Petr Hosek is Senior Sales Manager, Multimedia, Nokia Middle East and Africa
DO: Petr thanks for taking the time to talk with us. How did the idea for N-Gage initially come about?
Nokia’s vision is Life Goes Mobile. This means that anything that people do today stationery, whether this is communications, business, general commerce, Internet browsing or gaming will eventually become mobile enabled.
The N-Gage was conceptualised several years before launch. We saw how successful online gaming was becoming and real opportunities for ourselves, game developers and for service providers through online mobile gaming using GPRS. The N-Gage was therefore designed to create a new market for gamers on the move. We now have a strong product, a huge portfolio of games and unrivaled technology and connectivity options to create a rich experience.
DO: Who is the N-Gage QD primarily aimed at: gamers or people who want a flash mobile phone?
The N-Gage QD is optimised for mobile online gaming. It has an ergonomically designed form factor, with features such as raised buttons and a large screen to enable a full gaming experience. Its connectivity options - Bluetooth and GPRS are suitable for competitive multiplayer gaming allowing up to 8 persons to compete on certain games.
DO: You're looking for new titles for N-Gage. What do you look for in new developers?
A real innovation and a commitment to mobile online gaming. N-Gage QD incorporates Nokia’s Series 60 software platform, which is the most popular smart phone software in the world with 84% market share (Canalys, Sept 2004). Using free to download software from www.forumnokia.com, anyone can begin producing software for the N-Gage. These can then be distributed through retail outlets or directly for download over the Web through sites such as www.softwaremarket.com. Mobile gaming is a new and open space and we welcome any and all developers to contribute to providing rich experiences for gamers.
DO: What sort of size development teams are making N-Gage games right now (as opposed to ports)?
All sizes from companies such as Electronic Arts who have entire units developed, to smaller, single-person development hot shops.
DO: How about genres? Does N-Gage presently have preferences that way?
Any and all games are supported by N-Gage, from simulations such as the highly acclaimed The Sims, strategy games such as Worms, arcade games such as Colin Mcrae Rally, platform games including the Tom Clancy portfolio of titles, and first person shoot-em ups such as Pathway to Glory.
DO: Mobile phone games can be basic, so what do you see being possible in future, say two years from now.
Please try the N-Gage QD and its multiplayer games & you will see that the quality and sophistication of gaming is comparative in experience to that of a Play Station or PC game.
DO: Where do we stand on Arabizing games for the mobile phone?
Anyone can develop N-Gage games, as mentioned earlier. The development and roll-out of Arabic titles, depends solely on the development house themselves. We encourage all companies to offer Arabic versions of their games - presently however, there are no Arabic gaming titles.
DO: How can Nokia encourage and help develop the Middle East’s gaming industry?
We have free software available from Forum Nokia and an easy to use marketplace for trade at Software Market. Every element is there to support a fledgling industry in the Middle East.
DO: If you were to build your dream mobile phone game what would it do?
It would combine the graphics of Pathway to Glory with massively multiplayer capabilities or a landline connection with the depth of X-Men legends and the fun of Worms of the Sims (all games which are available on the N-Gage QD).
DO: Finally, what do you think the outlook is for mobile gaming?
Positive. This is a new market which is growing with new entrants expected throughout 2005. With the advent of 3G, more players will be able to compete together creating the opportunity for extended multi-player adventures.