Massively Overthinking: What keeps you from playing mobile MMOs?

Earlier this week, we wrote about Black Desert developer Pearl Abyss’ IPO and its grand plans for the future – among them, four additional MMOs. Sounds great, right? Except that the suspicion, at least in our comments, is that Pearl Abyss will just follow in the footsteps of Nexon, NCsoft, and Netmarble in that the games will mobile MMOs and not “real” MMORPGs at all. That may or may not be true; the games have fairly fast turnaround for a full-scale MMORPG, but then the company talked up the BDO engine for future games and expressed great ambition in the MMORPG market in the west and on console.

But the suspicion seems to turn off so many of us — the stigma is real. So for today’s Overthinking, I wanted to dig into that. Do you play mobile MMOs, especially any of the modern crop that are popular in East Asia and then ported here? What keeps you from playing mobile MMOs, and what would you want out of an MMO for a mobile device that would actually make you consider it a home MMORPG?

Andrew Ross (@dengarsw): No, I don’t play any mobile East Asian mobile MMOs. I may play some mobile titles these days, but MMO ones have the same issue as PC ones: they largely keep us at home, away from other people. I know I’ve said this before, but I play MMOs for social purposes. The current market, due to my physical location and work situation, doesn’t help with that, unless we include Pokemon Go (which is made by a western tech company).

Don’t get me wrong, I still love PC gaming. The issue is that playing, say, Dauntless on my PC doesn’t feel as social as playing Monster Hunter in a cafe with three other people, or even two others while we get a PUG from the online lobby. Then there’s the issue with mobile games: They’re inherently different from PC games. I can stretch out with a PC game; I have tons of options for controls, easy access to online guides, voice chat, great text input device, and I don’t need to wear pants. Mobile games don’t have those unless you’re, well, basically buying a less powerful but mobile gaming console that tends to suffer from an inferior (but again, mobile) internet connection.

The elegance of mobile gaming is in simplicity and the increased chance of socialization, but hands-off auto-leveling content, while convenient, is, well, boring. I’d rather navigate a choose-my-own-adventure scenario that’s randomly generated than send my heroes off on some timer mission or watch my character auto-battle through some boring dungeon while I pray to the loot gods. As in a lot of modern MMOs, designers forget that the genre has power from its RPG roots, more on the Dungeons and Dragons with a Dungeon Master side than the Final Fantasy linear story side. It’s not that I dislike the latter, but, damn, I don’t need phone melting graphics or minor multiplayer options to enjoy a mobile game.

Mobile games, especially mobile MMOs, need gameplay that takes advantage of the medium: real-life location-based options, local multiplayer, AR options, engaging touch-screen/gyroscopic control play that doesn’t kill you inside when it doesn’t respond. Otherwise, why not just make your game for the Nintendo 3DS/Vita and let people connect via mobile tethering? That’s probably why I’m more excited about multiplayer AR mobile titles than “proper” MMOs on my phone. While the former may create some social/safety problems, at least they’re taking advantage of tech and trying new ideas while (mostly) encouraging social play.

Brendan Drain (@nyphur): I have very little interest in mobile MMOs or mobile games in general. Partly that’s because of the business models used by mobile games, which all hinge on using the platform’s massive user base to generate scale. Mobile games have to be able to work on a wide range of device specs, have simple gameplay designed for very short play sessions, have something to keep you coming back regularly, and be cheap enough to not alienate new users while still turning a profit at scale. We always end up with simplified core gameplay loops designed to be addictive, extensive use of daily mechanics and waiting periods to get you to come back, and a deceptively low barrier to entry followed by a whack in the face with microtransactions once you’re invested in the game.

If you’re now about to comment that your favourite mobile game doesn’t use an abusive business model like that, tack the word “yet” onto that because the future of any mobile game could always include bleeding the few customers they have left dry. Companies specialising in mobile user acquisition are already saying that cost per user is rising rapidly, eventually it’ll cost more on average to attract a new player to a mobile game than that player will spend. The only mobile game I’ve invested significant time into was Pokemon Go, and even it seems to be heading right down a disappointing path.

