With the news that Microsoft is going to be launching a new game studio called MGS Mobile Gaming, and is already post job openings for it, there was some concern in the developer world that this would give Microsoft an advantage over third party games.
It is easy to understand the concern but given a statement by Oded Ran, head of Consumer Marketing for Windows Phone, back on June 30th I don’t think that there is really that much to be concerned about.
“There are four million Xboxes in the UK compared to 2.5 million iPhones; we’re now working with developers who know how to make games, and they’re able to port Xbox Arcade games to mobile phones easily,” said Ran.
“Of course we’re not talking about bringing Halo 3 to your mobile phone – users want a 42-inch LCD TV and surround sound to play games like that – but our XNA framework is a big part [of the forthcoming Windows Phone 7 launch devices].”
Ran also pointed out that the same framework is used to create games on Windows 7 PC games, so it’s entirely feasible that multi-platform gaming will play an even bigger part of the launch than previously thought.
I think that Microsoft has realized that their one really big advantage as they try to make a come-back in an extremely crowded mobile space is their games. Whether it be on the desktop, on Xbox Live or now on your Windows Phone 7 I believe that Microsoft wants to do the one thing the other companies can’t and that is create a totally unified gaming platform.
By bringing all the games that are on Xbox Arcade over to the Windows Phone 7 – or at least as many as they can by launch day would be a perfect way for them to seed their app marketplace.