Net Neutrality & Mobile Gaming Parallels

Lawrence Lessig links to a RampRate market commentary about how Net Neutrality” will seriously hurt online gaming. Like global warming, with Net Neutrality I’ve had a bunch of articles shoved in my face and expected to take them as fact and act upon them vs. discussion, research into the facts, and a clear, widely accepted tangible solution. So, while I get the general idea and thus threat of Net Neutrality I’m still extremely skeptical. Congress is 1 for 1 for me on the with regards to the internet. Their prevention of online taxes for so long is perceived for me as awesome to spur growth. Ted Steven’s rant about tubes, while not a neccessarey true representation of the tech knowledge of my Senate, still doesn’t seem to bode well. I’m indifferent about online gambling.

In short, not sure what to think.

For the sake of disscussion, let’s assume Network Neutrality truly means speed prioritization of internet service based on paying a higher fee to Internet Service Providers. The article makes a really good comparison to Mobile based on this assumption in the ” Parallels with Mobile” section, specifically mobile gaming. I think this could apply to any mobile software service, though, since they have the same distribution mechinism. Their bullet points pretty much summarzie my attitude as a developer towards Flash Lite, at least as a USA developer. Mainly being forced to assume insane business risk with weird revenue sharing, no easy access to the direct consumer, and having success held on the thread of being “chosen” by the operator to be put on the phone if they “feel like it”.

I know of one guy in the US here in Atlanta doing work for oversea’s mobile clients. That’s just one guy, and yet, any Flash Developer is hard to judge “the rest of the market” by because we are so small in number compared to other software programmer industries.

Anyway, this paragraph summarized it for me; the whole bloody section hit home:

In short, when the network controlled the content, developers could not effectively iterate towards improvement or be fairly rewarded for their accomplishments. Their businesses and products suffered, which in turn severely retarded market development. Mobile gaming today is probably better on an original GameBoy than on the latest smartphone. And for all the limitless possibilities of using unique portability and location features to create new gaming communities, there is no World of Warcraft or Everquest or Second Life on mobile. If IP networks become akin to mobile networks in their restrictiveness, we may all find out why billion dollar revenue generators such as these die off.

That “Parallels with Mobile” section is to me an accurate assessment of the mobile industry as perceived by a wanna-be Flash Lite developer right now. As such, if that accurate assessment is also an accurate assessment of Network Neutrality with regards to online gaming, yeah, major suck ahead, hard to port! The #1 problem with online gaming is lag, and if Network Neutrality increases ping time vs. the trend that has continued for years in ping time being LOWERED, then well… bummer.

I’m not saying my life would be a different place if her majesty had said “lol” 8 seconds later vs. 1 second… I just wonder if it would of even happened online in the first place had Network Neutrality actually come to fruition when Star Wars Galaxies first started. Scary thought.

One Reply to “Net Neutrality & Mobile Gaming Parallels”

  1. We at the Hands Off the Internet coalition believe that no good can come from Congressional regulation of the Internet. As evidenced by Senator Stevens’ comments, understanding of technological issues as complex as net neutrality is severely lacking, and any legislation passed though Congress will only serve to encumber growth and stiffle inovation on the Internet. You can read more about our coalition and our stance on net neutrality be visiting us at

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