Each week MobileCrunchArcade compiles the biggest news from the world of mobile gaming.
This Week’s Headlines:
Gameloft Dealt In; Greystripe Allows Gamers to Get Hands-On Titles; Pandemonium at Eidos; I-play Plays It Casual, Glu Sticks To Inc 5000
Gameloft Dealt In
This week Gameloft announced it had signed an exclusive deal with poker legend Gus Hansen to develop Million Dollar Poker, which will deal out to major carriers on October 29, 2007. The game will feature a new and innovative AI that promises to evolve with the player.
“Poker games are a staple in the arena of mobile games and our challenge was to develop the next evolution of them,” said Gonzague de Vallois, vice president of publishing, Gameloft. “With Million Dollar Poker, we have succeeded through integrating Gus Hansen’s strategic genius and input to create one of the most challenging poker games that takes on the player on a mental level.”
Greystripe Allows Gamers to Get Hands-On Titles
Want to play the hottest games for free? Well you can. You just have to put up with some ads. This is the deal being brought forth from Greystripe and Hands-On Mobile, which will roll out seven award-winning mobile games including Call of Duty 2, True Crime: Streets of LA, Top Gun: Air Combat, LEGO Bricks, World Poker Tour: 7 Card Stud, Pro Bowling and Sudoku Garden.
These seven games will be available from Greystripe distribution channels including GameJump.com, a free, ad-support mobile gaming portal. “Greystripe has created an economically viable alternative to for-pay mobile game distribution with their AdWRAP distribution solution,” said Erik Pavelka, Vice President of Business Development at Hands-On Mobile. “We have the ability to distribute our games worldwide increasing our reach for our titles.”
We like the idea of free anything, and getting to play these games is a good step forward. But it needs to be seen how the ads affect gameplay. While Electronic Art’s Pogo.com has already offered free ad-supported gaming, numbers suggest many gamers leave as soon as the first round of ads hit. In fact the ad is a good cue that it’s time to get back to work!
Pandemonium at Eidos
Things are total Pandemonium over at Eidos Interactive, which is set to release the popular game from Crystal Dynamics. Originally developed as a console game more than a decade ago, this new version faithfully recreates the 1997 classic, complete with a 3D in-game camera. The stars Nikki, a wizard in training (move over Harry Potter), and Fargus, a deranged jester with an even more deranged puppet sidekick called Sid. Together these balls must explore 18 epic 3D worlds.
“Pandemonium represents a whole new level of gaming experience on mobile phones,” says Dave Clark, vice president of New Business Development at Eidos “The graphics remain strikingly faithful to the original game on console and, as levels load while you play, gamers will enjoy a seamless gaming experience. This is head and shoulders above what most people imagine when they think of games for the phone.”
If you don’t remember this one, fear not. It was one of the few notable titles on the SEGA Saturn before arriving on the PlayStation 3 and Nokia N-Gage. Hopefully this time the Pandemonium will be a little more memorable, as the game makes its debut on BREW-enabled handsets.
I-play Plays It Casual
I-play, which is now the publishing division of casual game distributor Oberon Media, announced this week that it will be increasing the focus on casual games. No surprise there. And the line up sounds noteworthy too, with titles including Hexic and Mozaki Blocks, both from Alexei Pajitnov, one of the creators of Tetris.
In addition to those two titles, this line up of 11 games includes Slinky, a mobile version of the spring, the spring, a wonderful spring; Fish Tycoon, a mobile version of the popular PC game, and Bubble Town, an arcade-styled puzzle game.
“I-play has always been committed to driving the mass-market casual game genre on mobile,” said David Gosen, president of I-play. “The combination with Oberon with their leading position within the online games market provides the ideal opportunity to drive real growth to this vital market sector and demonstrates one of the many synergies being delivered by the linking of the two companies.”
There is no doubt that mobile gaming is going to continue to be big on mobile phones, and it is refreshing to see a continued push with easy to play casual games. While we’re still watching to see hardcore games make headway into the mobile space there is no doubt that playing it casual could be mobile’s best asset.
Glu Sticks To Inc 5000
And if you doubted that mobile gaming was big business this week’s unveiling of the 2007 Inc 5000 list should prove you wrong. Glu Mobile was ranked 44 overall of the list of the fastest growing privately held companies for the 2006 calendar year, and was ranked number one in media and number seven for San Francisco Bay Area companies.
Just don’t look for Glu to stick to the list for next year. It isn’t that the company is losing its adhesion, it is just that Glu Mobile went public this year, proving that it was indeed a fast growing company. MobileCrunch says congrats Glu.