Hello fellow geeks and travelers! I know it has been quite some time since my last post. I have been hard at work trying to become a better writer and learn more about being an online businessman. Anyway, I wanted to start a conversation with the video game community about something that has come up recently.
With some recent announcements and angry internet commentators, people might think that mobile games are terrible. Some may assume that mobile games are for casual gamers but is that a bad thing? I don’t believe that the quality of a game should be tied to what platform it is on. They have placed big name games like Diablo and Fortnite (iOS/Android) on your phone, so why are these games still seen as though they are sub-par or a lower tier of gaming?
This post is a question to everyone out there with an opinion on this subject because, for the life of me, I really don’t understand why the term “Mobile Game” strikes everyone with the same disgust as the terms “Indie Game” or “Downloadable Game” from the early 2000s.
For every zero-brained Jerry’s Game (iOS/Android) that is on your mobile device, there are games like Marvel Future Fight (iOS/Android). While I wouldn’t call Marvel Future Fight as skill-based as a Dark Souls game, I would say that there is skill involved in timing damage procs and there is some thought needed to equip characters with stat manipulating gear. Even apps like Pokemon Go (iOS/Android) require some sort of talent when it comes to throwing - or swiping - the Pokeball at a pokemon.
Yes of course, like I mentioned, there are games on the app store and the play store that are just made to tap your way to victory, but sometimes that doesn’t make it less of a game. If I put money into a slot machine and pressed a button instead of pulling a lever, does that mean I gambled less? No, absolutely not. I believe a game is still a game no matter how it is played.
Hours of Game-time
I often receive the question,
“How many hours do you have in ______ game?”
The question is usually asked for longer games like RPG titles, but I have never been asked this question for arcade style games. Does gameplay time have something to do with the game as a whole? The time I put into a game does not reflect on the game itself. Time simply measures my enjoyment level.
The two games I have put the most time into this year were Destiny 2 and Marvel Future Fight. While I enjoyed Destiny 2 for over 300 hours and Marvel Future Fight for more than 1,200 hours, I wouldn’t say that Marvel Future Fight is a better game than Destiny 2, nor would I say the opposite. I enjoy both games equally, despite the time I have invested. Marvel Future Fight has a lot of autoplay game modes, but I still have to count that as time played because I have the game up and running in front of me.
Marvel Future Fight’s autoplay feature is an essential grinding mechanic that is mostly for repeating campaign chapters for acquiring character materials and in-game currency and consumables. The grind in video games can vary significantly between titles, so it becomes impossible to measure the quality of a game by something as simple as time spent playing. Marvel Future Fight does not become a better game because the grind is longer.
The Free-to-Play Model
While there may be an argument to be made for Free-to-Play games emerging from the mobile gaming market, it is not the only place for that to happen anymore. Console games like Fortnite have become famous from the Free-to-Play game model. It is a proven way to get a huge player base for a video game.
In more recent times, the Free-to-Play game has become sour. The ever-annoying microtransaction offer pops up on your screen more than porn on your computer. Most payment suggestions are easy to shoo, but then you get that one specific sale that will help you play the game more. At a certain point that is no longer enjoyable for me. The game becomes a money pit. I get it, game developers need to be paid, but why can’t I just give one initial payment?
Your best bet in this situation is self-control. Remember you are only playing a game. Spend a few dollars that you have so you can enjoy yourself, and go about your day knowing you helped the game designers. Free-to-play is not a bad word, but developers can and will get carried away. It is your job to know how much is too much. Stop blaming people for asking for money - which can be considered their job - and start learning how to say no to them. I promise you that after a while the guilt will go away, and it becomes fun to say no.
I just don’t see mobile games as inherently terrible. They are a different form of gaming that has emerged in this age of the “pocket computer.” Just as technology evolves, so do video games. That is how the world works. So next time we get a mobile game announcement, how about we try the game out before we start a riot on Reddit and Twitter?