I remember the tech press hype in the US when it originally came out, it had an innovative gaming concept that tapped into the zeitgeist of conspiracy theory entertainment like The X Files (remember them) and 24. Majestic was a game by Electronic Arts (under the fictional name of Anim-X) that was very innovative in its approach. Players were wrapped in an online game that charged a subscription (a business model since copied by the likes of Xbox Live etc). The game communicated to users not only through the software, but via web sites, video messages, emails and faxes.
Unfortunately the plug was pulled on the game in 2002 because it did not have a sufficient amount of players to make it financially viable. However, now the time maybe right, the extension of game play into every aspect of their online lives would make it much more powerful.
Think about it; Second Life avatars, IM messages, comments on their MySpace profile, voicemail to their mobile phone, SMS texts, mysterious contacts on LinkedIn, mysterious pictures on Flickr and videos seeded on Bit Torrents. It would be much more powerful because of the seamless integration of offline and online for younger people.
Convergence, utilising ‘free web services’ and a regular revenue stream would make this of interest to mobile operators, media companies and everyone in between.
Talking of games for a cheap January I am going old school and getting a copy of Risk.