Mobile multiplayer games: the business model

Telephone operators and software developers are both trying to define models to regulate the way people will pay in the future for their online gaming, especially concerning multiplayer games.

The article here describes three approaches overtaken by different software houses producing mobile multiplayer games needing online data flow in order to work.

1) The first uses the existing �pay to install� model for single-player games, but with a limited time duration, so that when the first licence expires, you have to resubscribe to continue playing. (JAMDAT Mobile Inc., in Los Angeles, and Unplugged, Inc., in Berkeley, California)

2) The second approach is based on Short Message Service (SMS). Players are charged for every message they send. Message sending is requested by the game mechanics, and revenues are shared by all the actors involved (phone operators and game providers) (Alive, based in Stockholm, Sweden).

3) The third approach is based on the data flow players generate while they play. The time they spend connected or the data traffic they generate. This model has been used for example for the game TibiaME, developed by CipSoft GmbH Germany and by T-mobile (german operator). No subscription fees, the user pays according to the volume of data he creates over the T-mobile GPRS network and to the particular tariff options of the contract he signed with T-mobile.