At the 2nd Annual Mobile Gaming Conference 2006, in Mumbai, Mauj Telecom threw light on the future of technology in mobile games.
Host, Mauj Telecom, has introduced 14 next generation, ‘Augmented Reality’ games which involve the use of cameras in phones. For example, one of the games requires the user to capture a particular colour, to gain points in the game, while another game uses pictures from the phone’s folders, as a backdrop during gameplay.
Mauj has also introduced multiplayer Bluetooth games along with 13 regional language games for India, although flash based games and 3D games are yet to make a mark. Upcoming themes for games include Bengali, Tamil and Telugu movies, alongside the popular Bollywood themed games already available. Prices for Mauj games range from Rs 50 to Rs Rs 250, depending on the level of complexity of the games. Mauj is also planning on introducing memory sticks loaded with 50 games for the Indian market, soon.
Ashay Padwal, head of technology for Mauj Telecom said, “With the advent of 3G technology in mobile phones in the country, which is slated for the second quarter of 2007, the mobile gaming industry will grow by leaps and bounds. However, the impetus must come from the handset manufacturers, as in the case of Japanese and Korean markets, where mobile games are becoming more PSP-like. In fact, those markets will soon have PSP + phone devices! In the Indian market, devices like these will take time to catch on.”
As of now, only 20% of mobile handsets are gaming enabled, but Mauj anticipates that figure to double in the next few months.
Apart from games, Mauj also highlighted the necessity of Digital Rights Management (DRM) policy for mobile games and issues of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) for game developers. Padwal said that mobile phone manufacturers have defined a new version of DRM for next generation phones, to allow ’super distribution’. DRM 2, as it is referred to, will allow games to be shared via Bluetooth, but the recipient will not be able to play the game unless he pays a license fee of Rs 20, charged to his bill. This policy will come into effect in the first quarter of 2007.