Namco Networks and Handmark are making a collection of Namco games available on Research In Motion (RIM) BlackBerry devices under the “Pac-Man Fever” category.
Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Galaga, Dig Dug and Super Pac-Man are available for download through the “Pac-Man Fever” games category within Handmark online and on-device stores.
Namco has supplied games to work on the BlackBerry platform for more than a year, but Handmark’s “Fever” category devoted to its games is new, according to Jason Ford, vice president of strategy and planning at Namco Networks. Namco games work on a broad range of devices, from Java to BREW and the Apple iPhone. (Those who have the first version of the iPhone, which initially wasn’t designed for gaming, can download 2.0 software for free and get access to the Apple application store, where they can get the games.)
While BlackBerrys historically were for the enterprise, that doesn’t mean enterprise users aren’t playing games. Ford said he sat on a plane next to an executive who played a game for the duration of the 3+-hour flight, and it turned out that his fellow passenger was the CEO of a pharmaceutical company. But when Ford asked whether he would admit to a market researcher that he was playing games, the answer was “no.”
Namco’s games for cell phones typically range from $3 a month for a subscription and up to $15 for unlimited play on a smartphone.
As far as Namco executives can tell, people are buying mobile games despite what’s happening in the broad economy. People might want to get their mind off their economic troubles and take a break by playing a game. “A few dollars gets you a lot of fun and a lot of playable value,” Ford said.