A Sobering Conversation About Mobile Gaming

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#51 Posted by Mr_Creeper (973 posts) -
@hrn212 said:

@mr_creeper said:
@hrn212 said:

Like, for example...he talks about World of Tanks being fantastic and hardcore and then says, "you won't get many wives playing it." As though being a wife and enjoying fantastic hardcore games are mutually exclusive. Or even the less offensive, but still frustrating, comment about folks who only play sports games with their friends being "not-gamer gamers." So on and so forth...I'm not going to pick out all the quotes, don't worry. But, like...he assumes a shared definition of 'gamer' without having ever explicitly stated that definition.

Both of these seem to fit well to me.

So...you're assuming all the women gamers out there are unmarried? Or are you just assuming there aren't that many women gamers? Why do you think that enjoying hardcore games and being a wife are mutually exclusive?

I think @burgertrench covered it pretty well. I feel you're trying to dissect what was said a bit too much and now trying to put words in my mouth with your assumptions about how I think. Demographically, there are fewer women playing games like World of Tanks then men. When you think of people who solely play sports games, they don't fall into the gamer profile. Simple as that.

#52 Posted by spraynardtatum (3022 posts) -
@bradleyg said:

People who self identify as "gamers" and use it as a means to discriminate against other people who play games are nauseating.

"I'm a real gamer and real gamers don't like mobile games, ummph, if you like f2p games you are just causal and 'ignorant' and not hardcore like me."

Man you guys just eat this stuff up. F2P is no different than arcade machines and gaming started in the arcades. Mobile games are like an arcade you carry around on your phone where you get a couple free plays every day.

The only people who are 'ignorant' about mobile games are the people who don't really play them and just sit on the sideline trash talking them.

That's a completely different conversation. Nowhere in here is anyone saying that f2p games are bad because they're casual and not hardcore. It's that the games are manipulative, predatory, or scams designed to make people spend money even though they go around calling themselves free that people call them bad. Including myself. Sure, arcade games used to also be designed to make money and keep people putting in quarters...but they weren't called free games. They were arcade games and they were also the cutting edge at the time.

F2P mobile is anything but cutting edge. They're comparatively cheaper to make, 90% of them are copies of something that already exists, they lack any kind of soul or innovation, and they're built poorly with skill caps and money timers that physically prevent you from progressing after certain points. It's snake oil.

#53 Edited by jschlic (13 posts) -

@euandewar: The Room is all about solving a crazy puzzle box.

And I'm pretty sure it's one of Patrick's favorite movies, so probably any excuse to throw a quote in

#54 Edited by EuanDewar (4971 posts) -

@jschlic: I get the relation to the Room but I just don't quite get how the dialogue "seems to sum up mobile games today".

#55 Posted by thefriend (123 posts) -

When I saw this game on iphone, I was really hoping it would come to PC. (Because I'm not an iphone casual). PC Mustard race wins again! (jk). But really, day one buy.

#56 Edited by tonygxp (29 posts) -

Thanks for typing up the whole conversation, it was definitely all worth reading. I love developer interviews and getting into the process of making games. As a guilty pleasure, I also love reading people talking shit about scummy free to play games.

#57 Posted by development (2372 posts) -

@bradleyg said:

People who self identify as "gamers" and use it as a means to discriminate against other people who play games are nauseating.

"I'm a real gamer and real gamers don't like mobile games, ummph, if you like f2p games you are just causal and 'ignorant' and not hardcore like me."

Man you guys just eat this stuff up. F2P is no different than arcade machines and gaming started in the arcades. Mobile games are like an arcade you carry around on your phone where you get a couple free plays every day.

The only people who are 'ignorant' about mobile games are the people who don't really play them and just sit on the sideline trash talking them.

Man, you read a completely different interview than me.

Fantastic interview.

#58 Posted by ichthy (521 posts) -

I wish these guys all the best, and I'll keep supporting them if they release games of the same quality as the Room. Still one of the best mobile experiences available.

