Earlier today, Verizon and GameTanium released info on their new game subscription service for mobile devices, this once again proving that the world is still, despite all other greatnesses, unable to reconcile with the high cost of smartphones and tablets. We're in a place right now where it's actually quite normal, at least across the USA, for a person to own a mobile device that has access to the internet. What isn't normal is the idea that a person would own one of these magical tiny computers without a little bit of some video game action embedded within.
The service that Verizon and GameTanium have released today is one in which you can add just a bit more to your monthly data bill in exchange for unlimited access to a vast set of games that would normally cost a one-time fee. This makes access seem invisible while the cost shows up on your monthly bill. Much in the same way that the world has become addicted to using credit cards because you don't physically see your money leaving your account, so too has carrier billing become an awesome way for carriers (such as Verizon) to create a friendly environment for max cash transfers.
This game hub they're promoting is part of a much greater wave of similar techniques.
NVIDIA did it, Qualcomm is still trying to do it, and several other groups have their own game hubs for Android devices in an effort to make the whole app-finding experience easy enough for the common person to access. At the carrier level, it's set to work, leading skeptical prospective smartphone buyers to see the value in owning a device that costs them tens of dollars a month rather than fives.
If you're on the fence about buying a smartphone instead of a feature phone with nothing more than text and voice, a package full of games is just the ticket to drive you in. Smartphones have had one or two games on them since the dawn of the smartphone in general, now Verizon and GameTanium are taking this method up a notch.
Will it work?
It sure as heck is working for NVIDIA.
As for the carrier end of things, we'll see over the next few months. We're staying in close contact with Verizon on this one, so we'll let you know!