So what would it take to get me interested in a mobile MMORPG? I think it would have to be a standard MMO (ideally buy to play or subscription-based) that just happens to also have a mobile client rather than a game built specifically for mobile, which is why I’m cautiously optimistic about RuneScape Mobile. I’d also love to have better companion apps for standard desktop MMOs, ones that let you access a portion of the game’s core gameplay from your phone. EVE Online’s official app lets you access your evemails and get in-game notifications on your phone, for example, but it would be amazing if you could set your skills from it, buy and sell on the market, fit your ships, or even do your daily planetary interaction tasks.

Brianna Royce (@nbrianna, blog): I play a lot of mobile games and love being able to game on mobile devices, especially when I’m a passenger in the car or I just need to get away from my desk for a while but still want to play with tech. But the MMOs I’ve played on mobile are few and far between. I played all of the “Legends” games as they started coming out years ago — Pocket Legends and Star Legends were actually fun. But Spacetime really bungled after that; Dark Legends’ business model was insulting garbage, and Arcane Legends bled the original games of their players. Eventually I lost interest as Spacetime stopped updating the older games and everyone started leaving.

I think that experience permanently colored my perception of mobile MMOs as being both unsuited for the platform and doomed to become money grabs. Every once in a while, I try to dive into another game that feels like those Legends experiences, like AQ3D, but nothing grabs me for long, even if the controls don’t annoy me, and they nearly always do.

As for the blast mobile MMOs coming out of Asia? You know, Asian history is literally my area of expertise, but I’ve seldom become infatuated with Eastern MMO imports save weird things like Zentia, and that extends to mobile too – it’s just not my art style or themepark or combat or grind preference at all. There’s just no draw for me whatsoever except in that there are tons of people there, and there’s no way I trust the business model not to try to screw me over.

That said, it’s on my list to try Villagers and Heroes on mobile at some point, but I’ll probably wait until after Starfall. As I said on the podcast, it’ll be like the third or fourth time I’ve rolled an account for that game – I feel like I’m a lot more forgiving of an MMO that exists on PC and then ports to mobile, as long as I can move between them. We’ll see!

Eliot Lefebvre (@Eliot_Lefebvre, blog): The thing is, I don’t play any mobile MMOs, but that has less to do with some opposition on principle; it has more to do with the reality of how my game time works. Put simply, I don’t tend to have long stretches of free time away from a desktop or console, so usually I’m going to go with one of those for gaming instead of grabbing my phone or tablet. Combine that with a general preference for non-touch interfaces, and I don’t tend to play the games. From what I understand, the division of time, travel, and the like is very different in East Asia, and if I had long commutes on public transit, then I could definitely see myself making that into daily diversions on my train ride (or even longer).

That, I think, is the key that gets missed a lot here, a difference of gaming time and how you’re doing things. When I’m traveling, I am usually driving; if I’m not, I’m in a plane. It’s not so much a question of features as a question of what I’m getting done. When I was actively playing World of Warcraft, I found the Legion companion app very helpful and would actually like similar “maintenance” applications for other MMOs, simply because those are diversions from the main game rather than the game in and of itself.

But it’s hard to create a mobile MMO designed to actually be played as a mobile MMO that actually feels like a home game for exactly that reason. Mobile games need to be playable in quick bursts; I cannot imagine getting a half-hour Final Fantasy XIV dungeon in a mobile game simply because I might not have a full half-hour to devote to it. It’s nice for maintenance of larger games, but I think in the long run, the time demands of the two are just too different. And that’s all right. Having a multiplatform game where you have both mobile-friendly content of five-minute bursts alongside longer projects when you’re at a desktop? That would make me turn my head.