#59 Edited by Dark_Lord_Spam (3341 posts) -

I think the term you're looking for in that third image's caption is "pay-to-win," Patrick. Free-to-win wouldn't really be an accurate descriptor for those games.

Interesting discussion, by the by.

#61 Edited by Sweetz (529 posts) -

The Room 1 & 2 are two of four games I consider worthwhile compared to console and PC games (the others being Year Walk and Ridiculous Fishing). I bought an overpriced iPad over an equivalent Android tablet pretty much because of game exclusives (stuff like Infinity Blade) and found all of them to unfortunately be crap to drive in-game purchases that far, far exceed the fair value of the game (stuff like Infinite Blade...)

That said, regarding pursuit of profit - I was rather disappointed that The Room 2 didn't have any accelerometer (device tilting) puzzles because they were also making it for Android at that point, and there's completely unreliable accelerometer quality over the breadth of Android devices. So maybe the developer thought those puzzles legitimately weren't fun (I'd disagree) and decided to remove them or maybe they too compromised their vision, at least a little, in the pursuit of greater market exposure and profit.

#62 Posted by smallmanoncampus (116 posts) -

This title is some serious buzzfeed/kotaku-esque bull

#63 Posted by Kordesh (227 posts) -

These guys. I like these guys. They know whats up

#64 Posted by Fram (637 posts) -

This was a compelling read. Aside from Barry reiterating my own opinions about mobile and free-to-play (which is always nice) he also has an obvious passion for making the medium a better place, and the drive to actually do something about it.

I shall be purchasing The Room on PC post haste.

#65 Posted by sqrabbit (113 posts) -

Too many uses of the word noodling, and no mention of Simogo stuff - So sad =(

#66 Edited by whitegreyblack (212 posts) -

I have always found defining "gamers" to be entirely fruitless... there are these so-called "no-gamer-gamers" who - yes - may only play three or four sports games, figure out every single nuance of those games to the point of sheer mastery, and play hundreds of hours more per year than I do (despite me playing dozens and dozens of games per year). That sounds sufficiently "hardcore" to me.

I don't get the pigeon-holing we insist on applying to all these different gamers - it is like the nauseating need to classify every single only-slightly-different musical styles into these weird genre prefixes (stoner-doom-metal vs. sludge-doom-metal vs. epic-doom-metal vs... for fuck's sake).

#67 Posted by BrokenSky1113 (1 posts) -

Patrick's Pseudo-Journalism strikes again. He only interviews people who have a pre-selected narrative he agrees with. "Free-to-play is bad" "Gamers don't know what they want" "The gaming industry is going to shit and mobile and big publishers are to blame"
Please for the love of God get a new horn to toot or have the balls to interview someone with a divergent position.

#68 Posted by Sydlanel (283 posts) -

Patrick's Pseudo-Journalism strikes again. He only interviews people who have a pre-selected narrative he agrees with. "Free-to-play is bad" "Gamers don't know what they want" "The gaming industry is going to shit and mobile and big publishers are to blame"

Please for the love of God get a new horn to toot or have the balls to interview someone with a divergent position.

Honestly though, you'd be hard pressed to find a developer that disagrees and isn't part of the f2p industry. And particularly they are speaking of a very specific kind of business model, in which they design intentionally bad mechanics so that players have to pay around the willfully broken, abusive design.

They also consider some examples of free to play done right.

It so happens that in the Mobile Dev realm, there really are a lot of derivative greedy design practices and Shameless plagiarism. Much more than in any other platform, as it is greatly unregulated.

I think @patrickklepek would gladly interview someone from zynga or gameloft, but the problem is, most of the people there are already pretty well known for their opinions, and not very given to put themselves in the position to answer honestly to the tougher questions.

#69 Edited by King9999 (613 posts) -

Old, but will forever be relevant.

