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The marriage of mobile gaming and MMOs

Michael Zenke

The convergence of mobile phones and Massively Multiplayer games is something we've been talking about since the site launched. Whether it's a mobile tie-in to World of Warcraft or the possibilities of the iPhone SDK, it seems to be a goal of many developers to tie the virtual and real worlds together via your cell. A discussion held at last month's Game Developer's conference went over a number of different MMO-appropriate elements from mobile gaming, and might give you some idea of what the MMOmobile future might look like.

Game designer Dan Roy was the speaker at that particular event, and ran down the numerous ways that mobile communications can hook into MMO worlds. He cited the 'show off' factor of having a max level character, and offered that socializing with fellow players would be enhanced by a cell-connected virtual world application. He spent some time describing a few games that go whole-hog, putting an entire virtual experience onto a mobile platform. He seemed somewhat dismissive of several of these games, saying of Ragnarok Mobile Mage, "It sucks. It's terribly designed." His closing thoughts surround the possibility of even tying combat into a mobile app - weighty thoughts for future designers.

Are any of these ideas at all interesting to you? Would you use a mobile client to check your in-game mail, for example? Or how your auction house bids are going?

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