Android and iOS have redefined the gaming industry.
When Android phones and iOS devices first launched, game developers wanted to keep pushing the envelope of what this new platform could do. If you look at early Android games, there was a focus on 3D. Almost PlayStation-esque graphics that… well, could have used some work. But with the rapid release of new Android phones, the tech kept getting better. Better hardware mean’t better and more graphically intensive games.
But then something changed. Phone and tablet tech hit a wall. One Android version isn’t much different than the next. Some phones are faster, but in reality… the processors and the amount of cores mostly stays on the same level. Developers also learned that they could make better looking games quicker and cheaper, simply by dropping the quest to make every game look like a console title. And born out of this, came the never-ending chain of puzzle games, in-app purchase games, and the rebirth of the Facebook style strategy sims.
On one hand the focus on simpler, cleaner, and more crisp artwork in mobile games can be greatly appreciated. You don’t need an AAA-type engine to make something look great. But at the end of the day, many could argue these “pay $10 for a virtual crate of bananas” type games have destroyed the industry. Profits are through the roof, creativity is not.
Pokemon Go became a revolution. It’s a game based around the same concept of in-app purchases and a simple interface, but it brings in the social features most games lack. But just like most mobile games, most players have already moved onto something else. The turnover rate is high in mobile gaming, with developers always having to release new games or update current ones to stay relevant.
Back at the launch of Android, we all wondered when the first AAA title would be playable in our hands. Now that dream isn’t realist. An AAA mobile game doesn’t have to be the same as an AAA console game. The focus on graphics just isn’t there, and gameplay is optimized for on the go. But as a gamer myself, I still miss seeing games that pushed our phones and tablets to the limit. You won’t find that anymore. At least, not today.