EA Makes Strategic Move Into Wireless

The wireless gaming ecosystem is about to get shaken up. Wireless gaming started at the turn of the century with small startups making ASCII-based games on WAP (like the venerable Gladiator) but have grown up a lot in the past four years. Technological progress, data billing systems, and consolidation have made a market for leaders like Mforma, Jamdat, and Sorrent (among others). But this cozy little market segment has, until recently, evaded a full-scale invasion from the leaders in console and PC games. However, this is coming to an end. The lure of profits will soon pull the big gaming guns to wireless, starting with this announcement from Electronic Arts that they will make a major entry into the mobile gaming space. EA will partner with Digital Bridges to help in distributing the content to wireless carriers. EA will mobilize their franchise titles, but I expect greater things to come. Separate mobile versions of existing big-name games is a decent idea, but integration of mobile versions with console or PC-bound games could capitalize on the always-on aspect of phone-based gaming. Such a link to a persistent world game could be an addictive pastime.

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