Recently, Nintendo unveiled that they are planning to bring Mario Kart onto our mobile phones. This is going to be the second game that Nintendo will be bringing to our iPhones and Androids. The release of the upcoming title brings up an age-old debate – “Are Mobile Games Ruining the Video Games Industry?”. So without dragging this intro too long, let’s get into this debate. Personally, I believe that this topic has a huge grey area. Although, I as a passionate gamer believe that major franchises or developers who move their games to a mobile platform is almost sullying the idea of what video games are, it does give the opportunity to people who may not have a console to expose themselves to. Video game consoles have always cost a pretty penny and have an established spot in the ‘luxury’ category, rather than ‘necessity’. It’s because of that not everyone can enjoy the wonderful medium, so the idea of a major game franchise such as Mario coming to mobiles sounds very appealing and less cost-effective than grabbing a whole new console. Whether or not there people who actually have this thought process is of no matter but for the sake of argument; it is something that shouldn’t be overlooked. In this case, this would be helping the industry by bringing more people in to the world of gaming. Another positive for the industry is profit. Profit is almost at the top of the list for nearly every major franchise and moving their game to mobile seems like the next logical step. With the popularity of games such as ‘Clash of Clans’ and ‘Angry Birds’, along with the number of mobile gamers increasing over the years, it only makes sense for them to move to mobile games to cash in on the growing popularity. More money means bigger budgets for upcoming titles; this in turn means bigger and more ambitious games and that can potentially in turn, turn out into fantastic games. How can this possibly be bad for the industry?
What if that profit turned into greed? Something that has plagued games for at least a decade now are micro transaction (MT). Micro transaction are little things that games have to give you a boost in a game to make life a little bit easier or perks such as outfits, while they charge you a certain amount. The latter of type of MT is harmless in my opinion, however, the former is where I and a lot of gamers have problems. In Mobile Games, MTs are everywhere and they usually are tied down with the idea of progressing throughout the game. EA titles such as ‘Dungeon Keeper 3’ are repeat offenders by making you wait hours or even days before you can progress unless you pay £0.99. ‘Super Mario Run’ also charges you to buy new levels and seeing the trend in this does give me little hope in the upcoming ‘Mario Kart’ and I would expect to see a lot of MTs such as new drivers or items to give you an edge. If franchises and potentially may not have it could lead to a crash in the industry such as the one back in the early 1980s.
Last thing I would like to mention is that the quality of the game may drop heavily so they can fit it to a phone and that in itself just sounds awful. If your favourite game brings out hot garbage and then charge you MTs on top of it, the thought of that alone brings a chill down to my spine.
I tried playing devil’s advocate as much as I could for this, but I’m very much on the “mobile games are destroying the industry” bandwagon. This is mainly because I feel like mobile phone games could never live up to gadgets that are specifically made for gaming but hopefully i’ll be proven wrong because really I just want the best for the thing I love so much, which are video games.