Wap phone users will soon be able to play games with other users via their handsets, following the signing of a licensing deal between Nokia and several games developers today.
Chess, bridge and the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy adventure game are among the games expected to be offered to users of any Wap phone, not only Nokia models. The Finnish telecoms giant said it has registered more than 300 developers to its development scheme, called Mobile Entertainment Service.
While Nokia's publicity said the deal would result in "thrilling, interactive entertainment" for Wap users, the company said graphic content would appeal more to crossword fans than console junkies.
Graham Stafford, head of publishing at Nokia internet communications, said the games would not be "visually rich content, but more intellectual rich content".
"The games will appeal to those that like to do crosswords. The content will be simple text-based adventures and will not compete with games consoles but complement them," he said.
UK software company Oxford Softworks will develop 10 board games for Nokia's entertainment service. The company publishes games such as bridge, chess, backgammon and several strategy games.
Nokia has also signed up US publisher Activision to encode text-adventure games, such as Zork, Planetfall, h2g2 and the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, for Wap-enabled devices.
Games will be offered by mobile network operators rather than Nokia itself. Stafford said the first operator deal will go live in six weeks and the services should be available by the end of the year.
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