Console and Mobile Gaming
I was supposed to post this earlier, so this is pretty much old news by now, but if you had heard it-Hideo Kojima (famously known for his work in Metal Gear series) just left Konami and they had also announced that they were going to cancel production on the upcoming Silent Hill game on the PS4, which was originally planned to be a joint-project with both Konami and Kojima (detailed summary in the above video). A lot of people are extremely disappointed, considering the potential this game had, but some people think it’s a sound business decision from Konami-as they had already earned a profitable revenue from mobile gaming and pachinko, and they are not about to risk years and millions of money into producing an AAA game.
The interesting thing about this is that if you were to think back to several years ago, one wouldn’t be able to imagine mobile gaming would get as huge as they are now. They are just a minor thing used to kill time in between “downtime” of an extremely busy day, but the market for mobile gaming had been growing stronger and stronger. It at first, started with some obscure mobile apps, but now, even established video game studios like Square-Enix, Konami and Sega had entered the mobile gaming scene. One of the reason why mobile gaming had grown so much is of convenience: for both the creator and consumer. Producing these small, minor games on smartphones is definitely more easier than AAA console titles. Just in case, the released product doesn’t sell very well, they also risk less since production isn’t costly. In contrast, producing an AAA title nowadays require years of production, and millions of dollars to invest, it’s a very risky gamble.
On the consumer side, there is a growing market need for mobile gaming, especially for busy people who frequently commute to work, school or who is generally on-the-go. I think it at first, is just a secondary necessity, but it grew and grew as more people needed these mobile games. As they barely have time to play games on their home consoles, these quick, brief entertainment on their smartphones or tablets is the perfect way to kill time in train, or bus-they don’t need to worry about finding the next save point or skipping a lengthy cutscene. It also helps that phones are the one device that they will ALWAYS bring with them, and are definitely less bulkier than say-a foldable double screen 3DS, or a Vita wider than a PS controller.
As someone who grow up with a traditional gaming mindset, I will be lying if I say I’m not worried. The only mobile game I had on my phone is LLSIF, I had other mobile games before which I just lost interest in as time goes on. I had Summoner’s War, which I only barely just completed the tutorials, and I never play games like Clash of Clans, Bravely Frontier and Candy Crush. Despite everyone around me playing them, I just don’t feel attached to any of them, not even as simple “time-killers”, and I would rather kill time some other way. There’s also the fact that these games mostly require internet connection, and it’s not like I have them whenever I go.
I understand the need for mobile gaming, but if it overwhelm the presence of AAA titles, that will be disappointing. Ideally for me, it will be perfect if there’s a balance of both AAA and mobile gaming titles, appealing to both casual and traditional gamers, but studios seem to be more reliant on mobile gaming nowadays.
Then again, it’s not like it effects me that heavily at this stage so maybe I’m just being paranoid-but the changes in gaming trend had effected me enough to take notice, at least, enough for me to want to mention it in some form. What will happen if in the future, the only titles available on sale are these mobile gaming titles? That would really be sad and I’m not sure where a traditional gamer like me would fit in.
What do you think of mobile gaming?
Note: Portable gaming consoles like 3DS and Vita take a backseat in this discussion. Those are a little tricky since they have both major AAA games and smartphone-esque quick-burst entertainment games.