GDC: AFK Interactive Brings the MMO Experience to Your Phone
Some of you World of Warcraft addicts may be familiar with Blizzard's Armory app for iPhone that lets you keep track of your character and guild, and generally blurs the line between your online and offline world. Running with that same concept is AFK Interactive, which has created a mobile development platform that will bring similar functionality to all kinds of mobile phones, including "dumb" ones.
AFK Interactive's technology is currently used in an app for the MMO (massively-multiplayer online game) Fallen Earth. The app offers features likecharacter profiles and guild and player chat, as well as auction house bidding and item crafting. AFK had this app running the on Android, Blackberry, WinMo, and iPhone at this year's Game Developers Conference.
But most interesting was the J2ME app running on a typical, run-of-the-mill dumb phone. It seems smartphones are getting all the fun stuff nowadays, but AFK breaks the mold by bringing its apps to baseline products.
Currently only the Fallen Earth MMO makes use of this new development; its app will launch in April or May of this year. If more MMO developers take interest we may see a new relationship between the MMO and mobile space. Features that we may see in the future include support for in-game purchasing and level grinding on the go.
Do you want your game following you everywhere? Sometimes it's nice to take a break from an MMO and not have your guild hounding you for one more dungeon run. Just the same, it's nice to have the option to communicate with your online friends and manage your game assets.