This is some pretty big news for mobile that hasn’t got the reaction I think it deserves (or do I just play too much Playstation 3?). It looks like huge efforts are being made to make mobile, console and PC gaming completely compatible.
First up is Microsoft who recently demoed their Windows 7 Mobile playing Indiana Jones, then switching the game to PC, then onto the Xbox 360. Next is BigPoint and Unity Technologies who have developed browser based software that will enable iPhone (and eventually Android, iPad) gamers to play against PC, PS3 and Wii players.
On a basic level this means that you’ll be able to play multi-player games with people sat at their PCs at home whilst on your mobile. Also things like the ability to carry on your game where you left on the PC using your phone would be a typical feature.
But think about the possibilities this has for the actual games themselves; experiences have the potential to be completely immersive. What you do and where you go with your phone in real life can affect what happens to your character in a game using mobile technologies like GPS.
Imagine playing Grand Theft Auto where you could unlock parts of the game and collect bonuses by physically travelling around your own city. Or multi-platform versions of Second Life where you need to find other users around you to exchange goods.
At the very, very least it will enable mobiles to become an extension of your PC/Console gaming (I actually think this is where it works best). This means that there really are endless opportunities for developers not just to push the boundaries of their games, but mobile marketing too.
Interacting with brands in a game could push coupons/offers to your phone, get you mobile tickets for concerts or special events. Imagine winning the World Cup on Fifa 2010 and getting tickets to the tournament in real life.
It’s no secret that in-game advertising is going to be a massive industry, with revenues of $971 million predicted for 2011. Adding mobile into the mix suddenly makes those in-game brand advertisement/experiences actionable.
And with games like Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 making $310 Million in a single day, the industry is only going to get bigger and better, looking for more avenues to make money through investment and innovation.