Several of SNK’s legendary franchises are to appear on Java-enabled mobile phones, thanks to a new deal which will see mobile entertainment specialists Digital Bridges recreating some of the best-known titles from the NeoGeo back catalogue.
The first titles to be developed under this new agreement are beat ’em ups King of Fighters and Samurai Showdown, along with cult classic platform game Metal Slug. The games will be published worldwide through Digital Bridges’ distribution network, which covers more than 40 mobile networks and over a quarter of a million subscribers.
The titles will be created to operate on Java-enabled handsets, which are preparing to roll out to consumers at the moment. Research has indicated that up to 420 million of the new phones will be in use by the end of 2003, boosting massively the market for arcade-style titles on mobile phones.
Java represents an extremely valuable new market for mobile entertainment companies and promises to dramatically escalate the number of users playing mobile games regularly, according to Digital Bridges CEO Brian Greasley. The high recognition value of titles such as King of Fighters will help to ensure that Digital Bridges replicates its success in SMS and WAP gaming by allowing us to create a market leading collection of Java games.
Although the new phones are certainly technically capable of running graphically attractive arcade-style games, control is expected to be a stumbling block; mobile phones lack the precision of control offered by console joypads, which may limit the gameplay possibilities of the devices.