Opinion: Is mobile gaming killing the gaming industry? (Topic)

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Opinion: Is mobile gaming killing the gaming industry?

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The Diablo Immortal scandal clearly demonstrates the degree of dislike for mobile gaming among hardcore gamers, especially when developers are trying to bring their favorite gaming series to smartphones. Since it is obvious that more and more iconic series will try their hand at the field of mobile gaming, let's see if the mobile beast is as scary as it is drawn and whether we will one day wake up with the thought that smartphones and tablets today are the only ones current gaming platform.

More gold needed

Development of computer games is primarily a business aimed at earning maximum profit. Exceptions do happen, but mostly among indie developers who create their own projects "for the soul" in splendid isolation. And as for modern AAA games, they have already approached the standards of the film industry, where several million dollars are spent on product development and promotion. It's even embarrassing to talk about the same budget for Red Dead Redemption 2, given that the game is much larger than GTA 4, on the development of which the Rockstars spent more than $ 100 million and this amount does not include marketing costs.

Under such conditions, mobile games are a real boon for developers, since the requirements for the quality of the product on mobile platforms are much lower, the development cost is lower, and the potential profit can make the eyes of lovers of easy profit catch fire. Few numbers: the number of players on mobile devices by 2018 is 2 billion people, and games like Clash of Clans generate about $ 1 billion in revenue per year.

Clash of Clans

And, oddly enough, but shareware games give a big profit. And all thanks to the so-called additive design. The clever term hides the work of psychologists who study the behavior of players and, based on the data obtained, give advice to developers on how to get more money out of the user's wallet. Some companies even have a separate staff of psychologists working on additive game design.

For more information on additive design, check out a study by the Western edition of Vox.

In general, mobile games are a real capitalist paradise, so there is nothing surprising in the pompous announcement of Diablo Immortal at Blizzcon. And the general hate that has risen around the announcement will even play into the hands of Blizzard. Obviously, some fans of the series will try the game only because of the "Diablo" in the title, and the casual audience playing on mobile devices, for which the game is designed, learned about the existence of Diablo Immortal. And they absolutely do not care about the indignation of hardcore fans, they see only a generally pretty and potentially interesting game, by the standards of mobile gaming, of course.

Should Hardcore Mobile Gamers Be Afraid?

Blizzard are far from the only iconic developers to turn their attention to mobile gaming. Their problem was only that the project for smartphones was positioned as the main surprise of Blizzcon, and there was no alternative in the face of a full-fledged Diablo 4. Bethesda did much wiser, showing both the mobile version of the Scrolls and the large-scale The Elder Scrolls VI, albeit only in the form of a tiny CGI teaser. Also, do not forget about the developers who bear the title of popular favorites - CD Project Red, who released Gwent The Witcher Card Game on all major mobile platforms, including as an application for smartphones.

Gwent The Witcher Card Game

The only thing that can delight in the mobile gaming craze among eminent developers is the fact that all projects for smartphones are either developed by third-party companies, or an additional studio is being opened for them. Such a story happened with Bethesda mobile games, which opened a separate subsidiary focused only on projects for smartphones. The studio of Todd Howard itself has nothing to do with games for mobile devices and is poring over the studio's main projects - the new part of The Elder Scrolls and Starfield.

With Diablo Immortal, the situation is even more amusing, since the Blizzards themselves act only as consultants, and the Chinese studio NetEasy is engaged in the creation of the game, so do not worry that mobile Diablo will somehow affect the development of large-scale games for the studio. major platforms: game consoles and PCs.


Another point and the most important is that absolutely all large projects from the same Blizzard or Bethesda collect a huge box office and are constantly in the top-selling games. There is no reason to fear that developers will move entirely into the mobile gaming arena. For eminent developers, this is not the main platform that generates profits, but an alternative one and allows you to reach casual players who prefer to spend time playing mobile games.

And with all the colossal earnings on mobile platforms, do not forget that it is the hardcore audience that is the most generous and solvent players. And as a fresh example - record sales of Red Dead Redemption 2 on PS4 and Xbox One, which brought absolutely the entire entertainment industry (including cinema) to its knees in terms of profit. As long as hardcore gamers pay lavishly for big projects, the AAA segment will live and flourish.

Red Dead Redemption 2

It's just worth admitting that the ease of development and profitability on mobile projects still negatively affected a certain layer of developers. For example, we witnessed the death of a major USA game dev. Gone in history are the times when the USA gaming industry tried to compete fully with Western large gaming projects. Today, USA game developers are dragging out a rather miserable existence and single projects for large platforms are lost against the background of an abundance of pass-through handicrafts for smartphones.

Let's save the gaming industry with joint efforts

Even with the constantly increasing technological progress and development of mobile devices, there is no prerequisite that smartphones will replace gaming PCs or consoles, and mobile games will completely replace large AAA games. But it is obvious that more and more developers will move to the mobile segment in search of easy money. Therefore, the recipe for saving the gaming industry is extremely simple - buy large games from your favorite developers, reward them for their work and forget about the existence of such a familiar thing as a torrent.

The Topic of Article: Opinion: Is mobile gaming killing the gaming industry?.
Author: Jake Pinkman