Mobile games have always carried a stigma of compromised quality amongst the larger gamer community. In the ongoing PC vs Console debate, mobile games are all too often relegated to a lesser category altogether from PC and console equivalents because they’re “too casual” or simply not considered to be “true games”. For some time, these were valid critiques because so many mobile games look and feel like cookie-cutter copies of other games with limited gameplay or abusive freemium frameworks meant to exploit the addictive behaviors associated with smartphones
We’ve reached a point where flagship smartphones are now capable of emulating full gaming experiences in pocket form.
Everyone has played a free-to-play game that starts out being fun for the first several levels and totally hooked you in — and then out of nowhere you hit a wall and the incentive of those in-app purchases are just too tempting. Or the game is built around a loot box system that leaves you waiting for lady luck to bestow you with the character or weapon you actually want.
Fortunately, we’ve reached a point where flagship smartphones are now capable of emulating full gaming experience in pocket form. Whereas we used to accept the hardware limitations imposed on a mobile game developer, we’ve reached the point where “the gamer phone” is more than just a gimmick. Razer and ASUS have both jumped into the smartphone space to offer phones with specs capable of handling, the latest flagships more capable than ever, and apps like Steam Link offering a promising new look at what’s possible on mobile. In other words, it sure feels like mobile gaming is ready to shed that stigma that has held it back for so long — at the same time that the wider gaming industry seems keen on adapting to the mobile model for generating revenue.