Candy Crush is a powerhouse of profit that was bought by Activision for a record $5.9bn (short for bi-yun). While this was probably a classic mistake of buying high, you can’t deny the mainstream success of this game and genre (or the success of Activision).
It was just a few years ago that mobile games were thought of as a passing trend that would never reach the heights of games with real buttons. But mobile gaming has indeed surpassed traditional gaming this year, beating Console/PC gaming in revenue for the first time.
While these games are often viewed as mindless trash by core gamers, there’s no doubt that this is a copycat industry fighting to remain profitable. Big publishers are taking less risks and often look towards the mobile-sphere for their business plans moving forward. Konami – makers of legendary franchises Contra, Castlevania, Metal Gear, and Silent Hill – decided it would be best to ditch P.T. and Hideo Kojima, two of the hottest properties at the time. Their CEO even publicly said “Mobile is where the future of gaming lies.”
You can’t put Death Stranding on a phone!
Mobile gaming is massive, but what if it took the next step to become bigger? What if these games had a story and characters?
Space Invaders, Pac-Man, and Mario were all perfectly fun to play without worrying about any narrative other than DON’T DIE! It wasn’t until RPGs like Final Fantasy introduced a deeper narrative that the medium began to change into what we play today.
What if the Angry Birds were engaged in an epic war of Game of Thrones proportions? How about Candy Crush hiring Jonathan Blow to link their puzzles together the way he did with The Witness? Or perhaps Pokemon Go could be played as a murder mystery, where instead of finding cute monsters, the player finds virtual murder victims and witnesses, piecing together the case until they ultimately track down the brutal killer…
Or maybe the entire appeal of these simple games is that they’re mindless.
In that case I think I’m done here.