Atari founder proclaims an end to mobile gaming

Atari founder Nolan Bushnell says he believes the glory days of mobile gaming are drawing to a close.

According to Bushnell, the industry reinvents itself every five years, and new tech, such as Google Glass and the virtual reality headset the Oculus Rift, are set to dominate gaming instead of mobile consoles, smartphones and tablets.

“I think the next big game opportunity is Google Glasses. If I told you all my ideas for it, I’d have to kill you. And the Oculus Rift,” Bushnell told AllThingsD.

“The game business reinvents itself every five years. The last five years have been the days of mobile gaming and shortform gaming, exemplified by Rovio with Angry Birds and Zynga with FarmVille. And that is over.”

Bushell also noted that he would rather be on of 100 apps for Google Glass than one of 300,000 for iOS and Android devices.

“Most games, by their nature, have a half-life of two years or less. It’s the outlier that has a half-life that’s longer than that. But that doesn’t mean that the marketplace is synchronized.

“So you have the early adopters coming into something, and they soon encourage the more timid to come in. It broadens the group. But players’ engagement is not lengthened,” he added.

There will always be new geniuses in technology creating new innovations, but as Nolan emphasized earlier this year, “Radical innovation is difficult to fund. It seems scary. And the really radical things seem even more scary.”