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View Full Version : Nokia to Buy Sega Network Gaming Assets

Jason Dunn
08-20-2003, 09:45 PM
<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=technologyNews&storyID=3307040' target='_blank'>http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=technologyNews&storyID=3307040</a><br /><br /></div>"The world's largest mobile phone maker Nokia, planning an aggressive push into video gaming, said it has agreed to acquire Japanese game maker Sega's multiplayer online games business. Finland's Nokia said late on Tuesday the deal related to assets of Sega.com Inc., including Sega's Network Application Package, or SNAP, a computer server technology which is designed to form the core of networked game play. The value of the deal was not disclosed, but a Nokia spokesman said the purchase price was "immaterial to Nokia." Nokia has some 10 billion euros ($11.11 billion) of cash and cash equivalents in the bank. An industry source told Reuters that the purchase amounted to less than one billion yen ($8.44 million)."<br /><br />Hmm. $8.4 million is a drop in the bucket for Nokia, and it seems that Sega's foray into the multiplayer gaming world wasn't a very successful one if the assets are only worth that much. Still, SEGA isn't a brand to be taken lightly, and Nokia must have seen some value in buying up their assets.<br /><br />There's an interesting contrast between the mobile phone and console gaming world. Work with me here...in the Xbox world, Microsoft makes the hardware, and they own and operate the Xbox Live infrastructure. When a developer makes a game, they have that infrastructure to plug into. In the mobile phone world with Smartphones, Microsoft has no such initiatives underway (that I'm aware of), making them similar to Sony who (I believe) leaves it up to the developer to implement a multiplayer system. In this instance, Nokia is taking Microsoft's approach: they see the value in having a system in place, and know they'll see far more multiplayer games coming to market if the developers can focus on their game rather than the multiplayer plumbing.<br /><br />So the question is, if Nokia has figured this out, why hasn't Microsoft?

Kris Kumar
08-21-2003, 07:38 AM
1. Microsoft is not trendsetter...they wait for a pattern to emerge...and then swoop in to capture it. Plus their cash reserve is so huge that they can mobilize things or acquire things once they are sure the market is worth it.
2. I believe in the online gaming world Microsoft has the best infrastructure & operating model (users pay one fee, instead of Sony's per game). Once they establish the Smartphone platform and wifi/cell Pocket PCs become common, I believe they can apply the XBOX stuff for Cell gaming.
3. Cell phone networks are not reliable/mature to support online real time gaming...I can see potential for SMS powered games like Chess, Checkers, Snake & Ladder :-) or maybe word games like Scrabbles...but the typical PC/Console games cannot be played online I guess, not for a couple of years. Any game where the player has to wait for his turn can be SMS driven which is far more reliable then GPRS sadly...Card Games..I guess I have given enough ideas ;-) Now here's a crazy idea...SMS (rather MMS) driven Strip Poker (best when played on phones with Camera)..


PS : If anyone is planning on making any of the above games..can I get a royalty..plz ;-)