Mobile Games Are A Big Opportunity In India
By Mike Masnick, Tue Feb 01 01:30:00 GMT 2005
Mobile phones are catching on in India, and now many are expecting mobile games to be the next big hit. The games have two big things going for them: they're cheap and they're interactive.
There's been a lot of talk about mobile gaming lately, in part because some of the implementations are finally starting to show that developers recognize that mobile gaming adds a new dimension to what they're offering: physical location of the players. That opens up a wide variety of options for how a game can be played.
However, over in India, where mobile phones are pervading all aspects of life, it appears that mobile games may be catching on because they're cheap, simple, and easily accessible. This is in comparison to more traditional console gaming systems that require additional expensive hardware purchases, and where each game can be quite expensive.
However, when combined with the fact that many are getting mobile phones already for the connectivity aspect to it, mobile games are getting more attention. Unlike mobile broadcast, the games tend to be much more interactive, and can be designed in ways that make it easier for users to play the games to fill up their "idle time," rather than having to schedule around larger chunks of content that is being broadcast to them. Finally, adding in the connectivity part, and creating games that use location based info can make the games that much more enticing and interesting to users.
In the meantime, however, it sounds like the mobile games being offered in India are fairly simple. Many of the popular games are still based on marketing tie-ins and licensed content (such as games based on comic book characters). There's nothing wrong with "simple" gaming, of course. Simple games online are what has made online gaming so popular. While it may be things like Xbox Live that gets all the headlines, simple online card games tend to be more popular across the board -- and that's likely to remain true with mobile gaming as well. In fact, by incorporating location based info into the mobile gaming world, the simplicity of the game can work to its advantage. The more complex the actual game is, it's often just covering up how little is actually appealing in the game. Simple, mobile games that draw in users are likely to continue to catch on much faster than big productions with big names.