There are many reasons to opt for the Free-To-Play monetization model. At the forefront is that Free-to-Play games are generating more money than premium sales at nearly a 10-1 margin.
It is not just the big AAA productions that can succeed. With an average of 15,000,000 Steam Players online at any given time and 90Million console gamers in the US alone, strictly considering a mobile publishing avenue severely limits your audience reach. In addition, plenty of these platforms are doing their best to embrace the F2P evolution in gaming.
Why Play? Just a few weeks ago, Epic Games announced that they were very busy porting their phenomenon battle royale game Fortnite over to mobile — both worrying, and exciting the fanbase. Quietly, Tencent released (without much advertising or news) a one-to-one mobile port of former reigning battle royale king Player Unknown’s Battle Ground. Noticeably, the game plays extremely smooth, and has the same flavors and style as the PC / Console version. It’s oddly inspiring to see such an amazing port.
Why Play? While it is still only an “invite only” event, and restricted to iOS players, the Fortnite mobile port has shaken-up the world of exceedingly popular battle royale games. By far the most popular game in the world right now, and one of the biggest titles ever for influencers and streamers, the Fortnite iOS beta gives you everything you want from the original game. But much like PUBG, frantic third-person shooters rely on perfect inputs, and touchscreen controls will never meet those expectations. Perhaps both of these examples would greatly benefit from the further popularization of mobile game controllers.
Final Fantasy XV – Pocket Ed.
Square Enix Inc.
Why Play? The triumphant return of Final Fantasy‘s true form in 2016’s release of Final Fantasy XV stoked the fire that fans have for Square’s quirky character design, rich storytelling, and intriguing world designs. Only a month ago, did Square Enix release their PC port for the hit open-world RPG. But if it’s on the bus, you wish to hang with Prince Noctus and band of merry men, then look no further than Square’s beautifully simplified Pocket Edition. This version of FFXV doesn’t feel like it’s lacking anything, and that is astounding for a title that, on console, gave us so much. It’s cute, and sprawling. A must for Final Fantasy fans.
Don’t Starve: Pocket Ed.
Why Play? Vancouver’s own Klei Ent made big waves with their dark, and Burton-esque survival builder game Don’t Starve when they came out of beta in 2013. There’s nothing missing with this mobile port, here. DS Pocket has so much to unpack, with ruthless monsters, never-ending survival loops, and wonderfully sharp animation and graphic design. For a few bucks, Don’t Starve might be the deepest title you can put in your pocket.
CompulsionLoop is AC+A’s (adriancrook.com) weekly pursuit of providing a Featured List for those in the games industry. A look at the latest must-play apps, along with short, useful takeaways from our team of game design and product experts. If you have a game that you think your industry colleagues should try, we’d love to hear about it at email@example.com. Don’t forget to tell us why industry insiders should be compelled to try out the game (see what we did there?).
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Have a great week!- Adrian Crook www.adriancrook.com