In the not so distance past, mobile gaming’s focus was on mindlessly entertaining its users to pass the time. No complex plotlines, no need to focus on anything except maybe beating your high score. The Farmville craze and its copy cats had us waiting on things, from crops to soldiers, and the Flappy Bird craze had people practically throwing their phones out of the window. It was fun, time consuming, and pay to play. Now it has a changing face.
In recent years, the games we love are getting revamped to fit in our pockets. Minecraft: Pocket Edition, Lara Croft Go, Kingdom Hearts Unchained, the list goes on. What does this mean for the future of mobile gaming? It sounds ridiculously redundant, but this affects standpoints for players and production on both sides of the fence. This could cause our usual fare of apps to die out, and with that, alter expectations for the apps that are produced.
Speaking for myself, I was excited to see Kingdom Hearts coming to mobile play. After observing game play, I felt a change in my expectations from the games I play on my phone. Do not misunderstand, Candy Crush and games like it are still something I enjoy because there is no commitment to remembering storyline. Perhaps there will be a balance and a place for both on all devices. Earlier this year, Cartoon Network made Steven Universe: Attack the Light available for free in the App Store. Between the shows popularity and the game being free (I mean FREE, not just with downloads, but never having to pay for lives, upgrades, or additional currency), it is actually a quality turn based game with the voice actors. The game proved popular enough to make Free App of the Week, nixing its $2.99 purchase price. Bethesda’s Fallout Shelter takes the original game’s concepts that we know and love, and pairs them with a higher graphic quality than what we are accustomed to seeing. Apps, as they progress, are advancing in quality. This is a typical process for technology, and right now it seems that it’s reached a point for advancement.
Though Fire TV didn’t catch on as well as some had hoped, it’s become quite clear that companies are not only looking to expand their game’s availability on other platforms, but developers are attempting to showcase compatibility for evolving audiences and promising platforms. It may take plenty of work in terms of data and storage usage, but the years to come may yield plenty of fond memories for players who grew up with the titles making the leap to mobile.