Justin Olivetti (@Sypster, blog): Right now I have my eyes on two mobile MMOs that are coming to iOS this fall: RuneScape and Villagers and Heroes. Both, you will note, are not Asian titles nor created specifically for the mobile platform, but are instead western games with a proven track record that are adapting to mobile. I sort of know what I’m going to get into and I can bet that it’s not going to be as bad as many super-grindy eastern games. I should probably give AdventureQuest 3D another shot, and I still lament that Guild Wars 2 never did anything with its mobile plans.

I have tried several Asian mobile MMOs, and none has gripped me. Controls are a big issue, as is extreme streamlining (auto-run everywhere, super grindy mechanics, overly complex inventory, many different premium currencies, etc.). There are a few that are being tied to proven IPs, at least, but not IPs that are of personal interest, so we are back at square one. One of the biggest problems with so many of these is that they were nothing but the reward loop and combat. There is literally no exploration, no virtual world, no interesting frills in the feature sets, no deep community, nothing that takes an MMORPG and fleshes it out into a vibrant culture.

My feelings aren’t going to stop the tsunami of Asian mobile MMOs from being developed. It’s an absolutely huge market overseas, and it stands to reason that if one or two can break big here, there is some serious money to be made. I just wish they were more than cardboard cutouts that looked pretty and offered no depth.

MJ Guthrie (@MJ_Guthrie, blog): I do not yet play mobile. I anticipate I will at some point, and I keep thinking I will, but it hasn’t happened. Although technically, I do play AdventureQuest 3D on the PC, and it’s totally cross-platform , so I could play it on mobile — I just haven’t yet. I even have it installed! Paladins is also getting a mobile title, so I will be looking at that.

Honestly, I don’t really have an interest in playing on my phone. I spend so much of my life on my computer for work and play, I like to get away. If I got carried away with games on mobile, I’d never have a break! If I am out and about, I want to enjoy being out and about. Even doing errands or waiting on things, I prefer to enjoy the outdoors, people watch, or strike up conversations with total strangers. (You totally couldn’t picture me doing that huh? LOL!). Truth be told, I don’t even play any non-MMO games on my mobile devices. OK, I did play Fruit Ninja with my daughter during a long flight a couple of times! When I am home I can game, and then I have my nice big gaming rig to play on, or even my gaming laptop if I need to move to a recliner or bed for health reasons. Besides, I want to be in MMOs because they are (ideally) vast worlds I can immerse myself in and explore; I sure can’t see that being very possible on a tiny little screen.

Your turn!

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83 Comments on "Massively Overthinking: What keeps you from playing mobile MMOs?"

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Tarax

I don’t play many mmos. I think the only one I do play is AQ3D. that’s because its true cross platform and I can continue my progress when I leave the house or when I’m at work and on break,

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DriftingCookie

I don’t play mobile games because I have a windows phone. I play so many PC games that i don’t feel the need to play games on mobile (Even if i could). Sadly, i’m starting to get tired of all the PC games that i’ve dumped 4k + hours into total and am waiting for a good new MMORPG that I can enjoy.

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zeko_rena

Shit controls.

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Malvious

Pay wall, i don’t mind a sub, but a pay wall to progress.. no thanks..

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Winter

Umm let’s see I spent a crap ton of money on a high end PC and spend a lot of money on my games of choices that would be why:D if said games had mobile apps etc I would use them in a heart beat.

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Malcolm Swoboda

top of my head? crappy menus

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Roger Edwards

In a nutshell, hitting the pay wall.

I have played a handful of mobile games based on IPs I like. I knew there would be a requirement to pay at some point if I wished to progress significantly. However, when that point arrived it was as subtle as a Rhinoceros horn up the back side.

It was a not a suggestion or a gentle encouragement but a massive brake that stopped my gameplay dead. I simply didn’t have sufficient in-game resources to complete content.

It felt like being held up and I simply didn’t care for this crass and brazen approach, so I stopped playing and moved on.

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Victor Barreiro Jr.

Screen size.

Am not a big fan of looking downwards and getting neckstrain while playing as well, hence my hesitance to try things that are mobile-based.

