Not that long ago, recorded music came in the form of little vinyl discs covered in grooves, Beta Max and VHS were waging a war for dominance of home entertainment, and a gambler needed to actually be in a casino to gamble.
But change is inevitable, and now we have lasers playing music from CDs, DVD movies playing on plasma screens, and a Craps table is only as far away as the home computer.
But just when you think you’ll have a little time to take a breath and adjust to the new “modern” environment, along comes the latest change to the status quo: mobile gaming.
Mobile gaming, the latest initiate of the remote gambling industry whose associates include Internet casinos and Interactive television, allows users to quickly and easily install gaming software onto their wireless devices, affording gamblers a luxury never before seen: playing anytime, anywhere. As a result of this groundbreaking advance in the gaming industry – and the new found freedom for players – mobile gaming is now considered by many within the industry to be the next frontier in casino-style gambling.
One company that has been leading the charge in the mobile gaming revolution is Net Entertainment, a Stockholm-based developer of casino software. “Net Entertainment has always had a strong belief in mobile games,” said CEO Pontus Lindwall. “Strongly influenced by Nokia and Ericsson, Net Entertainment started to produce games for handsets at an early stage. The very first games were commercially functional through the WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) interface already in early 2000.”
Unfortunately for Net Entertainment and other early developers of mobile gaming software, previous limitations in the quality of WAP graphics and gameplay resulted in a poor demand for this gaming format. As a result, its appeal in the gambling arena faltered.
“In mid 2000, Net Entertainment signed an agreement with market leader Nokia, to supply mobile games on their WAP gaming platform. Net Entertainment developed several casino games for Nokia, but Nokia later on decided to close down the project, before it was even launched, as WAP didn’t prove to be commercially feasible for interactive casino gaming.”
But despite these early setbacks, interest in mobile gaming has drastically increased globally since 2002 with the launch of new color handsets that offered greater usability, polyphonic sound and Java technology. According to analysts, remote gambling is now considered to be one of the fastest developing segments of the industry.
“Net Entertainment [has always] believed that mobile gaming will be a success only when the games are easy enough to use and easy enough to get started with. And this is the main design goal for the developing route Net Entertainmet has choosen,” said Lindwall.
“We believe that 2004 will be the break through year for mobile gaming. A majority of the new handsets sold today support Java and have now reached a level where they can give the player a thrilling gaming experience. Net Entertainment’s vision is that in 2007 there will be more game rounds played through handsets than through computer terminals.”