Sunday, September 9, 2012
An S&S Perspective: Why Mobile Games Should Be Respected
Over the past few years mobile gaming has seen an explosion in popularity. Unfortunately it also saw what I believe to be an unfair share of criticism. Many people claim mobile games only provide a casual gaming experience, for kids or more lighthearted gamers. Others naysayers offer the explanation that mobile games have caused a decrease in AAA, high-budget games. Either way, many "hardcore" gamers don't respect mobile games, so I'm here to prove why they should.
WIDE SPAN OF GENRES
As I said above, mobile systems have a stigma attached to them that essentially states mobile games are only "casual" games. This is blatant fallacy, as mobile games span a multitude of genres. Take the AppStore for example. You can download two completely different games, such as Dead Trigger and Pocket Planes. They both provide vastly different experiences, for Dead Trigger is an immersive FPS with a compelling story and Pocket Planes is an asynchronous simulator great for playing a few minutes at a time.
INTRODUCED AND POPULARIZED NEW BUSINESS MODELS
The recent increase of mobile games has also spawned a host of new, innovative business models. The most obvious has been the popularization of free games that generate their revenue through in-game advertisement. Many developers have adopted a model commonly know as "freemium," on which the game itself is free, but there are many in-app micro transactions that help generate profits. Some games take the traditional route of just flat out selling their game, although its common to see a mix of many different business models.
Ever since mobile gaming has been "inducted" into mainstream society, it's brought gaming to a much broader audience than any console could ever do. Most smart phone owners have games, no matter how small, on their device. Mobile games enable people who wouldn't consider themselves gamers to play a fun, albeit simple, gaming experience.
Mobile gaming has also introduced a trend that is very easy on your budget. Games on the AppStore, GooglePlay Store, Android Marketplace, and other mobile game distribution services rarely exceed $4.99, with the most common price being $0.99. These low prices in turn create stiff competition between developers, and encourages unique, and intuitive games, so they stand out among the thousands upon thousands of other games.
PROVIDES EASY ACCESS FOR DEVELOPERS
Mobile games distributors (AppStore, Android Marketplace, GooglePlay Store, etc.) have also provided a developers with an easy way to distribute games. They do this by setting up a ridiculously easy certification process, compared to console certification processes, that allows just about anyone to create a mobile game. This easy process in turn attracts a wide variety of developers including one man indie teams to console giant Ubisoft, or Electronic Arts.
***How do you feel about mobile games and their viability as a "true gaming experience"? Sound off in the comment section below!