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GamingSF

My first reaction would be to naysay this. Battery life and small, fiddly UIs are a turn-off. But then I remember the phase I went through of re-playing classic games like Dungeonmaster and the Eye of the Beholder series on a iPaq PDA, and of playing D&D Tactics on a PSP, and perhaps I’m being too cynical.

The biggest issue is that mobile signal is so intermittent when travelling and commuting (especially in London). Games that had tolerance to frequent disconnects would be more attractive as desktop MMOs certainly aren’t…

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Jeffery Witman

Before touch controls became the only thing available, I had a slide out keyboard and an emulator to play games with. Things like old NES, SNES, and Gameboy titles worked great, especially adventure games like LoZ, or FF style RPGs. There’s a few stand alone RPGs for touch screen that aren’t terrible, but they tend to follow the old FF style controls and mechanics.

The business model problem is much the same as on PC with MMOs, only worse because no one is paying $60 for a mobile game or $15 a month to sub. If you’re not into that kind of heavily monetized macro-transaction filled game on PC, it’ll be even less appealing on mobile. And if there’s no money, you’re not going to get a big title on the market. Not unless you come up with something truly unique.

I want to try Tibia on my mobile phone, but I just never have the time. A large, top-down view MMO with simpler graphics has a better chance at working, if the money doesn’t get in the way.

When I played Neverwinter I loved that they had a mobile page that let me access the auction house, do side-quests with my henchmen, and generally feel like I’m able to be in that world for a few minutes at a time though my phone. It was pretty crude, and there was no app, just a mobile page, but it was enjoyable enough that I would love to see it in another game soon. Honestly, with the integrated phone aspect of Secret World Legends and their plans to introduce an agent system in the near future, it would be great to get something like that from Funcom. I get the practical limitations of keeping up multiple platforms and software for a single game, not to mention the money aspect of it, but player engagement is becoming a huge issue in many games, and this is a fairly simple way to address it without messing with game balance.

The big issue is really the lack of social connection on the mobile platform. Voice data is to intense for mobile connections, and typing is a no go when your whole screen is the control interface. Unless someone comes up with a way to overcome that, I don’t see mobile MMO having taking off ever.

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Bruno Brito

A good mobile.

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Stropp

There’s probably two main reasons:

1) Screen size. I definitely prefer using a large screen for game related activities and for things like browsing the internet and coding. I have a 27 inch monitor that I’d like to upgrade to 32 (I think much bigger and it’s a diminishing returns situation.) But definitely gaming, for me, needs to be big.

2) I’ve been conditioned to expect mobile games to require in-game purchases to advance. Nearly every mobile game I’ve played to date wanted me to spend money to play more than just a little. Even a paid up front game ramped up the difficulty in later levels and asked for cash to make said levels a bit easier.

I know some PC MMOs also do that, but I don’t play them either. And it seems that this is standard MO for the mobile ecosystem, whereas there are still lots of PC games that don’t try and nickel-and-dime you.

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Robert Mann

I got a 42″ recently, and am surprised how much it isn’t really a problem that way. YMMV, of course, but a good test is to set up about as far away as you would gaming, and then give it 5-10 minutes. If you find it too big, too painful, or whatnot, then drop down. *Just my suggestion, you can do as you wish of course!*

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Stropp

My gaming setup is on my desk, so my monitor sits about an arms length (approx 24 –
28 inches) from me. I reckon at that distance a 42 inch will be a bit overwhelming.

Not to mention the likelihood of monitor burn!

On the other hand, I think these newfangled curved monitors allow for bigger screens to be closer. (Something I need to check.) Unfortunately, they’re still a bit out of my price range.

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thickenergy

When I’m mobile I prefer to observe, reflect, or read traditional media. Even if that wasn’t the case I suspect that the various practical limitations of mobile gaming would still keep me from taking part.

