In the last few months, the mobile market has been attended by several well-known video game franchises. Some of them can be found at Gamivo, one of the best online gaming platforms. Call it like Apex Legends Mobile which is currently in the beta test stage. On the other hand, a JRPG franchise such as Ni No Kuni has also begun to enliven the mobile market. This is certainly a positive signal that now the mobile gaming industry has begun to be noticed by big companies.
The higher the market prospects and the development of technology, of course, the standard of assessment from players also increases. Many players are getting tired of the current standards of the mobile gaming industry, so they are starting to expect the latest innovations from creative industry companies to color the mobile market more. One of their big hopes is the emergence of AAA class games to be present on their platform. However, is it possible that this could happen? To find out the answer, let’s read this article further.
Warning: This article is based on the author’s point of view and is purely an opinion that can still be developed and disproved.
This article was triggered by the habit of the author who likes to discuss in the video game community, one of which is the mobile platform community. Many of them complain about the quality of mobile video games that are getting worse from time to time. From the heyday of Gameloft, to the present, namely Tencent.
Now, they think that companies are more concerned with profitable simple video games (less development costs) than spending a lot of money on developing quality games. I often find these complaints repeatedly. Therefore, the author hopes that this paper is able to open a common mind to view this problem with a wider and open perspective.
Definition of AAA
Before reviewing further, it would be nice if we understand the definition of AAA first. AAA or Triple A games can be considered as a classification that is devoted to a video game with a high development budget. Usually AAA games are produced by companies such as Square Enix, Electronic Arts, Rockstar Games, and other giants of the gaming industry.
AAA games usually spend a budget on a scale of 50 million USD to hundreds of millions of USD. For example, The Witcher 3, which was released by CD Projekt Red, is rumored to have consumed a budget of US$81 in three and a half years. This certainly shows how difficult it is to make video games with AAA standards.
So the question arises, is it possible for mobile developers to make games with these standards? Before moving on to a deeper topic, let’s look at the situation on the ground first…
Current Market Condition
Based on what I observed, today’s mobile market tends to recycle other products more often and polish it with a new layer to make it look more attractive and unique. But in fact, the feeling that I get is not much different when I try to compete with these products. This, of course, made me bored and not interested in further exploration.
Let’s just say for Battle Royale which is a trend in the gaming industry on the mobile platform. The companies continue to market their games with this genre, then make slight changes to give the impression, “similar but not the same”. An example is the Netease company which has published a battle royale genre video game for the umpteenth time. They offer the same gameplay, but have a different polish. Players just choose which polish is more harmonious with their wishes.
On the other hand, the Korean and Chinese MMORPG industries are constantly making similar products. Basically, their games seem general, ordinary, and tend to be boring. However, they are still able to attract consumers through a variety of attractive cosmetics and graphics.
Besides all the things that I have described above, there is one important thing that I feel must be mentioned as a hallmark of the mobile industry. Yup, especially apart from a system filled with micro-transactions. Mobile players prefer free video games over paid ones. So one of the company’s strategies to survive is to add interesting content in the game as micro-transactions that can be purchased by players.
Now almost everyone holds a smartphone, both from the old and young generations. With such circumstances, it is easy for someone to get or play games as long as he has an adequate smartphone. They now do not have to have a PC or console to enjoy video games.
My observations show that many mobile game players prefer simple gameplay like MOBA, Battle Royale, and the like. The reason is, the player will be easier to adapt to master the game he is playing. Besides this, not all mobile players want to spend their money to buy additional controllers, so the role of virtual controllers is very crucial for them. They prefer a simple virtual controller on their screen.
Another thing that I observed was their different financial condition. They can save money more than having to buy a PC or console device. There are also many games on HP that can be enjoyed for free. On the other hand, premium games in the mobile market are relatively cheaper than other platforms. This certainly forms the mindset of players to prefer to save and spend money for other purposes.