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Kevin Smith

Speirtech Expands Its Horizons

7 November 2002

Wireless gaming developer Speirtech Ltd. announced a new addition to its casino games platform this week.

The Irish company has rolled out a full-color, upgraded WAP gaming platform aimed at bringing upgraded casino games to a wider ranger of wireless devices throughout Europe.

In August, Speirtech teamed up Logica, another wireless developer, and rolled out a whole new platform for casino game development. That system, MMSC (Multimedia Messaging Service Center), is designed for fruit games, slot machines and other "one-time" games.

This time around Speirtech thought it was time to upgrade its WAP platform so it could be integrated across more wireless devices.

Managing Director Paul Savage said the company had developed casino games over its WAP platform earlier in the year, but due to the wide array of devices, it was difficult to customize the platform for the various manufacturer devices.

In addition to the full color, which provides for richer graphics and creates a wider array of gaming options, the new WAP upgrade is compatible with nearly half of the wireless units in Europe, Savage said.

The challenge for Speirtech, he said, is to make systems as advanced as possible to accommodate cutting edge devices, but not go to overboard to where "weaker" devices can't support the games.

"Our spread of rendering formats insures that we can get content out to every handset through WML, HTML, c-HTML and, of course, MMS," he said. "Recently the handsets that support MMS have also added support for WML 1.2.1. This version of the markup language allows us to make use of more advanced graphics."

For obvious reasons, color WAP gaming will make casino games much more appealing to users. Savage said decks of cards can now be colored so that hearts are red and spades are black, rather than the different shades of gray as supported by WBMPs.

Savage felt it was important for company's evolution as a developer for the wireless industry to increase its delivery options.

"For Speirtech, color WAP represents another piece in the larger picture of mobile gaming," he said. "Moving from regular WML 1.1-based WAP games right through to J2ME-based games allows us to put in place the building blocks for a system that will deliver the best gaming experience to all mobile users."

Games offered in the new WAP format include video poker, blackjack, roulette, Vegas roulette, baccarat and a fruit machine.

Rolling out newer, sharper games, Savage added, should curtail the negative connotations within the wireless world associated with the WAP format.

"At Speirtech we believe that these factors will finally shatter the 'WAP is crap' perception," he said. "That perception has shadowed the Mobile Internet for too long."

Savage said the system is being tested by one wireless operator, and he's confident that users will be able to tap into it by the first quarter of 2003.

The initial launch will be aimed at consumers in Ireland and the United Kingdom. It will eventually be expanded to the rest of Europe by the second quarter of 2003.

The system would also be gradually upgraded to accommodate more types of wireless devices.

Speirtech was founded in 2000 in Dublin, Ireland by a small group of IT professionals whose vision was to bring easily accessible mobile phone entertainment to everyone.

Savage said the company believes the key to exploiting the potential of mobile gaming lies in the development of world-class casino products that will support play on all handheld devices. Only a handful of industries represent possible revenue streams for wireless operators, he said, and casino gaming leads the pack.

Speirtech Expands Its Horizons is republished from
Kevin Smith
Kevin Smith