Syp’s out of town this week and has turned the keys to Bio Break over to fellow bloggers. Today’s post is from Riknas of Riknas Rants.
Greetings Bio Breakers, I’m Joshua “Riknas” from Riknas Rants. While I know you’re used to dealing with Syp, he’s taking his own break right now, so I’m going to be filling in for him today. Assuming that my personal hitman also manages eliminate the other guest bloggers, it might be longer than that, but no promises. Regardless, this time I’ll be talking about our current interest in mobile tech and how it relates to online gaming.
Anyway, if you’ve been paying attention in your life you’ll know that in this current day and age nearly everyone has a smart phone, and nearly all of those smart phones have plenty of apps available for them. I like to call this, “The Portable Era” (catchy, right?)
Because there are so many tools and games to work with, smartphones have actually made a lot of older technology obsolete. “Why would I need a flashlight if I have a smartphone?”, “I can get the news on my smartphone, why would I watch TV for it?” “I can check my emails right here on my smartphone, so I don’t need to get on the computer for that.” And then there’s, “I already have a smartphone, what do I need friends for?”
That said, in the Portable Era its increasingly easy to replace bigger things with smaller things. Desk tops are exchanged for laptops, laptops are exchanged for netbooks, and netbooks are switched out for tablets. It is because of that, online game companies would be wise to make sure there’s a little part of their game available for the people that are part of this growing trend. Blizzard has the World of Warcraft Armory to keep track of your character and account, while CCP’s EVE Online has an absurd number of apps available for it. Unfortunately, there is a distinct lack “companion” apps like that.
Not only that, but there is a rapid development for mobile gaming as a whole, including Mobile MMOs. Games like Pocket Legends, Order and Chaos, and TibiaME have made great strides to show off how much a smartphone can do, and that’s just on smartphones, not including what you can do on a laptop or netbook. Because the graphics and gameplay have come so far for these mobile games, their popularity (and subsequently, the market for it) has expanded exponentially. More importantly, as people have become more attached to these mobile games, it starts to change people’s perceptions on the standard MMO. Suddenly the 20+ gigabyte games seem very cumbersome and difficult to deal with. If you want the most crisp sound quality you need to buy a sound card, and if you want to be able to see enough of the game you need a larger monitor. Hell, if you even want to run the game at all you need to make sure you have a solid graphics card and enough RAM. Want to play on a laptop? Good luck with that, pal. And after that? It’s almost expected of you to at least spend some money on the game itself, unless you’re an especially frugal gamer playing a F2P title.
Meanwhile, you happen to have on your neat little iPhone an MMO that you downloaded for free. If you’re low on memory you just delete a few apps, and you’re ready to go. It’s a fun game that you can play anywhere with little or no initial investment necessary, all you needed was that phone you bought, no upgrades necessary. You can download as many as you want, and should you choose to put down some money, you can almost guarantee that the amount needed will be less than what you would spend on a standard MMO.
With that you might need to stop and ask yourself, “What the hell am I doing?” as you wait for twenty minutes on the next patch for your online game of choice.
It is with all that in mind I think that MMO companies not involved at least some way in the mobile market are really putting themselves at a disadvantage, and that they should be asking themselves, “What the hell are we doing?”
But hey, maybe I’m just ranting.