There's no doubt mobile gaming is one of the hot, heavily-trafficked areas of gaming and game development. Many of the big players, in and out of the games community, are dabbling in mobile. Why? Many theories have surfaced: Mobile games are less expensive to make; we are a much more mobile society than even 10 years ago; cell phones have exploded onto the gaming scene, increasing the potential audience of mobile games exponentially.
As time goes on, the mobile gaming business becomes less that of early adopters, and more of the mainstream. Along with that, the difficulties are growing: Games for cell phones and for handheld gaming devices are becoming more expensive to make, as the demand rises; the sheer number of ports to be made for each game on a cell phone is staggering, when one takes into account all of the carriers' proprietary signals and the various handsets' requirements.
But, as you'll find in Joe Blancato's article, "The Free Future of Mobile Gaming," the business continues to be at least a $2 billion a year cash cow - and that's just on cell phones. And while the cell phone games may not be deep or robust right now, Allen Varney speaks with Eric Goldberg of Crossover Technologies about when and how these games will become more engaging in "Un-laming Phone Games." And while we wait, handheld consoles provide a library of classic games, provoking fond, if somewhat bittersweet, memories, as highlighted by Russ Pitts in "Mario Smells Like Mothballs." Find these articles and more in this week's issue of The Escapist.