#70 Posted by atomic_dumpling (2473 posts) -
@memu said:

I know that The Room was $2 on IOS. So I think I would like to play it on PC, for $2. On Steam, it is $5. So I guess it is wait for sale. $5 is nothing to me. But my sense of value will keep me from buying The Room on PC for more than $2. Am I alone in this?

I won't be harassed into paying 5 bucks either just because I'm still rocking a trusty old feature phone.

#71 Posted by bug9329 (48 posts) -

Thanks Patrick!

#72 Posted by toy_brain (5 posts) -

Bit too much of a single-minded focus on how terrible and evil the FTP part of mobile/tablet gaming is, without also giving proper nods to the other developers and studios that are trying to do good work in the same market (Thinking of developers like Radiangames, Hexage, Orangepixel, Noodlecake, Firma and a few others). It sort of came off like Barry was having a huge rant at the market (which is odd, because they've had a good bit of success there as far as I can tell) before announcing that they are packing their bags and leaving.

Patrick, if you ever get the chance, I'd love it if you could do interviews with any of the other 'good guys' working in the mobile games industry, to see if their feelings match up with Barry's, and to get a broader view on the topic. Just recently Marvel released its Guardians of the Galaxy tie-in game, and its a paid app with no IAP's, so I'm wondering if things are starting to swing away from the FTP model, and back to paying developers for an honest piece of entertainment.

Just a thought.

#73 Edited by Backward_Jay (1 posts) -

Just took a look and "Thomas Was Alone" is #13 on the Top New Paid charts (with over 1K sales at $5.99) - you know that most people buying already own it (who out there didn't buy it for PC because they've been holding out for the mobile release?). What that says to me is that people are willing to spend money if they know the game is proven to be worth it.

Hell, it implies that people would rather pay a higher amount of money (than typical) for something they *already have* rather than risk buying something unproven for less.

We just released our (paid) game "Let There Be Life" on the Google Play Store, and it's been designed as an "art game" - something with a specific focus, not meant for all people, but original and (I think) special. But finding the audience for that is super hard for an unknown developer. Convincing them it isn't just another crap game that's been thrown out there is tough.

Going forward as a developer (if we even can - sales aren't suggesting we will), I would love to make more games for mobile, but I don't know if we can justify the cost risk. It seems much safer/easier to build up a small, but passionate, following on PC.

I'm not saying developers shouldn't create paid experiences for mobile, just that if you lack an existing fan base, or can't hook in the press, it's an uphill battle (and a steep hill at that). This pains me, because I see so much room for innovation on touchscreen devices, but the risks involved are intimidating.

#74 Edited by ChrisTaran (1623 posts) -

Phenomenal interview Patrick! I wish all the best for Fireproof Games. I adore both The Room and Room 2.

#75 Posted by steveurkel (142 posts) -

It really needs not be said but computer gaming is the past, the present, and the future. It will always be the best way to play video games and I'm sorry I work 10 hour shifts and spend the rest of my time at home in front of a computer I don't have time to pull out a mobile device which looks worse and is a strain to play when I have better controls and superior graphics on a larger monitor with the sharpest fidelity. It is a no-brainer. I'm glad people have the means to play mobile games on long commutes and such in large cities (I'm in Las Vegas) who benefit from them but if you have a good PC you will never miss any other form of gaming.

#76 Edited by Amafi (775 posts) -
@fisk0 said:

They're still talking revenues in the millions. How did computer gaming survive throughout it's first 20-25 years when games selling 20k units were considered successes?

One or two dudes made those games in 5 weeks with no licensing costs to worry about.

#78 Edited by SupberUber (311 posts) -

I've been reading this article on and off for a few days now.

Firstly I'm glad to see that Patrick has the right general idea about gamers hostile feelings towards mobile games. And, lastly, I chuckled more than I should at VCs that should go fuck themselves.

Seriously though, it's pretty much what I feared in my cynical mind, but I appreciate to have it confirmed from the inside. Not that this is a new way way of thinking or anything, it's just that sometimes it is nice to hear it from actual developers in the business.

Thanks, Patrick!

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