The (Really) Small Screen Is Entertainment’s Latest Battleground
Digital Chocolate focuses solely on developing games and applications for mobile phones. According to founder and chief executive Trip Hawkins (employee No. 68 at Apple Computer before he left that company in 1982 to start Electronic Arts), “Content is just a means to an end, so there’s something to talk about,” he said. In other words, social connection trumps all.
Accordingly, Digital Chocolate’s creations appear decidedly low-tech, the easiest-to-use games possible without fancy graphics or elaborate storytelling. And its newest games and entertainments are designed to foster conversation and flirting.
Needless to say, plenty of entertainment and media companies do not share that pointed opinion. From Hollywood to the Bristol, Conn., campus of ESPN, companies are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to adapt their current brands in television, movies, games and news and information to the tiny screens of mobile phones, and creating new programming. Ultimately, whoever guesses correctly the kind of bite-sized, time-wasting distractions people want to snack on over their phones could be showered with a bonanza of profits, at a time when technology is squeezing the traditional businesses of media and entertainment companies.
Lorne Manly. For Tiny Screens, Some Big Dreams. The New York Times. May 21, 2006.
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