerry has always held up better than others,” he says. “We can’t share direct numbers, but when you look at the key metrics of how many people download, there are quite a few analysts that have stated that Blackberry App World is actually more profitable than Google Play.”

    Hirsch and BlackBerry show a really strong understanding of what games developers want – easy ports, return on investment and discoverable games. BlackBerry 10 is an interesting proposition for studios, but setting those ‘myths and realities’ straight in the hearts and minds of the development community’s feels like the first part of BlackBerry’s wider challenge. Those same preconceptions about games on BlackBerry in the minds of the phone-buying public might be tougher to overturn, up against well-established players like Android, Windows and those “other fruit guys”.

    good read
    that is the part that gets me with BB. i love my BlackBerry had one for years but hardly ever buy apps as they are so much dearer on Blackberry. example "Endomondo sports tracker £4.99 on Black berry £3.99 Google. and the conversion rate $1 does not =£1
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    #4  

    Default Re: Blackberry’s hard sell: Volker Hirsch on why a new operating system is winning over developers

    Sounds like RIM has done everything for them, Only question left is why not?
  5. col_oddball's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blackberry’s hard sell: Volker Hirsch on why a new operating system is winning over developers

    this statement "BlackBerry owners pay more for games because it is a premium brand", but why should we pay more than ios and/or andriod?? If it only takes a few days to convert to BB, then we should be charged the same as the other platforms...
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    Default Re: Blackberry’s hard sell: Volker Hirsch on why a new operating system is winning over developers

    Quote Originally Posted by col_oddball View Post
    this statement "BlackBerry owners pay more for games because it is a premium brand", but why should we pay more than ios and/or andriod?? If it only takes a few days to convert to BB, then we should be charged the same as the other platforms...
    Theres a lot to that question, clearly adoption will help in bringing prices down. A bit of a catch 22
  7. ubizmo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blackberry’s hard sell: Volker Hirsch on why a new operating system is winning over developers

    Quote Originally Posted by col_oddball View Post
    this statement "BlackBerry owners pay more for games because it is a premium brand", but why should we pay more than ios and/or andriod?? If it only takes a few days to convert to BB, then we should be charged the same as the other platforms...
    The answer is in the words "it is a premium brand." We all know that the very same merchandise may be priced higher in one franchise and lower in another. Why don't all shoppers buy at the lowest price? For many, it's worth paying a little more to have a better buying experience, and they also like to be associated (even if only in their own minds) with the people who can and do pay more. That's the essence of the "premium brand" factor. So the message here is that BlackBerry owners pay more because it's BlackBerry.

    Whether the premium brand factor will continue to work for BlackBerry is another question. I don't think it's a sure bet.
  8. Xader's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blackberry’s hard sell: Volker Hirsch on why a new operating system is winning over developers

    Quote Originally Posted by col_oddball View Post
    this statement "BlackBerry owners pay more for games because it is a premium brand", but why should we pay more than ios and/or andriod?? If it only takes a few days to convert to BB, then we should be charged the same as the other platforms...
    Two words: volume discount.
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
  9. mithrazor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blackberry’s hard sell: Volker Hirsch on why a new operating system is winning over developers

    They definitely need to lower prices. Seeing all these paid apps in App World, and a higher price compared to other platforms.

    That's a huge turn off. You can have all the apps you want, but people aren't consuming it for whatever reason, it's pointless.
  10. jivegirl14's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blackberry’s hard sell: Volker Hirsch on why a new operating system is winning over developers

    BlackBerry owners pay more because they have no choice. They were a captive audience with no other place to get apps but the high priced app world. Not because it was a premium brand.

    Sent from my SGH-I747M using Tapatalk 2
  11. Xader's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JiveGirl14 View Post
    BlackBerry owners pay more because they have no choice. They were a captive audience with no other place to get apps but the high priced app world. Not because it was a premium brand.

    Sent from my SGH-I747M using Tapatalk 2
    Apple's audience is far more captive. We have always had the option to sideload apps. For example, Google Maps has never been in App World. There were also (until recently) Mobihand stores. Without jailbreaking, iOS users have always been limited exclusively to the App Store.
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
  12. scalemaster34's Avatar
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    "it is a premium brand" might be true in a way, many Celebrities and high income executives do use BlackBerry due to it's unparalleled security and they are willing to pay a premium for that security.

    But the average consumer has shown that they are not willing to pay for that security, at the cost of giving up other features that the BB does not have.

    Personally I don't care are all these "developers" that are impressed with BB10 and that SAY they plan to develop for it. What I want to see is large companies that I do business with adding BlackBerry as an option for their apps - if they currently aren't doing it when RIM has 80 Million users, why will they do it next year when RIM might only have 10-20 Million users?? The only way is if RIM promises to pay for their development AND support! Don't think RIM is in a position to do that.
  13. bitek's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Xader View Post
    Two words: volume discount.
    i do not mind paying more on playbook. for one we get a lot of freebies from rim. like recently Shadowgun. Secondly. ipad mini is $529 and playbook 64gb is $199. Which means there is $329 difference. even if some apps are more expensive (say $1 on average) i would need to buy over 300 apps to make up the difference. this will never happen. Playbook is so much more value. Did i mention playbook has no ugly home button.

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