EA Makes ‘Orcs & Elves’ Mobile

Electronic Arts is teaming with “Doom” creator id Software for a new, made-for-mobile role-playing game dubbed “Orcs & Elves,” announced this week in anticipation of the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles next week.

The new game was created “exclusively for mobile phones” by id Software and Fountainhead Entertainment, and will reportedly be made available to some Verizon mobile service subscribers this month, with distribution to more mobile phone users later this summer.

EA has been among the most prominent game companies pushing the mobile platform, and has had success with its popular “Doom” title on the mobile platform. However, the mobile gaming market remains in its infancy, Gartner Research Director Michael King told TechNewsWorld.

“It’s still a very, very niche market,” he said.

Games to Go

EA touted its latest lineup of mobile games, which include not only the new “Orcs & Elves” RPG title, but also popular sports games such as “Madden NFL 07,” “NBA Live 2007,” and “Tiger Woods PGE Tour 07.”

“EA Mobile is the leader in wireless entertainment publishing and our slate of games demonstrates our commitment to quality, innovation and value,” said EA Mobile Senior Vice President Mitch Lasky.

The company, trying to repeat the success of the award-winning mobile version of id’s “Doom,” will display its latest games to go at E3 next week.

Potential and Trial

There is no doubt about the potential for mobile games, but no company or partnership has truly found the right combination of game property and mobile property yet, Gartner’s King said.

“Being able to extend the property will be pretty important,” he said.

While he credited EA for its commitment to the mobile platform and predicted the company will likely find success in mobile gaming, King said it was still anybody’s game.

“It will probably take a whole lot more trial and error,” he said.

Taken by Technology

The increase in mobile gaming partnerships and titles highlights the significance of the market, estimated by some to be worth US$2 billion this year.

“It goes to show that mobile gaming is rapidly going from something niche to more mainstream,” JupiterResearch Vice President Michael Gartenberg told TechNewsWorld.

At the same time they are becoming available on more mobile platforms and services, games are becoming “deeper and more immersive,” as evidenced by the latest RPG titles, Gartenberg said.

He added that as mobile phone functionality, horsepower and battery life all improve, the game titles offered for them will both grow and become more rich.

“As capabilities increase, [mobile phones] really become the ideal gaming platform,” Gartenberg said.

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