We've all tried mobile games once in awhile and some of us have even played them often. Do mobile games really have an audience and are the titles on it really all that compelling?
Why Mobile Gaming May Be 'Not For You'
Unlike PC and consoles, the relativity of mobile games become a side-step for video game experience as their not only inferior but due to constraints, other things have to be sacrificed and makes the game either a run of the mill or not worth the players time. Usually both. But what does mobile gaming “not for you” mean?
If you've looked up on the App Store or the Play Store, you'll notice that the trend for these sort of games are free and usually played in short bursts. One of the better if not best experiences of paid mobile games would be Monument Valley because it isn't too taxing on the phone and doesn't use as much battery, in addition to amazing gameplay. So what is it keeping mobile gamers back on purchasing the products? Well, as one who have not bought any, I may or may not be the best to judge but I do have a few reasons for so.
The market for mobile games has become over-saturated of the same build your base and grow your army and attack enemies and grow your base some more types. And to be fair, it's getting pretty annoying and irritating to say the least. I'm not saying these games are bad considering the huge communities that play it, but there's just been too much of the same so what developers immediately think of are the ways to gain popularity. These genres are pretty easy to rise through because you can garner a community out of it and add in some micro-transactions after. While most PC and console developers are doing the same implementing such an act to get even more money from their gamers, it's rightly so mobile games have a share of blame for such atrocity.
And micro-transactions can be both good and bad in numerous ways. It manifests itself overtime as players occasionally takes an advantage over it when it comes to PvP (Player vs Player) scenarios and are often labelled “pay to win” because cash usually merits victory. I don't blame the players for doing so though when you think of it, considering all they're aiming for is to gain an advantage over other players as fast as possible so they can skip the grinding. Hearthstone has such a system and while it's had its complaints, for the people who don't want to spend time grinding quests a day just for a pack, it's easy to see why.
So why is mobile gaming ‘not for you’? Well, specifically the gamers themselves? It's really a common problem altogether: mobile games are usually treated as a casual experience for those who play while on transports and don't have an hour to spend. The longevity of these games becomes much less overwhelming (Angry Birds) and so they are much more popular. When we've heard Konami talk about drinking from the tap that is mobile gaming, it's quite possible that they would fail much earlier than they would've expected. There are exceptions such as the recently released XCOM, but even that isn't an experience close to the PC and/or consoles.
Developers don't see it that way. There are some which argue that $4 is cheap because you usually spend it on coffee or whatever the hell the price can get you so you can instead spend that money on their game while knowing that the game isn't really worth your time all that much. There are others who understand the value of free to play and implementing micro-transactions because it's ultimately a cash cow for the companies. Clash of Clans and Game of War, while both free, understand the concept that players play in short bursts, so that whenever they return to their base they have something to do, be it gold, farm or whatever it is. Micro-transactions appear to speed things up, and while indecently so, it's a way for the companies to earn money.
To refute other developer claims that money is a small issue, I'd like them to take a look at the games mentioned above and try it. Because it is disgusting to say so at the least, especially when your target base has games that can be bought cheaper elsewhere (Steam) and have much more enjoyable hours because they offer an experience rather than “trying to be different” and falling on their faces everytime. Mobile gamers have deep pockets, but are you really going to convince them to not try but to buy it based on the fact that it is unlike the games they've played?
For gamers, well, the answer is really short and simple. While there have been alternatives such as Vain & Glory that has been popular but doesn't follow the trend, it's great to see. Still, nobody is really going to find it more rewarding than a game on PC on games like League of Legends or even Dota 2.
While the cogent answer may not be overwhelming, it's really up to the gamers to know which game is for them. Unfortunately for those looking for anything other than casual games, there's no rough diamonds to be found. Maybe in the unforeseeable future will we see expanded gameplay with un-simplistic features., but one can only hope that developers see it the way players do.
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Benny Ong: Just your regular guy who likes soccer more than most people, and also a little downtime is pretty nice.