Joe Pemberton

The future of mobile gaming is connected

We’re constantly anticipating ways consumers engage in mobile usage. One area I’m intrigued with is mobile gaming — why and when people play them. With a few exceptions, mobile gaming is limited to single player puzzle games and stripped-down versions of best selling PC/console games. So, if you’re a hardcore gamer (as opposed to a casual one) you’re likely not that enthralled by Bejeweled, Sudoku or Tower Bloxx. My brother, a long time World of Warcraft (WoW) addict, actually laughed at me when I showed him Civilization III for mobile (which I thought was a pretty cool port of the desktop version).

Hardcore gamers are left in the cold by the limited (they’d say lame) nature of mobile games for phones (I’m not talking about dedicated gaming devices like PSP here). Consider how a game like WoW, with it’s rich virtual economy, would benefit from a connected, mobile component. Aside from hacking their way through the horde, a mobile connection to the game could enable crafting objects and gear, mailing objects and money to guild mates and selling items in in-game auction houses via a handset. Blizzard could easily justify a mobile subscription version with it’s base of addicted players who are already spending a premium for monthly subscriptions.

Another MMORPG is Eve Online. Eve boasts a much richer virtual economy compared to WoW where players run corporations, guard against piracy and war against rivals for control of solar systems. CCP Games’ job board and rumor discussions would suggest there’s a mobile version in the works. (It might be your dream job in Reykjavik.)

For casual gamers, there is one mobile game that taps into a larger virtual economy in this way. Neopets released a mobile version for a $2 USD monthly subscription last year. The game includes a pet management feature, a couple casual games and a mini shopping area built in. It’s not that interesting on its own, but if you’ve amassed lots of Neopets and neopoints, it’s the only way to be online when you’re offline.

5 Responses to “The future of mobile gaming is connected”

  1. Jared Bensonon 13 Jan 2007 at 5:05 pm

    Quick comment - Found a related article on the International Herald Tribune…
    Read it here

  2. Sidhartha Bezboraon 27 Feb 2007 at 9:08 pm

    Yah rightly pointed out “Social Networking” is the key for mobile gaming.

    Such a social network has been launched in the mobile space. You can read the article here.

  3. wowmobileon 02 Mar 2007 at 3:14 pm

    World of Warcraft Mobile Already Exists.

  4. Joe Pembertonon 02 Mar 2007 at 9:31 pm

    Very interesting. It looks like it requires some heavy lifting — installing a server on your gaming PC is probably not for the average gamer. Will be interesting to see if Blizzard gets officially on board.

  5. Davidweisson 10 Sep 2009 at 1:22 pm

    CBS Mobile is LOOKING for Mobile UI Designers! We need to create amazing graphical mobile designs for Iphone, Pre, Android, and more. If YOU know of anyone who would be interested in a position at CBS, please contact me at [email protected]

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