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Sally Bowls

Thought experiment: What if Bree, with her characteristic optimism that I always admire and rarely mimic, wrote an article “Aren’t PC MMOs great?” I bet the complaints would flow furiously. Unoriginal, lockboxes and horrible monetization methods, controls dumbed down for consoles, something between criticism and racism for Asian games, insufficient challenge for their massive ePeen, the occasional hipster who comes to an MMO website to post their “this is why I no longer play MMOs” post, etc. etc. etc.

So when I read a lot of those same complaints about mobile, I think of Shakespear’s”The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves, ” i.e. perhaps it is not completely the platform.

You aren’t going to get 2004 monetization methods and 20 minute boat rides in a mobile MMO. But you know what Buttercup? You aren’t going to get them on the PC either.

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Robert Mann

Touche. At least for most MMOs. Which, incidentally, may be why I’m avoiding the mainstream MMOs and most of the cash-grab imports like the plague. It’s a rare MMO now that sees much play from me. :(

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Armsbend

um….can I say something about kickstarters?

._.

you and your goddamned mirrors Sally. Damn you. Damn you to hell. :-)

oldandgrumpy
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oldandgrumpy

Screen is to small so zero interest. Next phone might be a dumb one as my expensive smart phone provides me with no benefits.

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Robert Mann

You can get a cheap phone that works for under $10 a month. It’s so much freed up income…

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Randy Ward

Small screen and lack of input controls. I will never play any serious game on a mobile device. Not going to happen.

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Paragon Lost

I have absolutely no interest in squinting into a phone screen, dealing with hampered mechanics, controls etc when I game. If I have time to game, I game on a full sized system. If I am not at home and have free time, I read.

kjempff
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kjempff

Controls, monetization, and I have something called a pc which is roughly 2800 times better for gaming. When I am mobile, I do other things and therefore not interested in gaming..if I was I would bring a laptop.

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mistressbrazen

I can’t say I’ve never played a mobile game. I was an early adopter of Pocket Legends, had an app to play SL on a tablet and I actually got accepted to play Ingress early on. But, the truth is I didn’t enjoy playing on phone or tablet. The screens are too small and I feel cramped when playing. Although I spend tons of time in airports and in the air, I don’t enjoy playing mobile games there either. Give me an interesting book please. My gaming is for PC. Big screen. nice keyboard and mouse and room + time to play.

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Crowe

I haven’t found any good mobile MMOs. (I’d say “yet” but I’m not sure there ever *will* be anything I consider good if they stick with their usual financial models)

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A Dad Supreme

What keeps me from mobile MMO gaming?

I can’t game and walk at the same time.

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Jeremy Barnes

Controls.

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Utakata

Well firstly, I don’t own a mobile device I can walk around with and talk to my Ma at the same time. Secondly, there’s nothing interests me even if I did. Thirdly, I am easily distracted as it is. And finally, my imagination is such that I don’t need extra 3rd party peripheral entertainment. <3

So yeah…it a thing for me. Nor is it my thing.

Curious though, I wonder if this ever took off on the Game Boy crowd? I can see why this would be a convenient replacement. O.o

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Tandor

Current generation PC MMORPGs are what keep me from playing mobile MMOs, plus a clear recollection of the standard of graphics when I got my first computer in 1983 and a desire to stay in 2017 rather than go back to that time. The cost of upgrading my phone contract to permit such things simply doesn’t get a look-in, off-putting tho that would be.

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Nathan Aldana

Number one reason for me is that I use my phone to game on lunch breaks at work when I cant be home with my actual MMOs. and 15 minute breaks do not make for the best invesatment time.

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Schmidt.Capela

I don’t play mobile MMOs because they don’t fit my lifestyle; if I’m away from my computer, chances are very good whatever time I can spare to play will be in small chunks of a couple minutes each and I won’t have an internet connection to boot. As a result, just about every mobile game I play is an offline game that I can pick up and set down at a moment’s notice, as anything that doesn’t conform to that will sit unused on my device.

