Related Topics: mobile gaming
John Carmack ? who became a legend in the game world in his work on first person shooters ? has defended the mobile phone as a platform for games, but not mobile games themselves. ?When I first played the games on mobile I was appalled,? he blasted. ?[I thought,] this phone is more powerful than a Super Nintendo - why do these games suck so badly? There was an element of moral indignation there. This is a cool little platform and the games at least on the phone that I had were rotten.?
This is a complaint that keeps coming up about mobile games ? of course, no-one says their own games are crap.
Another example of this attitude is in the latest edition of Monty?s Gaming and Wireless Outlook, where normal writer Paul Munford has managed to con Graeme Ferguson (Director, Global Content Development, Vodafone Group) into writing a column while he?s on holiday. Graeme takes the opportunity to lambast the quality of mobile games: ?The market will not grow and customers will not repeat-buy if the basic quality of mobile-games does not improve. Quicker access to a crap game or greater revenue share for a crap game, or fewer handsets and lower QA costs on a crap game and guess what? It?s still a crap game.?
The main thing he put this down to is the sheer number of mobile games, which means development investment per game is too low. On this matter I tend to agree ? it seems a lot of publishers get a big license and simply change the graphics in one a scrolling arcade game. Sometimes it works, but usually it doesn?t.
That being said, I?m sure games developers don?t go out of their way to make bad mobile games, there must be a reason they operate the way they do. Any big games developers care to share why they target quantity?