Friday, May 20, 2005

Multiplayer games-why they are good for smartphones

Recently, Nokia announced a huge load of new games for their NGAGE and smartphone platforms. When you look at all the news that can be obtained at a finance site like Finanznachrichten, you will soon see one mayor picture: multiplayer gaming. People pay 10$ a month for beeing allowed to PLAY(!!!) a game purchased for like 40$(Warcraft or how was it called??).
Actually, multiplayer games have some huge advantages to them. An artificial intelligence cannot change the way it's internal algorithm works-and once you understand it, there is little challenge left in the game. In contrast, a human enemy cannot be analyzed easily-there are all kind of people in this world. Some are cowards, some are aggressive, etc.
Also, games usually are the most interesting when played in mission mode. A single player game will eventually run out of new missions, while a MPOG can always be supplied with new stuff.
PalmOne killed its .net service about a year ago due to lack of subscribers-altough the service offered stuff that even dangers, etc cannot fully do yet. Imagine .net's infinite plan bundled with some nice online games. New user groups would have purchased a new, hip Mobtex device, BellSouth had customers and PalmOne made cash.
If Tapwave would really start to focus on Multiplayer games, they would gain market share pretty fast. Also, a few multiplayer games bundled with a Treo or GSPDA smartphone would lead to both cash for the carriers(data flatrate) and to sales of the device.
What do you think?

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lack of subscribers, yes, but the other part was the access mechanisms and the nature of the underlying network. It was running on the Mobitex network which really wasn't provisioned to handle the amount and type of data that the INetLib mechanisms accomodated. All data was forced to go through the palm.net proxies which further crippled the performance. Pager networks want small, compact text-based things flowing through them (mostly from the server to the pager, but at least Mobitex was two-way).

Customers were demanding an unlimited all-you-can-eat data plan that was reasonably priced. The Mobitex carriers, wanting to protect their investment and not wanting to swamp their server, kept the price high. This was a recipe for failure once the main cellular networks could facilitate the bandwidth. With more features. Cheaper. Oh, and the coverage wasn't as good on Mobitex as the cellular networks, too.

I loved my Palm VII and later my i705. I had an IM app that ran on it (and my daughter made heavy use of AOL on trips). I sorely miss using these devices, but you have to move on with the times I guess...

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