UK developer Warthog has won a contract from THQ Mobile which will see it developing a game based on the popular MotoGP motorbike racing franchise for i-mode phones, as well as versions for more conventional SMS and WAP systems.
This is the first time that Warthog, which previously worked on THQ’s Streetfighter titles for mobile phones, has undertaken an i-mode project. NTT DoCoMo created and owns the i-mode system, which is hugely popular in Japan and represents one of the true success stories of next generation mobile phone systems, with over 30 million users worldwide.
The i-mode version of the game will be the most advanced of the three, offering users the chance to play the popular motorbike racing title smoothly and in colour. The WAP version will also feature graphics for the game, while the SMS version is the most primitive, sending text messages back and forth between player and server for each decision.
MotoGP is a phenomenal brand, the F1 of motobike racing, according to VP of mobile and hand-held games at Warthog, Tim Coupe, and we are excited to produce these games. Our first i-mode contract marks another milestone in our technical progression within the mobile entertainment market.
Experience with development for i-mode platforms will no doubt stand Warthog in good stead with publishers over the coming years as 3G phones – which are similar to i-mode devices but generally more powerful and with better connectivity – are rolled out across Europe. I-mode is a relatively mature medium in Japan, and has proved highly profitable for NTT DoCoMo due to innovative business models associated with it – many of which are currently being carefully looked at by European mobile operators.