Four of the largest mobile games publishers (EA, Glu, Gameloft and I-play) have agreed to launch games simultaneously on all the UK networks, removing one more avenue for network differentiation and, hopefully, reducing customer confusion. Network operators have traditionally looked to exclusive content to differentiate …
Not very simultaneous
The "simultaneous" availability of games has nothing to do with the developer/publisher per se - in fact its the holy grail of all mobile games developers.
The reason games don't get launched simultaneously is because the Networks have backlogs of 3 - 6 months on their QA decks and have different cycle times for picking up the content. So e.g. you might submit a game simultaneously to Orange, O2, Voda, 3, T-mobile, yet the response time for acceptance of the content can be anything from 1 week to 3 months (or more). Don't even talk about getting the operators to launch them simultaneously across Europe.
The simple reason mobile gaming hasn't expanded is because the Network operators make it too difficult and too expensive for the punters and too difficult and too expensive for the developers.
Here's a little classic - PAYG customers on O2 still can't access WAP => WAP push by default. When over 75% of your customers are on PAYG plans, how on earth do you expect to expand your content market ?
Er, its the internet stupid!
I don't know what lies behind this announcement - perhaps thats for you hacks to find out - but these four guys already have off-portal sites on which they launch their games, cross-operator world-wide, and whenever they want. They use companies live Bango (who connects to operator and other billing systems) to collect payment.
Have a look at gameloft.wap.com on your mobile for example.
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