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High-end, 3D games grow new market opportunities

by Kristen Nicole

With Android remaining the top mobile OS in the nation, its gaming sector is spawning plenty of activity and innovation. EA and Gameloft are two leaders in this space, looking to perfect mobile gaming monetization. This week, EA released a free version of Tetris, while Gameloft unveiled a new Android HD+ gamers club, where members get a new Gameloft game to download every week, as long as they pay the £0.99 weekly subscription. The Gameloft Club is currently limited to the UK, but it’s another example of how Gameloft tries a few different tactics to attract gamers, both inside and outside the Android Market.

High-end games grow in UK

EA’s been gaining interest in the Android ecosystem, especially with the growing support around high-end devices that enhance the gaming experience. A handful of EA games have been launched as an exclusive promo for the Xperia Play, with Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit being the latest. In fact, EA’s made this game even more exclusive by limiting it to its Flexion Store, also based in the UK. Completely removing the Android Market from the picture, at least for early promotional releases, seems to be a trend, and one that’s distinctly growing overseas. Football fans in the states, however, can enjoy this week’s release of Madden NFL 12 on the Android Market.

Neither EA nor Gameloft are slowing down. Gameloft’s working on the next installment of the Modern Combat series, with the upcoming release of Modern Combat 3: Fallen Nation. It’s a first-person shooter built on its own proprietary game engine, indicating Gameloft is pouring some serious resources into its mobile game catalog.

3D games gain developer support

3D gaming is also an area of interest for developers, and LG is hoping to make significant strides in this space. At the upcoming IFA conference in Berlin, LG will reveal a 3D game conversion engine, turning 2D games into 3D optimized games. And for end-users, the converter will change game settings on the device, enhancing 2D games for 3D play. The LG Optimus 3D will be the first to run the converter, scheduled for release in October.

In the meantime, TSG Studios has begun production on a 3D MMORPG, Destiny of Ares, set for an upcoming release on Android. The game looks to be a sci-fi title, where three main races battle for world domination. Each race has its own segmented classes, giving you a social status to strive towards. Each race has its own strengths and weaknesses, and can work together for big challenges. It will be an interesting game concept to say the least, and demonstrates the rising hopes for 3D mobile gaming.