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Mobile Gaming the next level.

April 20, 2005

Trip Hawkins of Digital Chocolate (ex founder of Electronic Arts) did an interview with the BBC that "most of the companies making games for mobile phones have got it wrong". Well, I think Hawkins has a few things wrong too.

I agree totally that gamers are looking for more of the "social side of the experience" versus the graphics side at the moment. The growing connected world of PC & consoles with their in game ranking & communication systems, clan ladders & external log sites that track individual performance against everyone else that has played too (eg Unreal Torunament, Halo 2 etc) are evidence of the community aspects of gaming coming forth.

But Hawkins views about single player gaming with "tamagotchi-type creatures" and "caring for castles they build" seem very boring indeed. Damn, but someone needs to give him a 3G phone with multiplayer games, so he can see where the huge increases in mobile user’s game spending are heading.

He talks a bit about the connected world we live in, but completely misses the huge connected realms where we can use our mobiles to do things like:

  • Using the mobile device to access MMPORPG characters to maintain small aspects of the character whilst away from the PC/console to "buff" the character with new abilities or use their creative skills to build tools/weapons/merchandise.
  • Watch over your online realms and to be alerted of attacks or events that effect your online entities. (eg Get MMS videos or pictures showing the action.)
  • Trading virtual items. The mobile device has the ability for gamers to meet and transfer via bluetooth/e-mail/Internet other inventory items from the online game or even characters.
  • Mobile gaming versus PC & console games.
  • Access online rankings with live updates
  • Watch online game tornaments as a spectator

As we move into the huge HD Era as Mr J Allard of Microsoft likes to put it, you need to think big Mr Hawkins, very big.

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