The Daily Grind: Is the age of mobile over before mobile MMOs even got started?

    
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In analyzing survey responses returned from more than 250 developers this year, the organizers of GDC Europe did everything but declare mobile dead. “PC topples mobile as the most popular platform,” read the PR blast. “[Sixty-two] percent of those surveyed said the game they’re currently working on will see a PC release,” compared to the 50% launching on mobile. The PC is certainly looking up from last year.

Coincidentally, Gamasutra just published a piece heavily critical of the bloated and profit-starved mobile industry. Developer Thomas Henshell argued that the excess of games flooding the market, the skyrocketing and unrecoverable costs of mobile development, and the casual, anti-brand-loyalty nature of mobile customers drove him out of the app development business. Where did he go?

The PC.

All of it made me wonder whether the mobile bubble has finally burst. I know a lot of MMO players will cheer; who isn’t tired of hearing that such-and-such studio, once adored for its MMORPGs, has now turned to some mobile cash-cow instead? But at the same time, I’m a little bummed because we didn’t get very many actual MMORPGs on the platform, and I wonder whether that perfect moment to shine has now passed. I wasn’t annoyed about MMOs on mobile; I was annoyed at MMO companies making non-MMOs on mobile. I would have loved to have seen what the MMORPG genre could do there beyond the classics like the Legends series and Order & Chaos Online.

What do you think? Is the age of mobile over before mobile MMOs even got started?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!

 

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MewmewGirl
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MewmewGirl

No, the age of mobile isn’t over nor is it close to being over.  The top mobile games make the money WoW makes look pathetic.  That is a fact.  Profit starved.  That is funny…

Anyway, it is true, there isn’t “Brand Loyalty”.  People judge each game on a per game basis.  You don’t get to just try to live off your brand name and have people buy from you anyway.  Brand names do have better discoverbility, which is a big issue with mobile, so they still have an edge.  But each game is judged based on it’s own merits.  I think that’s a good thing.

The discovery issue is a big problem where some games don’t get found and seen much, but that has a lot to do with releasing games on mobile and just expecting them to sell by being released with no advertising or push to get the games known better.

The high end mobile games make much more than any PC title.  That may be because of pay to win tactics and taking advantage of the big spenders of “free to play” games, but it still is a fact.  Sure, a lot of titles don’t make a lot of money.  But the truth is you can say the same thing about PC gaming.  The big releases make all sorts of money, while the majority of the rest of the releases don’t make so much.

To ask if something so big as mobile is dead yet is beyond silly.  A lot of these companies tried to cash in on the mobile craze, most of them releasing very poor titles that just cloned what they thought was making the most money in mobile and they failed.  So now they bad mouth the mobile platform.  I can’t help but roll my eyes a bit at some of them.

MewmewGirl
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MewmewGirl

Leylin Sorry but have you been living under a rock for the past few years?

Rozyn
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Rozyn

MrVrodWPG Rozyn I have Baldur’s Gate, KOTOR, ShadowRealms, Kingdom Rush, and a bunch more buy-to-play games on my Nexus 7 tablet – most of those originated from PC. It’s definitely better than most people, especially on this site, think. You just have to know how to wade through the crap to get to it. But luckily I’m already practiced at that with Steam’s “curating” of junk. :p 

(For anyone wondering – Humble Mobile Bundle and Amazon’s Free App of the Day are great places to start for solid B2P games.)

Leylin
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Leylin

I can see mobile gaming being huge in Asian markets, but unlikely to catch in the states for some time.

MrVrodWPG
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MrVrodWPG

Rozyn I agree, this reminds me of all the years I had to hear about the “end of PC gaming”. The problem as I see it with the mobile market is this;

With the beginning of mobile games there were some really innovative games being made that did rather well like Angry Birds. Then there was the “gold rush” of great, good, and horrible developers rushing to make a mobile game that they could monetize the hell out of. Consumers are getting tired of the blatant cash-grab games and opting out. This is just a growing pain in the mobile market. Developers will learn the lesson and make quality games again that consumers will happily reward with cash shop purchases.

We just have to weed out the Zynga mentality and mobile gaming wil take off again. Heck, even Zynga isn’t the company it was a few scant years ago.

Zulika_Mi_Nam
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Zulika_Mi_Nam

I have been playing Albion Online on PC over the last week.  My Android tablet cannot handle the client and the IOS client is not ready yet, but it is the most interesting MMO mobile thingies I have seen so far.
If that IPAD pro thing is available in the fall I will be itching to try it out there.

MesaSage
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MesaSage

hunterkiller37 ManastuUtakata breetoplay melissamcdon  Filthy casuals, like me.

MesaSage
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MesaSage

Abusive game monetization systems being rejected en masse.  This makes me happy.

Rozyn
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Rozyn

Samizdat Rozyn I’m not saying PC gaming is disappearing – at all – but that mobile gaming isn’t fading either, and will likely continue to grow. A tablet/smartphone is much more likely to be in every household than a gaming PC, you see?

Samizdat
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Samizdat

Rozyn Okay? So what? Ten, fifteen years prior most of them still weren’t using computers. We were.