U.K. entertainment retailer HMV is adding mobile gaming to its increasingly diverse business set-up.

In the past 14 months HMV - which has become dominant in that market following the demise of music retail rivals Zavvi and Woolworths - has taken a 50% stake in digital entertainment company 7digital as well as buying out live venue partner Mama Group.

The retailer also has in-store ticketing and has partnered with secondary ticketing company Seatwave on the HMV Ticket Exchange Web site, as well as launching a cinema above a store in Wimbledon, south-west London.

Chief executive Simon Fox's diversification program continues with the latest venture with France Telecom's U.K. mobile operator Orange. Orange already partners with HMV, following the April 2009 announcement that it would install up to 100 mobile concessions in HMV stores.

Orange will now power the new gaming service, HMV Mobile Games, which will be available on all major U.K. mobile networks from March 26. There is free access for Orange customers.

The service works on over 1,000 Java-enabled handsets and offers access to a library of over 400 games, with new titles added every week. Games start at £1 ($1.50), or £3 ($4.50) to £5 ($7.50) for new release and premium games.

Orange customers will be billed directly, while customers on other networks will be charged for the individual cost of each game. Users can also look at reviews and previews of the latest games, download demos for free and purchase games seen in HMV stores and online at hmv.com.

Tim Ellis, head of games at HMV, said the service "demonstrates the kind of added-value benefit that we can deliver to our customers by working in partnership with Orange."