Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Massive Wireless Game Planned

The RED HERRING writes about a Hong Kong company, Artificial Life, that is planning a massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) for 3G cell phones. According to the article, the Java-based MMOG is expected to launch at the end of the year but no carriers in Asia or the rest of the world have been announced. The game "uses high-speed wireless technology to let players explore a virtual city, enter imaginary buildings, chat with each other’s bots, and even go out on virtual dates."

Analysts are skeptical to say the least. Gaming financial analyst Michael Pachter of Wedbush Morgan Securities provides a great soundbyte and doesn't hold back any punches when he says, "That game sounds like a disaster to me. You really have to be a loser if the only way you have to socialize is to play a game on your cell phone." Ouch!

As Pachter points out, most MMOGs don't do well in the West and require players to be involved for hours at a time, which doesn't translate well in from a mobile standpoint. "You’re not going to screw up your cell phone battery to play a game for hours and hours,. The games that do well on cell phones are ones like Tetris that you can play for 10 or 15 minutes while you’re waiting for the subway,” said Pachter.

Call me crazy, but I think a MMOG version of The Sims for cell phones might work. Of couse if it's your main source of human interaction while you're out and about, then yeah, you probably are a loser...