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Which way are mobile phone games heading?


Aside online games and static game devices like Playstation, mobile games are the next most popular games around now.

The popularity has grown so big that mobile operators are competing against each other by offering their subscribers loads of both free and paid games for their pleasure. Not only mobile operators, cell phone manufacturers are also pre-programming their phones with a variety of games.

The growing interest in mobile gaming is producing a lot of benefits for the mobile industry. The operators are deriving sizable revenue from selling these games, software developers are regularly deriving royalties from phone manufacturers and the manufacturers themselves are cashing in heavily on revenue from subscribers. You will appreciate the level of income in this are if you consider the fact that by the year 2009, there would be 220 million mobile phone game fans in the world.

Now lets delve into the kinds of games we have around:

We have the embedded games that are factory coded into the phones, SMS games that operate by interacting with a SMS server upon which the game resides and browser games that are played online using the cell phones mini browser. Of all these games the cheapest and most popular is the inbuilt ones though the excitement offered by SMS and online games are not a deterrent to people who would spend every dime to get hooked on. The reason is browser games are of multi-media origin and can be compared to the type experienced on Playstation or xbox.

There are several ways to develop mobile games though the most popular language used are C++, Java and Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless (BREW) platform .
Out of these three, Java is the most popular method. The reason is obvious – java is widely supported by the web and supported by all the principal phone manufacturers. Again a medium like J2ME is open source and thus cheap to use as a development medium.
Java as we know it is highly portable across platforms and leaves developers with little worry that their program will not work on certain phones. Programmers choose this language platform because it does not interfere with programs running natively on the phone.

But in reality the future of mobile game development is in MIDP 2.0 API which is a compilation of high end applications that allow developers to come up with sophiscated and highly interactive games for fans. It is fast to use and ensures a stable program after compilation.

It is projected that this program, though futuristic, shall be the standard for mobile game developers for a long time as it exhibits versatility and the quick deployment – qualities programmer love.

By Peter Lenkefi