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Building BRIC

Thursday, May 11, 2006, 12:42PM EST

For the trade, part of the appeal of mobile gaming is its potential to go international. Observers believe consumers in the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China) will be unable or unwilling to spend their new-found cash on console games, but will buy mobile downloads. At present the BRIC countries have 645 million subscribers, 42 percent of the world total.

Not surprisingly an army of local developers has emerged to serve these "nontraditional" markets. Russian Mobile Entertainment, for example, launched in March 2004 and had notched up more than 2 million downloads by the middle of 2005. The company has acquired Western brands like Playboy but also served the local audience with movie tie-ins like Beemer.

The Chinese market is arguably the biggest prize of all. It’s why Gameloft, Mforma, and others have bases there. However, in-roads are also being made by "local" developers such as Singapore’s Mikoishi and Korea’s Gamevil.

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