Procrastination Amplification: Punditry on MMOs and games in general.

Don’t Fear the Dollar App

Roughly two months ago, Mike Capps of Epic Games told IndustryGamers that “If there’s anything that’s killing us [in the traditional games business] it’s dollar apps”. This quote has been thrown around a lot since, but I really have a hard time believing it. My phone is quite able to play these cheap games and I do have some games on it, but I really can’t see it cutting into my playtime even remotely.

I’ll play angry birds on a train or while waiting for an appointment or something but I have yet to pull out my phone at home to play a game on it when I had the option of playing a real game instead. And why would I? Real games are simply a lot more fun for me than those simple-minded little toys they call games in the AppStores of this world.

I suppose I’ll have to accept that there are other players with less hardcore tastes who are willing to spend a lot of time with casual software. That said, even Plants vs. Zombies or Peggle are just way better on a big screen with a mouse than on the (comparatively) tiny screen of a phone. It might be a bit more convenient to play on the always-on phone instead of booting up the PC, so I suppose there is some demographic that might prefer playing on their phones instead. I’ll imagine though that those people were never very interested in PC games in the first place.

That leaves the iPad. Gaming on tablets has all the advantages of a (comparatively) big screen combined with the mobility and always-on capability of a mobile phone. Still, you PC (and console) games are still way better and the percentage of tablet owners is rather small anyway. So who exactly is Mr. Capps afraid of losing, especially working in a studio like Epic Games? Which Gears of War fan says “eh, I’ll rather play Angry Birds instead”?

To me, this feels like the Steak House owner being threatened by the existence of beef jerky. Oh no, nobody will eat steak again when they can get a bag of jerky for 99c instead. Right.

Do you guys see that differently? Are you playing less PC/Console games due to the existence of cheap downloadable games on your mobile devices?


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