Why are Companies Adapting PC and Console Games for Smartphones?

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META: A lot of classic PC and console games are being squeezed into a screen a few inches wide for the enjoyment of gamers to play on the sofa. But why? Read on for all the details.

There is a new trend going around gaming, one that might cause dedicated gamers to ask, “Who asked for that?”, but nevertheless the trend is growing indicating its success. This trend is console and PC games being repackaged as mobile games.

A lot of classic PC and console games are being squeezed into a screen a few inches wide for the enjoyment of gamers to play on the sofa. But why? Read on for all the details.

IMAGE: https://pixabay.com/photos/candy-crush-device-electronics-game-1869655/ (Pixabay)

What’s in it for the gamer?

A lot of games have been popping up with mobile alternatives lately. It takes a lot of money and dedication to be a PC or console gamer, with the initial pieces of equipment costing enough to make you rethink your priorities, so it begs the question if developers expected console gamers to switch?

Probably not, it’s just a different platform with its own set of pros and cons, and, crucially, its own market. There are a lot of gamers who play on their phone, and to put them all into the one box of Candy Crush and Angry Bird players alongside classic games like online poker on sites like GGPoker, is an unfair generalization. Sure, these less-absorbing games designed to keep you occupied while the TV plays in the background are topping the leaderboards for gaining the most revenue, but there are a lot of indie and lesser-known games that can be found in the Apple or Google Play store that offer majestic graphics, intriguing narratives, and groundbreaking gameplay. Some examples include That Dragon Cancer, Monument Valley, and Slay the Spire.

It only made sense then for developers to look at these in-between gamers, looking for something more substantial, but still the comfort of playing on their phone, and decided to reboot some of their classic titles.

What’s in it for the developer?

Over the past few years, more and more classic named games have been released as a mobile reboot. You can find TellTale Game’s The Wolf Among Us and Batman: The TellTale Series, but with very little action or gameplay to the TellTale’s particular brand of choice-based storytelling, this made sense, as did DontNod’s input with Life is Strange and Life is Strange: Before the Storm.

Others, however, might surprise you. For example, Call of Duty has an extremely popular mobile adaptation with all the first-person shooter gameplay well executed in the console and PC equivalents – even zombies! And remember Rockstar’s controversial boarding school game Bully? It’s back in mobile form.

So, what gives? Well, it’s no secret that there is a lot of money in mobile apps. If you make something good enough and add a subscription to it, users can pay forever to not be inconvenienced.

These mobile equivalents may be a lot cheaper than the console and PC versions, for example the next sequel to Life is Strange, Life is Strange: True Colours, is going to cost $50 on release, where the first installment’s mobile version is free with in-app purchases. Even so, that doesn’t mean there isn’t money to be made here. App publishers can earn money based on the interactions users have with the advertisements displayed, with the subscription services offered and with in-app purchases, which, in the gaming world, usually amount to aesthetic upgrades.

With whispers of brands like Netflix branching out of their field to get into mobile gaming, it seems there is not only money to be made, but a lot of it at that, so it’s likely we’ll see even more console and PC games being adapted for the small screen, and perhaps even released alongside new games.

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