Gamasutra just recently put up notes from a unique lecture given at this year's Game Developer's Conference. David Collier, president of the Japanese group Pikkle KK, offered up a Tokyo-focused vision of the future of MMOs. For millions of players in Asia, a series of casual flash games played mutliplayer via cellphones are all the MMO they need or want. Collier explained the sheer appeal of these titles, which cross age- and gender-boundaries; some 40% of male teens are playing one of these titles, called Mobile Game Town.
The Flash Lite format is part of the reason behind these services' success. Quick, simple downloads allow for instant action, and the portability of the Flash experience ensures there is minimal need to tweak titles for specific platforms. These games are also very lucrative, offering easy access to customers for advertisers. Collier's comments on the future of the medium are fascinating, as bigger players and high-profile developers step into the ring.