You can thank the almighty Pearl for this one, folks:
Is that BlackBerry owner tapping out a crucial e-mail message, or playing just one more round of Asphalt: Urban GT 2?
Gameloft, a leading maker of games for cellphones, plans to announce today that it is bringing its line of mobile games to the BlackBerry in hopes of grabbing a chunk of the device’s expanding market.
To date, Gameloft’s titles have been available for download onto hundreds of models of cellphones, but the company did not see much point in bringing them to the boxy, drab devices used almost exclusively by business professionals. But with BlackBerry models now equipped with better graphics and multimedia features, and the sleek new Pearl available for about $200 with a service plan, the market is changing, and software companies like Gameloft and Magmic see an opportunity.
Apart from the racing game Asphalt: Urban GT 2, Gameloft’s titles for the BlackBerry will include a poker game, a battle simulation game, Midnight Pool and games based on the television shows “Desperate Housewives” and “Lost.” But Gonzague de Vallois, vice president for publishing at Gameloft, said he suspected that one of the bigger sellers with the traditional BlackBerry crowd is likely to be Pro Golf 2007, which features Vijay Singh, a P.G.A. champion.
With the release of the Pearl in September, R.I.M. modified the design of the BlackBerry to create a more consumer-friendly smartphone, with a sleeker form as well as a camera and MP3 player. The Pearl competes with stylish smartphones from Nokia, Motorola and Palm.
“The BlackBerry Pearl was designed to attract new customers that hadn’t considered BlackBerry previously,” Mr. Guibert said. And those customers tend to play games.