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Enabling Technologies for Mobile Gaming

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Chapter 3: Enabling Technologies

"I think content is the king. Content is going to drive the space. At the end of the day, people will buy and adapt to new technology because of the content attached to it.

—Jim Beddows, Vice President of Wireless Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox 39

Although the royals rule, they can only conquer new areas if they are served by a suitable court of servants and are armed with the appropriate troops. Similarly, mobile content can only be as strong as the technologies used to deliver it. In mobile gaming, the content is the game play. The same technologies that enable us to use more and more business applications through our phones are powering the next generation of mobile games. To demonstrate key technologies that will enable mobile gaming to conquer its audience, we'll look behind the scenes of a fictional game called The Plot.

Enter The Plot!

All of a sudden, magazines, newspapers, television, and the Internet were crammed with stories and advertisements about the craze over The Plot, a new multiplatform game with a conspiracy theme. The local carrier had joined forces with a big-name game publisher to experiment with the new concepts of mobile gaming, mixing the hottest mobile technologies with astonishing storytelling and full media coverage.

In fact, The Plot was a competition—the best players were given a free luxury holiday in Hawaii. It was designed as a massive marketing campaign for the data services. Regardless of the phone model, everyone was welcome to participate in the game that could be described as one of the most intelligent marketing efforts ever made.

The Plot WAP settings were readily configured in all new handsets sold through the carrier. Customers who already had cell phones with Java support were able to download The Plot from the carrier portal without additional charge. And all customers who purchased game-optimized cellular handsets during the special campaign period were given the game on a memory card.

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