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Wireless Gaming Mass Market Gaming over Internet- Enabled Mobile Devices Greg Costikyan Chief Design Officer, Unplugged Games [email protected] http://www.costik.com “Mobile phones could account for as much as half of the game industry as a whole.”

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Wireless gaming l.jpg
Wireless Gaming

Mass Market Gaming over Internet- Enabled Mobile Devices

Greg Costikyan

Chief Design Officer, Unplugged Games

[email protected]

http://www.costik.com


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“Mobile phones could account for as much as half of the game industry as a whole.”

— Kagemasa Kozuki, founder and President of Konami, MCV

$6 billion market worldwide by 2005

— Datamonitor


Technology today l.jpg
Technology Today the game industry as a whole.”

  • Mobile PhonesEurope: SMS, WAPUS: HDML, SMS (sort of)Japan: iMode

  • Small Screen sizeB&W bitmaps (at best)

  • No application managementStatic browser model

  • Non-Standard “Standards”


Technology today4 l.jpg
Technology Today the game industry as a whole.”

  • PDASPalmWinCE devicesPsion

  • “Pull” Data model

  • High Price

  • Few with Wireless Connections As Yet

  • Color Still Rare


Technology tomorrow l.jpg
Technology Tomorrow the game industry as a whole.”

  • J2ME HandsetsNo integration with WAP

  • Fuller WAP implementationWMLscript, WTA, etc.

  • Color, Larger Screens

  • Location-Based Services


Technology tomorrow6 l.jpg
Technology Tomorrow the game industry as a whole.”

  • GameBoy AdvanceCable-Connectible to Cellphone (in Japan at least)Japanese don’t get online

  • Improved Wireless PDAsColorFaster ProcessorsBetter Wireless Data model

  • Special Purpose DevicesCybiko, Red Jade


Technology a little later l.jpg
Technology A Little Later the game industry as a whole.”

  • 3G2Mb data transfer ratesStreaming video (irrelevant to games)Color, Large ScreensFully packetized voice & data

  • Bluetooth

  • PDAS: Pervasive computingQuite likely voice integration (Visorphone)Desktop integration


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Technology a Little Later the game industry as a whole.”

  • Handheld Console Convergence PlatformGameBoy Advance doesn’t do the trickVoice chatSubstantial persistent data storageBluetooth for “LAN” playTCP/IP stackDownloadable appsPossibly PDA-based[Red Jade?]


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Strengths the game industry as a whole.”

  • UbiquityPlay Any Time

  • PortabilityPlay Anywhere

  • NetworkedMultiplayer Rules

  • Voice CommunicationCommunity


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Weaknesses the game industry as a whole.”

  • Latency of 1 sec+Desktop in µmecs; Internet 200-400 msecs3G does NOT solve the problem

  • No Simultaneous Voice & DataPacketized data could solve problem, but carriers haven’t been interested.

  • Signal Coverage & BandwidthMore of a problem in North AmericaMust handle drops gracefully


Game styles l.jpg
Game Styles the game industry as a whole.”

  • Skill & Action: Fuggedaboudit

  • Pacing:5 minute gamesTurn-BasedSlow UpdatePersistent World

  • StylesPrize-BasedSimple Social“Gamers’ Games”


Community l.jpg
Community the game industry as a whole.”

  • Vital for Online Games

  • No integration of community features at present.

  • Features:Buddy ListsMicrocommunitiesVoice Call & SMS supportInvitations/BansFind-a-Friend (“Lovegetty”)


The case for the operators l.jpg
The Case for the Operators the game industry as a whole.”

  • Games Drive Usage Like Nothing Else30-70 mins/visit (Lycos Gamesville, Uproar, Flipside)30-40 hrs/month (EverQuest, Gemstone)

  • Customer RetentionAnother ‘Switching Cost’Community Persistence

  • Gamers Lead Hardware CurveSpurring UpgradesMaking Wireless Data a Consumer Norm

  • People will PayThe only successful for-fee services on the Internet: Porn, Financial services, and Games


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Competitive Landscape the game industry as a whole.”

  • EuropeDigital Bridges/Wireless Games ($17m round) [Scotland]Riot-E (Nokia, Softbank) (Licensed-based) [Finland]In-Fusio (looking for 2nd round; BT, FT, Telefonica, T-Mobil) [France]Ludi WAP (Ff60m funding from Guillemot family) [France]PicoFun (soccer game; ties to Ericsson) [Sweden]SpringToys (Sonera et al.) [Finland]

  • Nokia Mobile Entertainment Service platform


Competitive landscape15 l.jpg
Competitive Landscape the game industry as a whole.”

  • North Americapogo.com (Nokia major investor)iWireless (iEntertainment spin-off)Unplugged GamesSega preloaded games for Motorola handsets

  • JapanCapcom, Bandai, Sony developing for J2ME iMode handsets


Business models l.jpg
Business Models the game industry as a whole.”

  • iMode Model:customers pay by the 256 byte block9% of revenue off the top to DoCoMoRemainder split with service provider

  • Airtime Shareproblematic as packetized data spreads

  • Turn-Key Licensing

  • “Cable-Tier” Model

  • Pay-Per-Play

  • Advertising & Sponsorship


Conclusions l.jpg
Conclusions the game industry as a whole.”

  • “Wireless carriers have solved the basic business problem Internet firms have never solved; extracting revenues from customers.” — The Economist

  • Yes, Virginia, you can do good games with a tiny little b&w screen.

  • Someone’s going to make a lot of money here.


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Presentation may be downloaded from: the game industry as a whole.”

www.costik.com/pres/iirLondon/

Questions & Queries to:

Greg Costikyan

[email protected]


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