Call of Duty veterans like Dr. Disrespect and his partner in crime, ZLaner, have not been shy to express their disdain and disapproval of mobile gaming and the community it has fostered. While I previously would’ve stood by the platform I used for years, I’m starting to see the major problems that mobile gaming is facing as a whole.
Now, this is mostly referring to the games that you find littered across the Google Play Store. Not retro emulators that allow you to play classic games or even cloud streaming services like Xbox Cloud Gaming that successfully bring the console gaming experience to your smartphone or tablet.
We’re talking about pure android games that were never meant to be played outside your mobile device and all the reasons so many in the community look down upon an industry that’s technically making a lot of big strides in the industry while still stirring up hate from the more hardcore crowd.
There’s very good reason for it in fact, from anti-consumer practices to general disregard for quality, it’s clear that the mobile gaming scene has a long way to go before it gains the respect that it’s looking for. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at what exactly is the problem with Mobile Games.
THE PROBLEM WITH
The most common argument you see made against mobile gaming is the level of skill required to play and it’s easy to see how those perspectives can be drawn considering the fact that most big-budget games come off as just watered-down versions of their console counterparts.
While PUBG Mobile and Call of Duty: Mobile have been doing their best to break the mold and provide a thoroughly engaging experience, they still remain the exception to and not the rule. Racing games still feature very limited control over vehicles and fighting games have reduced intricate combos to one simple swipe or tap.
These games clearly come packaged for a casual audience and it’s easy to see why. Most people playing on mobile are doing so at inconsistent times, whenever they’re away from home and need to keep themselves occupied, so the vast majority don’t invest as much time into it as console and PC gamers.
For the truly dedicated, there are top tiers that can be reached but it’s because the skill gap seems so small that even professional gamers who literally earn a living playing on mobile don’t get the same respect as some of esports biggest names.
No matter what game you play, there will always be an elite level to achieve and mobile games are no different. Like any game, if you play long enough, unlock enough items, you can be one of the best. Mobile games, however, have taken that concept way past the extreme and turned the entire genre into a tedious grind.
Exhibit A: Need for Speed: No Limit. It is a fast-paced and addictive game that lets you wield some of the fastest cars on the planet and features an in-depth level of customization that could rival its console counterparts. But getting just one single car leveled up to the maximum has to be one of the worst grinds I’ve ever experienced in gaming.
If it wasn’t for the limited fuel that you’re allowed to use in any session then it’s the fact that cars need to be leveled up by collecting individual blueprints with some levels needing up to 40 blueprints at a time. And sure, there are ways to earn blueprints this method will only allow you to race for one single blueprint every day.
Then there are the outrageously priced parts that you need to get for your car to upgrade it further that start out pretty low but soon balloon to the point where you can only realistically spend money on one car at a time. It took me 115 hours of gameplay spread out over 9 months to max out my first car and it wasn’t even fast enough to continue with the campaign.
Ga cha Cash
So you may be asking yourself, “if mobile games are such a tedious grind, then why do so many people still play?” Well, that’s because the publishers have actually implemented a very simple way to get around all these tedious problems. You guessed it, start spending some money.
No matter how much I try to defend mobile gaming, there’s no denying the fact that these games are specifically designed to part you from your hard-earned cash, and there numerous barriers designed to incentivize you to spend. Let’s take a look once again at Exhibit A.
Need some fuel to keep racing? Fill up by spending some gold. Need blueprints or an upgrade for your favorite car? Buy some loot boxes using gold. Need money to install those parts? Spend some cash. Need cash? Use some gold. And how do you buy gold you may ask? With real-world money coming straight out of your wallet.
Even I’ve spent a dime or two on a battle pass here since I found value in it and the game that I was playing but the amount pay-walls you encounter simply trying to enjoy a game and make decent progression is insane and is another major reason that mobile gaming gets no respect.
Streaming Is Taking Over
Arguably, the biggest competition to pop up in the mobile gaming scene is the incredible rise of console and cloud-based streaming. While they weren’t the first to make it possible, Xbox Cloud Gaming has proven that console-quality gaming can truly be taken on the go.
And you don’t even need to own an Xbox console to start joining in on the fun. Microsoft’s brilliant subscription service, Xbox Game Pass, gives you access to an incredible library of games to stream directly to your mobile device whether they’re old games or brand spanking new titles that just hit the shelves.
It makes the prospect of tedious grinding, unnecessary spending, and over-simplified gameplay seem pretty ridiculous if you ask me. And, as the technology becomes more and more accessible, it’s only a matter of time before platforms like Xbox become the go-to source for mobile gamers everywhere.
With all these flaws that detract the hardcore crowd and simply beg for disapproval, mobile gaming continues to be a booming market and that’s truly the biggest problem that the community faces. I used to think that console and PC players were just being a bunch of haters but, after sitting on both sides for a few months, the facts are starting to show.
Maybe as the technology improves and games can compete on a hardware level, we’ll be able to see some change but for now, mobile gaming seems to be taking the route of male all the money now and worry about your credibility later.
Do you play mobile games? What do you think of the current state of mobile gaming? Let me know in the comments section below.