Mobile Gaming: For Better or for Worse?

There seems to be a hierarchy amongst gamers based on the platform which he or she chooses to consume their gaming hours. For years, the console gaming community and the PC gaming community has been battling for the high-tech throne as the king of gaming platforms. However, there is one other platform that is so far out of the picture in this battle for supremacy that an average gamer may even have second doubt that it is a gaming platform at all. That platform is mobile gaming.

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When it comes to mobile gaming, most gamers will immediately be taken back into the November of 2018 fiasco. During Blizzcon, the mastermind behind the upcoming Diablo Immortal, Wyatt Cheng, commented “Don’t you guys have phones?” as a rebuttal to the crowd’s displeasure when it was revealed that Diablo Immortal will be a mobile title. This very moment has become an iconic meme which embodies the idea of “what you should not do”. But let us examine this objectively. Though the delivery by Wyatt Cheng was awful, the ideology behind that notion is valid.

Majority of the game consumers are not full-time gamers. In other words, they are not able to play videogames at the comfort of their home for more than nine hours in a single day. Instead, they most likely have activities such as jobs or hobbies that will lead them to the great outdoors for the majority of the day. What is the one thing that everybody will carry with them anywhere they go more than your house keys? You guessed it: Your phone. Even at home, how often do you find yourself checking your phone for social media, or to answer text messages and emails?

In addition, mobile devices are evolving at a neck-breaking speed. During the life cycle of Playstation 4 since its release in 2013 to its successor Playstation 5 to emerge, Apple has introduced fifteen new phones alone, excluding IPads. New enhancement means better games can run on these mobile devices, which would allow companies more freedom.

From a financial standpoint, the numbers alone is enough to make anyone who can read numbers drool out of greed. Pokemon Go has brought home more than $1 billion in 2020 alone, even through the pandemic lockdown. PUBG Mobile, another giant in the mobile game industry, also scored $1.6 billion worldwide from January 2020 to August 2020. For comparison, Activision Blizzard’s total revenue at the end of third financial quarter 2020 was $1.95 billion.

To add fuel to the fire, a good chunk of these mobile games are sinfully addicting. Gacha games are notoriously addicting. Preying on those who may have gambling tendencies, gacha games continuously make headlines throughout the years. Most recent example being Genshin Impact by miHoYo. It broke through all sorts of records and won best mobile game of the year 2020. However, it was also a nominee in the “Best Role-Playing Game” category. In that category are titan titles such as Final Fantasy VII: Remake, Persona 5 Royal, Wasteland 3, and Yakuza: Like a Dragon.

Oh, you say Genshin Impact is more of a PC game than mobile since most people play it on PC? Then let us examine a little franchise called Fate: Grand Order. Fate: Grand Order has grossed over $4 billion in the game’s lifetime and the earning is expected to be another earth-shattering number once 2020 earnings are announced. And no, this is not a stand-alone outlier. There are multiple mobile games that have duplicated or even surpassed this astronomical number, consistently.

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Love it or hate it, mobile gaming is here to stay. The annual GDP these mobile games bring in is enough factor for any gaming companies to want a piece of the action. With the growing reliance on our mobile device to perform daily tasks, it is no wonder that the market is growing exponentially, with no signs of slowing down. It is only a matter of time until you find the game that will hook you into this ever-evolving platform. And I would argue that mobile devices are as much of a contender for the high-tech throne as any other PC or gaming console.

Legends of Runeterra Review

Does the world need another fantasy-based card game?

Card games are a genre that has transitioned into the digital era with grace but also with a lot of legacy features that some of us don’t really find appealing.

Sure, you can justify that the business models that underpin games like Hearthstone by pointing out all of the free content you get but it still makes it a bit annoying to have to shell out cash each and every time you want to upgrade your deck.

At least with a physical game you have cards to hold. In the virtual world, you have nothing other than a printout of your receipt (if you want that).

One game that is charming enough to make us forget the DLC tax that holds it all together is Legends of Runeterra, a fun deck game based on the League of Legends IP.

You don’t need to be familiar with that game, but it might help make everything click with you that much more. One thing that we had a hard time wrapping our head around is the “why” behind this game. Does the world need another fantasy-based card game?

The jury is still out on that and it is a shame that almost any contender in this genre is compared with the aforementioned Blizzard property or the real OG, Magic the Gathering.

It might strike you as a copy of something superior at first glance, but what we have on offer here is innovative enough to warrant a second look.

For one thing, the action of the game moves much faster than either of the other games we mentioned. There is some tie in with the League of Legends lore but it won’t impact the game nor how you play it.

Again, we enjoyed how it assumed we knew nothing about one of the world’s biggest multiplayer games and that helped acclimate and establish the game as its own thing.

Another thing that we appreciated is that the game somewhat holds your hand or even helps guide your strategy.

A gameplay feature called the “Oracle’s Eye” will show you the impact of your moves down the road and this gives you loads of insight into how the mechanics of everything works. It’s pretty invaluable, especially if you’re not familiar with this kind of card game.

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Graphics are serviceable if somewhat bright and generic from some perspectives. Overall, Legends of Runeterra delivers where it matters but there is one nagging issue.

The purchase of new cards is just a frustrating feature for a video game. We get it: If you’re used to this kind of thing, that mechanic probably isn’t a big deal. And for gamers raised in mobile ecosystems, the occasional purchase is justified. But when you’re trying to fall in love with a game and decide whether or not you want to put more of your time into it, the last thing you want to think about is a potential tax on your fun.

Because let’s face it, you’re going to have to upgrade your deck eventually. That’s just the way these games are. If you can stomach that, then Legends of Runeterra offers just enough of a change in the core game play that we think it merits a look.