BTW, I often use a 3DS for mobile gaming. Putting it in my pocket puts it in sleep mode, effectively pausing even games that normally don’t allow pausing, which means I’m never punished for real life interrupting my game session.

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Castagere Shaikura

For me its the business models of all mobile games and batteries life.

malrats
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malrats

They’re usually not good. At all.

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David Harrison

It’s… on.. a… phone. That’s why.

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Sally Bowls

A related concept is the mobile companion app for a PC MMO e.g. for Legion and EVE. An extremely strong upvote for this. Even most PC Master Race types against mobile MMOs can see the use case of checking the AH or minions or class hall in a few minutes of downtime while your triple-shot, non-fat drink is being steamed.
————
I PC at home and other mobile games when out so don’t mobile MMO yet. Software drives hardware/platforms so as the number of PC MMO devs shrink and Mobile MMO devs expand it seems inevitable.

At least, smartphones are where the technology is being pushed. IMO, “why not just make your game for the Nintendo 3DS/Vita and let people connect via mobile tethering?” is not an issue. While dedicated gaming devices game better than smartphones, there are so many smartphones and the customers/vendors upgrade them more often. Dedicated handhelds are in a very tough spot. I question how long the software devs and Nintendo/Sony can keep a critical mass of games and devs to justify new generations.
————–
PC sales have been declining for the last five years. A couple of years the lines crossed and more Apple devices were sold than Windows PCs. The A11 Bionic chip in the new iPhone has GeekBench scores of 4,200 single core, 10,430 multi-core, putting at about the score of the processor in a 13″ laptop.

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aleccia_rosewater

The decline in PC sales is because most people who want one already own one. Look at the price tag of a high-end PC, ask yourself how often you would want to spend that much money. Look at how computer technology advancement has slowed down and how that affects the lifespan of a household computer.

The “# of yearly computer sales = usage of said computers” metric only works with objects that are actually purchased at least one per year. I don’t buy a new car or a new house every year. I wait for a decade then suddenly spend a half year’s worth of paycheck on a single expensive object. Personal Computers don’t quite yet have the longivity of a car or house, but that is only because of computer tech upgrades being forced onto consumers. Even now they certainly have more longevity then smartphones, where technology is being pushed harder and devices have to deal with the wear and tear of travel.

“PC Master Race” consists at least partially of people who are completely disenfranchised of console gaming. I grew up with a Sega Genesis. The games I would of preferred to play at the time were over on a platform known as MS-DOS, however my kid self was too young to be aware of this. Around the Gamecube era I realized that was more variety to be found elsewhere. The Nintendo Wii replaced “kid-friendly” with “family-friendly” in a way that alienated their existing userbase very heavily. The games I wanted to play were less frequent and much harder to find while PCs were increasingly becoming better at showing what is avalible. I am not using a PC for the sake of being elitist or out of any kind of loyalty. I am using a PC because it is the platform best suited for me out of everything I have tried.

Dedicated portable gaming devices vs smartphones, ten years from now. Hrm. Good question

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steve

I play on a gaming PC, but the mobile companion app would be my answer for playing MMOs on a tablet-sized mobile device. I’ve used ROCCAT power grid in Star Citizen and it makes me wish I could offload parts of the UI to the tablet in all of my games.

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Melissa McDonald

I’ve played AdventureQuest3D and Villagers and Heroes. They are unquestionably “real” MMOs in a multiplayer environment. 3D worlds to explore, controls actually work rather well, etc.

The only downside for me, as a player? My time when “all I have” is a mobile device is minimal. And not necessarily a time for gaming. I drive my own car, I don’t use public transportation. I do not spend an inordinate amount of time in waiting rooms. So while I think these games are good (I honestly believe cross-platform is the future of gaming, along with VR), my time on a mobile device to play them on a mobile device is somewhat minimal.

I think they need a “cast” to a big screen feature if they want people to spend more time in those game worlds. They’re better than you think, honestly, so don’t be afraid to give them a spin. Black Desert’s mobile game will probably raise the bar even further.

