Editor’s Note: This is in fact a soapbox rant. If that is your thing, read on. If not, sorry.
We have long been supporters of the theory that mobile games are really causing problems for the industry. Their impact can not be ignored, as you can now publish a mobile game of poor quality and use it to found an empire of terrible games. A bad situation continues to grow worse, as now Activision is in talks to create a mobile initiative with Flurry. Nothing is set in stone yet, but they are in talks.
The Company they are Making the Mobile Games Initiative with; Flurry
Flurry is perhaps not an ill-intentioned site in itself. They help mobile developers advertise, and promote various apps of all sizes. They are no more evil than most marketing firms.
What this Means for Mobile Games and Games in General
For mobile games, this means that we will get the treatment all big companies now give games. They will continue to deliver a sub-par product for huge prices, while claiming it is made of platinum. If anyone objects, we will be told that we are entitled, even though they have no clue what that word means. At the same time we will see the market flooded with games of this type and style. But some people see no problem. In a market of mobile games already filled with garbage, what is a little more trash?
The Problem is that Mobile Games that are Trash Still Sell
Angry Birds is immensely popular and sells hugely. It cannot hold a candle to any of the legendary games we grew up with. As a matter of fact, it cannot stack up to any of well-done mobile games of today, of which there are few. And it is still a better game than the vast majority of terrible games which are bought every day. There will come a day when there is no place for decent games, and we are seeing it built with things such as the Activision – Flurry partnership.
Why “There Will Always be Good Games as Long as Someone Buys Them” is a Deeply Flawed Argument
History, and the charts, show that bad games sell very well still. Casual games, in particular, sell immensely well despite a lack of depth and storytelling. The major releases that would have been a “Chrono Trigger” in the past are now some sub-par sequels to Final Fantasy. The depth of Front Mission has been replaced with the casual Front Mission Evolved. These are but a few examples of the major problem. NCsoft now makes games with huge amounts of grinding.
Mobile Games are not the Whole Problem
The sad truth is that there will not always be a place for good games. Even refuges for small developers such as Kickstarter are being taken over by larger companies such as EA and now, ironically, Double Fine games is too big to talk with small people. The former indie people are now the big guys stepping on the rest of the industry, and the cycle is only getting worse. Do we have a solution? No, not really, other than we don’t buy games from those we see as toxic. Nor do we give them positive coverage. We hope you see the problem and feel the same way.