Mobile games such as Angry Birds, Plants Vs. Zombies, and the Infinity Blade series have been around for some time now and have firmly established their niche in the wide world of video games. Indeed, modern mobile games have a lot going for them: they’re fun, they’re pretty, they can be played for a minute or an hour (likely the former, based on the average American attention span), and they’re relatively affordable. Given this, one might assume that mobile gaming is settling into a peaceful co-existence with traditional gaming.
The sales figures, however, beg to differ. Mobile games are doing more than getting comfortable in the marketplace; in fact, their popularity has soared to such heights that some view them as threats to the very existence of traditional console or PC-based gaming. Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney reported last month that “the most profitable game [Epic has] ever made, in terms of man years invested versus revenue, is actually Infinity Blade,” a violent, gorgeous hack-and-slash adventure based on the Unreal Engine and developed for iOS. Sweeney went on to state that the Infinity Blade series is even more profitable for Epic than the acclaimed Gears of War series.
With that said, it is important to differentiate between “man years invested versus revenue” and overall profit margin, which are clearly two different concepts and potentially paint different pictures of the state of the industry. We are not trying to suggest that the demise of consoles and PCs is inevitable—far from it. However, it is not difficult to make the leap that at some point, game developers who are especially concerned with their bottom line (and who isn’t?) may eventually grow to view mobile game development as an optimal marketplace and solely dedicate themselves to this niche. It hasn’t happened yet, but this type of move is not out of the realm of plausibility.
And so, dear readers, we give way to your thoughts. Can mobile games exist within the traditional system of gaming, or are we witnessing the end of an era?
In other gaming news this week, Kratos tries to be more like you, mainstream gaming could be hitting Linux systems soon, Planescape: Torment contemplates Kickstarter, and IGN discusses the FF VII dream. Read on!
- So... someone recreated all of Westeros in Minecraft. Check it out.
- The creators of God of War: Ascension hope to depict Kratos as a more relatable character. You know, insofar as a semi-immortal, chain-wielding Spartan who killed his family in a fit of divine deception can be relatable to the average gamer.
- In what could be a momentous boost for both PC gaming and open source platforms, Steam, Left 4 Dead 2, and Serious Sam 3 may all be available on Linux in the near future.
- Planescape: Torment could go the Kickstarter route. Which would be completely awesome, for those of you who remember the original game from the 90s as one of the best video game stories ever told.
- Want to watch 8 minutes of open-world HK crime thriller Sleeping Dogs? Yeah you do.
- The Final Fantasy VII remake dream still lives, though barely. IGN examines how this gamer’s fantasy could be resuscitated.
- Finally, IGN reviews Thomas Was Alone, which chronicles the journey of the very first self-aware artificial intelligence, and makes you intimately care about the fate of a blue rectangle along the way.