I’m on the record as saying that little device in your purse or pocket will one day be all you need. Your only computer. You’ll link wirelessly to peripherals, you’ll have all the graphic muscle you’ll need, and you’ll cast to a bigger screen when one is available. And we are VERY CLOSE to that as a reality.

Polyanna
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Polyanna

First thing is I don’t own a tablet and I’m not even going to try to play games on my ancient iPhone 5. It’s fine as a phone, not so much as a gaming platform.

Second would just be the games. I’m not even slightly into anything I have seen that originated on mobile because it’s all hot garbage. But something like RuneScape Mobile might get me to give it a go, if I ever have a capable device.

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Oleg Chebeneev

Btw those who complain about screen size. You can use smartphone with daydream headset which makes tiny phone screen into cinema size.

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Melissa McDonald

Yup, or Cardboard, or a future-unnamed smart phone Visor, although those are fledgling technologies, it will just get better and better.

Edit: And those often work with gamepads for anyone concerned about UI/controls. :)

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Armsbend

I would never wear that thing in public because of 1) robbery and 2) embarrassment. And if I am home I might as well play the real thing right? That is the thing with mobiles. I might as well play the real thing if I’m at home and if I’m not at home there are better things to be doing. Not every waking moment must be spent gaming. I know…so mature ;_;

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deekay_plus

i don’t game on mobile because i’ve got a pc at home to game on.

i use my phone heavily when i’m out and about (it helps alot with my anxiety when riding in cars). but i’m using it to chat with people (which is rather lovely to do on my keyone(tm)).

i did try albion on my phone but it’s super laggy and stuttery and i can’t imagine doing much more than moving around and maybe harvesting mats tbh, and definitely not combat. lol

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Robert Mann

The games, for the most part. Along with a need for better tablet support. Because there’s no way, period, that any game would become a justification for the cost of a smart phone by comparison.

But, to put it bluntly, the game first has to be competitive with non-mobile MMOs. Because my play time would be when I can invest enough time into something MMO-ish. I simply won’t ever be a 3 minute player in an MMO. So it has to be something that can compete with anything else I would play in the bigger chunks of time.

Which means… well, a few fun games have managed a nice 3d open world feel, but not with online play really. So I’m just going to guess the tech isn’t ready yet, or developers are mostly still focusing on what they can do to milk whales there.

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Chris Brown-DeMoreno

Besides the fact that the quality of mobile games, in general, is pretty terrible; the controls. For mobile games, the controls dictate the gameplay rather than you mapping your gameplay ideas to what a controller or keyboard/mouse can offer. There’s only so much you can put on the screen at once and only so much you can do with touch controls and it’s very limiting to the gameplay which affects the quality of the game; and that’s on top of the more obvious issue with how poor touchscreen controls actually are because you’re not going to convince me to carry around an external controller or keyboard to play a mobile game. Why not just release your game on console or PC instead in that case?

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Oleg Chebeneev

Mobile MMOs are either ported games which plays terribly on tablets, or cheap WoW clones which I wouldnt touch with a long stick. Durango or how that dinos MMO is called was pretty neat. But couldnt hold my interest for long.
But I occasionally playing MUDs on my tablet. Particularly Discworld which works great with Blowtorch app. Incredibly complex and indepth game that blows any visual MMOs on mobile out of the water.

Im also waiting for FF11 to come to mobiles. I think this game would play well on tablets if they do it right. And it will have better graphics then PC version.

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Armsbend

I do not believe blowtorch is on iOS. Or at least when I just checked.

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Oleg Chebeneev

I never mentioned iOS. I use android tablet

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Jack Pipsam

Data caps and in some regional areas my train passes through the internet drops out.

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Melissa McDonald

The tech world has 2 main enemies, that hold almost everything back:

1) Battery Life
2) Data caps

“When Rome falls, there shall be a cry of freedom such has never been heard.” – Judah Ben-Hur

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aleccia_rosewater

Only those two? I thought the tech world was held back by their preconceptions.

