Social Gaming Platform Mobage Set to Become Bloatware for AT&T Android Users?

Last week I told you about Mobage and its release to the western world. Mobage is a social gaming platform that is extremely popular in overseas countries like Japan. While popular overseas, I had many doubts about their success here in the states, especially since they would have to compete against U.S. established platforms such as OpenFeint. With so many other popular social gaming platforms in the U.S. market, I was very curious to see how NGMOCO was going to convince users to try Mobage. Thanks to an announcement yesterday by AT&T, I now have my answer. They’re going to shove it down peoples throats.

Yesterday, AT&T announced its partnership with NGMOCO to bring Mobage to AT&T Android customers. What I’m failing to understand is just how AT&T plans on “bringing Mobage” to Android customers. I mean, Mobage is a free app already available on the Android Market to anyone with a supported Android device. What is AT&T going to do that is different than the Android Market? The only thing I can come up with is that they plan on having Mobage come pre-installed on all of their Android devices. That means more bloatware for consumers who could easily download the application from the Android Market should they ever want it.

Why do carriers insist on making decisions for us? I’m really hoping they allow the app to be removed (without root) should a customer decide on making their own decisions about what is and what is not on their device. It’s one thing to suggest an app but to force it on consumers without the option to remove is just tyrannical.

I am of course merely speculating about the details regarding this partnership, but my gut is giving me that nauseating tingle and I can’t help but be cynical. If you’d like to read the press release just click on the link below.

Source: AT&T via Android Central

[spoiler show=”Press Release”]

AT&T and NGMOCO Announce Agreement to Bring Popular Social Gaming Platform MOBAGE to AT&T Android Customers

Dallas, Texas, San Francisco, California, August 04, 2011

AT&T* and mobile social games company ngmoco, a wholly-owned subsidiary of DeNA Co. Ltd. (2432: T), today announced an agreement to bring the Mobage social gaming platform to AT&T customers. Mobage will serve as a hub for AT&T Android users to discover and play games, as well as connect and communicate with other players around the world.

The agreement is the first of its kind between ngmoco and a U.S. wireless carrier.

“Games are consistently among the most popular entertainment apps for smartphones,” said Ted Woodbery, vice president, Wireless Data, Voice and Ancillary Services, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. “We are pleased to be the first U.S. wireless carrier to work with ngmoco and look forward to giving our Android customers access to the rich Mobage gaming catalog later this year.”

“AT&T has been a leader in the smartphone revolution in many ways,” said Neil Young, CEO, ngmoco. “We are delighted to bring Mobage to the massive group of Android users on the network.”

AT&T customers will be able to find the Mobage app conveniently on Android Market where they can easily access the full catalog of Mobage titles as well as connect with the entire Mobage mobile social gaming community.

Mobage, currently in beta in North America, is the premiere destination for mobile users to play high-quality social games with a vibrant global community. Mobage is committed to empowering the world’s best game-makers by providing easy-to-use tools and a platform for developing blockbuster content for consumers around the world. Developers interested in bringing games to Mobage can get more information at

The agreement builds on the growing popularity of mobile social games. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

About AT&T
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates – AT&T operating companies – are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation’s fastest mobile broadband network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet and voice services. A leader in mobile broadband, AT&T also offers the best wireless coverage worldwide, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries. It also offers advanced TV services under the AT&T U-verse® and AT&T | DIRECTV brands. The company’s suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world. In domestic markets, AT&T Advertising Solutions and AT&T Interactive are known for their leadership in local search and advertising.

Additional information about AT&T Inc. and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at This AT&T news release and other announcements are available at and as part of an RSS feed at Or follow our news on Twitter at @ATT. Find us on Facebook at to discover more about our consumer and wireless services or at to discover more about our small business services.

© 2011 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved. Mobile broadband not available in all areas. AT&T, the AT&T logo and all other marks contained herein are trademarks of AT&T Intellectual Property and/or AT&T affiliated companies.[/spoiler]

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