The Mobile Platform Wars
Since the very inception of mobile games (meaning 1999), it's been clear that multiplayer gaming is the real future of mobile entertainment. After all, while most cell phones are not very good game platforms (small screens, awkward controls, limited processing power), they do offer one feature that consoles are only beginning to implement, but which has become widespread on PCs in the last decade: connectivity. This means they can support multiplayer games. The earliest mobile games were built using SMS [short message service] and WAP [wireless application protocol]; neither is a particularly good game technology. These games were not hugely popular, but many of them were multiplayer. SMS messages and WAP decks require a server to operate at all, so it is a natural extension to add multiplayer capacity to new or existing games. This paper discusses the market for multiplayer games and compares the offerings of different manufacturers.