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Lethality

Because if you’re outside or somewhere in a social situation, you’re doing it wrong if you’re trying to play a video game. Especially with the depth of an MMO.

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kidwithknife

I live in the country, so if I’m “on the go” that means I’m driving. I don’t have an hour or two to kill on the subway or bus. If I’m not at home with access to my PC or PS4 I’m generally somewhere doing something I have to pay attention to and can’t be distracted by a game.

Minimalistway
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Minimalistway

BTW, this is a good topic for Daily Grind, how would you design a Mobile MMO?

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Robert Mann

I’d look at specs and design, and say “This isn’t going to work, unless people really can’t get to a computer and have a ton of free time in that state of being. I think I’ll save my money, make a Farmville clone or something with stupid monetization and PvP… ooh! Harvest moon clone with more combat and PvP, yeah! Then we can have a huge P2W cash shop too, with all sorts of stuff you can’t get otherwise, and things to make you advance/progress faster. Best of both milking worlds!”

Then I’d look in the mirror, and tell myself that I hate me. Stupid sell-out. But what the heck else do you do with the limits on mobile?!?

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Oleg Chebeneev

Pretty tough question considering that all those hundreds of developers have yet to figure how to design good mobile MMO

Minimalistway
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Minimalistway

That’s make it a good question for Daily Grind :-)

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Leiloni

Tiny screen, RSI concerns, reduced game and combat functionality changing the experience from what I prefer on desktop. I don’t even like surfing the internet on my phone. All I use it for is the occasional text, glancing at emails, and photos/video. And of course game one time password security apps.

Minimalistway
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Minimalistway

i don’t play mobile video games in general, i tried many and i didn’t enjoy most of them, also i spend most of my computing time in front of a desktop computer, prefer large screen and full keyboard, when i’m out and if i have a smartphone i prefer to use it as a camera.

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Veldan

Because I only have time to dedicate myself to one mobile game, and it’s this one

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Stormwaltz

I don’t play mobile games, MMG or otherwise.

If I had a public transit commute I might, but I’m either driving or sitting at a full-fledged computer all day.

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silverlock

I only play two games on my phone, Pokemon Go but that’s more about having something to do while walking the dog or hauling the kid around town, and Asphalt 8 which is easily the funnest driving game I’ve played yet. If devs want to make fun mobile games they should take design ques from this game.

Karma_Mule
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Karma_Mule

Screen size. It’s hard to go from a 65″ OLED screen down to a 5.7″ screen, especially with my aging eyes. Squinting at teeny things running around just isn’t how I like to game. Plus, I don’t like to game in small bits of time, so if I find myself having 30 minutes to 60 minutes or so while on the move I’d rather read the news, read a book, or just enjoy the scenery.

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agemyth 😩

What keeps you from playing mobile MMOs?

Hand cramps, touch screens, and monetization.

styopa
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styopa

It just seems antithetical to the mmo experience FOR ME: when I play an MMO, I want to dive in, to commit time, to get lost in the game by living vicariously through some other identity for a while.

I simply can’t get that on a 4″ screen bouncing around on the bus between manspreader on the left and gag-me-perfume on the right in 45 minute ‘blips’ of time during my commute.

If I’m sitting at home where it’s quiet and I can focus time, why would I want to play a marginal game on a tiny screen instead of a *real* MMO on my 24″ monitor with good sound, etc?

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Raimo Kangasniemi

Currently mobile MMOs just are not delivering the kind of level of complexity and depth combined with ease of use that I want from a MMO.

Perhaps if I would still be spending hours daily in public transport I could turn to a mobile MMO to ease the tedium instead of books I used to, but as I am much of the time close to my desktop and laptop, there’s really no reason to go for a mobile MMO when I can play a ‘full game’.

ernost
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ernost

My phone is even more low-end than my pc. It has neither the space nor the power to run such games.

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