Nokia plugs technology hole with Sega technology

Moving to plug a hole in its ambitious expansion into online multiplayer games, Nokia has agreed to acquire back-end server technology from Sega.

Under a deal announced Wednesday, Nokia will acquire for an undisclosed amount Sega.com whose primary asset is the multiplayer gaming software, Sega Network Application Package (SNAP), the Espoo, Finland, mobile phone manufacturer said in a statement.

"Development of online multiplayer games requires server technology, which has been missing at Nokia," Ilkka Raiskinen, senior vice president of mobile entertainment and media business at Nokia, said in a conference call. "Today's announcement will change this."

Nokia plans to incorporate SNAP technology into its N-Gage wireless gaming device, scheduled to begin shipping worldwide on Oct. 7, as well as several other terminals, according to Raiskinen. The Finnish company and Sega.com have been collaborating on this front for the past six months, he said.

In February, Nokia announced plans to launch its new N-Gage device, which is both a games console and cell phone. The device offers both Bluetooth short-range wireless networking capability, which allows gamers to play with others in the same room, and GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) connectivity to enable multiplayer online gaming over a wide area network, Raiskinen said.

With SNAP technology, Nokia expects to bring online games to market faster because its software engineers will now have direct access to back-end network technology, thus speeding up product development and testing cycles, according to Raiskinen.

"Also, by owning Sega.com, we will have control of the future roadmap of SNAP technology, allowing us to better align the back-end technology with the games running over the N-Gage game deck," said Pasi Polonen, director of games publishing at Nokia.

Calling the acquisition a "perfect fit," Sega.com Chief Operating Officer Gerard Wiener said the deal will allow Nokia to take the gaming industry, in general, and SNAP technology, in particular, to "a whole other level." He referred to the technology as a key building block for developing community games.

Nokia will license SNAP technology to third parties, including other console vendors, publishers and network operators, Raiskinen said.

The Finnish company declined to comment on whether Sega.com, which is located in San Francisco, is profitable.

Another Nokia spokeswoman, Kenya Rodgers, earlier said Sega.com's 51 employees will all get offers to join Nokia, while the company's San Francisco office will become part of Nokia Mobile Phones' Entertainment and Media unit.

The network entertainment unit of Japan's Sega group, Sega.com built the first Internet-enabled games console, according to Wiener.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Blau

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?