Where is Mobile Gaming 2.0?

It must have been years since I last downloaded a game from the portal of a mobile operator. It's not that I don't like it, but I find it highly addictive and it's difficult to keep myself from spending too much time on it once I am hooked 🙂 Recently, however, I dared to do so again and wanted to find out if the portal has any games that could be played with others over the Internet or even locally with others over Bluetooth.

After all, most mobile phones have Bluetooth built in today and as far as I know, there is a standardised Java API to access it. So it shouldn't be too difficult to use it for games. Even 15 years back, my Nintendo gameboy could do local multiplayer gaming (over a cable) so I kind of expect that from my mobile phone "gaming console", too!

But to my surprise I couldn't find a single game that could be played with others. I am really puzzled!? Is it too difficult or are there other reasons why game companies and / or operators are reluctant to offer them? What do you think?

3 thoughts on “Where is Mobile Gaming 2.0?”

  1. Martin,
    I’d say it’s a matter of being first.
    Until the first (good) game gets “social” on mobile for multiplayers, others won’t invest – and that’s because it requires additional effort and expertise from game developers.

  2. Hi Martin,

    I don’t think mobile games besides on the iPhone get any real play time. I think they are more casual (4-6 minutes per play). This doesn’t lend itself to multi-player gaming esp. on a feature phone / J2ME device. That being said, the UX w/ BT sucks and the chance that two local parties had the same game would be quite low given the game portals are different for different operators etc. There are quite a few social games but most are linked w/ the web and the reality is most of the good games these days are now being designed for the higher-end (prob b/c they can also assume that these user have data plans) – many operators zero-rate the game download in terms of “networked games”. I recently heard a major game publisher in the US state that the iPhone was doing 7X his revs on BREW which was the predominant app platform in the US for years.

  3. Hi Raj,

    thanks for your comment.

    Interesting point you make on the positive aspect on the single iPhone store worldwide vs. the distributed portals of the operators when it comes to people being able to download the same application from the same site despite being with different operators.

    Would be interesting to do some further research on iPhone games download vs. BREW vs. Java and, as you say, the play times on the different platforms.


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