Trek Cell Phone Games In Development

By Christian
April 24, 2001 - 11:15 PM

In the 23rd Century, Captain James T. Kirk was only able to contact the Enterprise with his Communicator. Thanks to Digital Bridges, 21st-Century cell phone owners will soon also be able to control the Enterprise and a whole set of other Starfleet vessels.

Activision, the company owning the Star Trek gaming license, and Digital Bridges, a wireless entertainment company, announced today they have started development on two games set in the Star Trek universe: 'First Duty' and 'Prime Directive.'

'First Duty' will give players an introduction to Starfleet, allowing them to learn about the principles and philosophy of the Federation and to command key stations on board major Starfleet vessels. Graduation students "are qualified for immediate action postings," the company promises, though exactly how much action the game will be able to deliver on the small, low-quality cell phone screens is unknown.

'Prime Directive' seems to be a far more ambitious undertaking, and is described as a massively multi-player game in which up to ten thousand people will be able to take part at the same time. In the game, Starfleet ships will be exploring the 'Caledonian Expanse,' a vast tract of uncharted space, which was recently linked to Federation space via a new wormhole. Skills learned in the 'First Duty' game will be put to use in 'Prime Directive.

"It's a fantastic honor to be able to develop games based in the world famous Star Trek universe [and] we are planning to do something really special," Digital Bridges' Chris Wright said. "Star Trek: Prime Directive is going to completely redefine how people think of games on the Wireless Internet. It all takes place in a persistent universe, so the game will continue whether you are on-line or not."

Though one might wonder how cell phones will even be technologically capable of delivering "something really special," Digital Bridges CEO Kevin Bradshaw said there were great possibilities. "People have been criticizing wireless gaming because of the technical limits of the handsets and data speeds," he admitted. "However, your cell phone offers possibilities which no other technology can match. Imaginesitting in a boardroom or classroom, when your phone bleeps and delivers a message telling you, your ship is under attack. You know that you're going to stand up and say 'Excuse me. I have to take this..."

'First Duty' is scheduled for release in the second quarter of this year, giving players three months to practice their starship command skills before 'Prime Directive' comes out in the third quarter. No information is yet available on pricing or distribution methods.

For more information, please check out the original press release.

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