GDC08: Nokia considering mobile MMOGs for N-Gage
Constantly thinking about new types of games
It appears that today is the day for rumours, so during a talk entitled Pushing the Mobile Gaming State of Art, Nokia's global head of production, J Dan Scott (pictured), said the company was looking at mobile Massively Multiplayer Online Games (mMMOGs or perhaps MMmGs?).
He didn't elaborate further on the statement, which was contained towards the end of his speech that set out Nokia's vision for N-Gage in terms of the games it is publishing (something we expect to hear a lot more about during the next few days).
Other significant areas he said the company was looking at included creating new genres, including location-based games and alternative reality games, using hardware features such as GPS, camera and touchscreen, and cross-genre games – an interesting definition relating to titles in which your actions in one connected game could affect another connected game.
Micro-transactions – a business model already popular in Korea – is also on the cards. "It probably won't be buying bullets in a first-person shooter but you never know what could happen," Scott said.
In the context of mMMOGs, he also mentioned Nokia's Project White Rock, a mysterious connected game that's currently in development and will be played between phone and PC players.
Of course, one of the key enablers of such development is the N-Gage Arena, the online multiplayer and community platform for all N-Gage gaming. Announced examples of this leverage include the beat-'em-up One, which will have an integrated global leaderboard so everyone knows who 'The One' (i.e. the best player on the planet) actually is.
"Somewhere, someone is working on something we've never seen before," Scott continued. "We're constantly thinking about new types of games that could be made and we're primarily using external developers. We want to stimulate the entire mobile gaming industry."
Still, it's the idea of mMMOGs (or MMmGs) that really excites us. We'll have to see how the rumours (and the ongoing World of Warcraft mobile gossip) plays out in the bars of San Francisco over the next couple of days.