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Games, games, games
--Wang Weijia, CEO of Mtone, comments on the mobile game market(2004-06-08)


"Games will be the most welcomed and the most valuable application in the mobile multimedia age." Wang Weijia, CEO of Mtone Wireless Corp (domestic mobile communication SP) said to the reporter, "As games integrate all aspects in the multimedia application, including images, music, interaction, etc, users' needs can be fully addressed." 
 
In fact, from the age of SMS, Mtone started to attach much importance to mobile games. "Bubble Xiaoxin (泡泡小新)" is the first SMS game that won over a million users in China. "Mobile" is another game with the same title as the movie "Mobile" (directed by Feng Xiaogang, China's domestic director) should be the first multimedia mobile game in China.   
Wang Weijia frankly stated that Mtone had positioned itself as the leader of China's mobile games and mobile community services. "At least, it is recognized by the public that Mtone is leading in the aspects of market share, technologies and business of the mobile. Besides, we are doing a lot creative work to maintain our advantages".  

With all the new applications, Wang Weijia and his Mtone have repeatedly surprised the industry. Wang hopes that the whole industry can recognize the important position of mobile games in the mobile value added service. He said that although in 2004 the whole market share of China's mobile game might only reach RMB600 million, the increase rate, however, will be very high.  

According to the analysis of Informa, a foreign research organization, the mobile game is the fastest growing segment in the global game market. The production value will grow from USD 243 million in 2002 to USD 3.8 billion in 2007.  

China formally initiated the industry of mobile game since September, 2003 when China Mobile "treasure box (百宝箱)" service started charging fees. With a high user increase rate, mobile game users totaled 2 million within a few months. Having recognized the prosperity of the mobile network game, chief manufacturers devoted all their efforts to grab the market share.

It is said that developers including Sega and Ubisoft, have reduced their development strength of PC network game, and set up mobile game development department. Both capital and manpower investments have been increased in the emerging network game to optimize the profits in this market. Nokia, Motorola, Siemens, Ericsson, etc, have all put large investments in to the development of the mobile game and the research of mobile terminal products, which are the operation platform for the mobile game. Today, new mobile models that can achieve the function of playing network games have been launched, such as Nokia N-Gage, 3300, Samsung X400, etc.

Wang Weijia pointed out that the mobile game repeated the development history of computer games within a very short period. At first only some off-line handset games turned popular, such as Apple Chess (苹果棋), Greedy Snake (贪吃蛇), Memory Test (记忆测试) and 21 Points (21点). Most of these are only small testing games that are easy to operate and control, as they don't require much about the technologies and screens. With the development of terminal communication equipment, i.e. the mobile, the mobile game experiences SMS service games, WAP games and the games based on K-Java/BREWT today. Meanwhile, the mobile game also enters the age of "color screen". Color screen mobiles will gradually replace black and white mobiles in the next few years, and will obtain functions that are similar to those of Game Boys game machine. What is more important is that with the development of 2.5 G and especially 3G mobile communication technologies, the mobile broadband with the transmission rate of as high as 384K/s was introduced into the industry. The technologies joint voices, images and visions, providing mobile users more personal applications and multimedia entertainment services. Wireless network games, based on mobile communication network and mobile terminals, helped mobile games quickly pass the age that is similar to what PC networking games experienced.  

It is said that traditional domestic PC network game carriers such as Shanda Networking, have actively started to invest in the mobile game market, trying to develop into the most influential SP. They also make efforts to cooperate with the advanced development resource of mobile game application to occupy the advantageous position in technologies and applications. The mobile game market will be fully initiated in China.  

When mentioning the great expectation of China's mobile game industry, Wang Weijia seemed to be excited, "The development of China's mobile value-added business is maintained at a leading level even in the whole world. We should grab this chance of becoming the world-leading industry - leading in traffic and value, also leading in and operation modes and technologies applications. Today, China's mobile value-added business does not have any more models to copy or study. We must probe our own way forward. If we succeed, we will become the model for the whole world to study."  

Wang Weijia also showed the reporter a networking Ma Jiang game solely developed by Mtone itself. With the GPRS link, users can play Ma Jiang even though they might be thousands of miles away from each other. According to Wang, another carrier in Singapore also developed a networking Ma Jiang game. However, the Bluetooth technology it adopts can only support the communication within 25 meters. Therefore, the application of Mtone should be the most advanced even in the whole world.   

Meanwhile, Wang Weijia also told the reporter that Mtone is presently cooperating with a famous mobile manufacturer to develop a large-scale mobile networking game. Having joined the game, users can practice, chat and form groups. Also based on the GPRS technology of 2.5G, the game can provide verified images and music, including scores of "weapons". It is said that the game is under the final test.  

Wang Weijia believes that China's mobile value-added services will be brought to an even higher level with the launch of this world-first mobile network game.

Refer to 《China Electronic News》
Reporter: Yu Qi


 
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