AH Mobile Games

Android Headliner: Mobile Gaming And The Difficulty Of Creating A Longstanding Franchise

August 24, 2014 - Written By Justin Diaz

Mobile gaming continues to grow, and at such a fast pace that it can sometimes be hard to keep up with all the titles getting launched. Few games see the kind of explosive success that studios like Rovio, SuperCell or King Software have seen from smash hit games like Angry Birds, Candy Crush and Clash of Clans. It’s not that developers and development studios aren’t capable of putting out games that are just as exciting and fun as those aforementioned games(if not better), they just aren’t as addictive and popular. That popularity though comes from the loyalty of diehard fans who are picking up each and every game release from those companies, or from people who enjoy the pick up and play mentality. Even powerhouses like Angry Birds are having a tough time grabbing the same amount of attention as they once did however.

Mobile gaming is growing at such a rapid pace, that each and every day brings a selection of new games that are hitting the market. One extremely popular game is hard enough to develop let alone making the attempt to create and sustain a completely engrossing gaming franchise on mobile that will continue to delight gamers on a massive scale. Rovio has come close for a few years, but how long can they keep up the same song and dance, pushing slightly different games that bare the Angry Birds name with a twist? Throw in a high profile movie theme and that will surely grab the attention of longtime fans along with new ones to the series of games. That excitement seems to quickly die out though and perhaps it’s due to the short spans of time that people spend playing mobile games.

In most cases, people might spend 5 to 30 minutes playing a game on their phone or tablet, which is very different from the potential hours and hours that one might spend playing games on their PC or home console. Most mobile games are only so long and only provide so much content, making it more difficult to capture the attention of gamers for longer periods of time. Games like Angry Birds, Clash of Clans, and other games that have been widely popular are great for little spurts, but eventually things get boring and you move onto something else. This is another factor that makes longstanding franchises on mobile a huge hurdle. Games are releasing at a rapid rate and there will always be the next big hit that not only garners media attention due to flashy graphics and seemingly exciting gameplay, but also catches the eye of anyone who even remotely pays any attention to mobile game titles. There is much success to be had in the mobile gaming space, but that success might be mostly short lived. The mobile gaming market has seen huge improvements over the last couple of years, as we’re seeing plenty more games hit the space that carry a large amount of production value. Awesome graphics, lots of content, and huge replay value give games a fighting chance  but finding something to keep your market’s attention for years to come is no easier than becoming a billionaire overnight.

The best gaming franchises continue to keep their users because they provide massive amounts of content on top of other cornerstones. Something to keep the players coming back. They not only offer up something to keep gamers playing though, they provide a hugely social aspect to their games molded around large communities in which gamers can go and converse with other players, talk about game experiences, share tips and tricks and just a general love of the game. Think about Call of Duty and World of Warcraft. They patch or add content constantly throughout the year, giving gamers more stuff to do. Both game franchises though also have plenty of communities in which they can discuss pieces of the game, and thus keeping players coming back for more on a daily basis. Mobile gaming for the most part doesn’t have this. In a way the communities can help keep the spark and the love for the game alive. People keep talking about them, we might read a few threads on said games and before you know it we’re logged in to play a few hours ourselves. We don’t see this with mobile games. When was the last time you saw people having long in depth conversations or sharing tips and tricks over the new set of levels in Angry Birds, or talking about their build strategies in Clash of Clans? There will always be a soft spot for games that provide some great content and engage the gamer, but gamers need more than content if games are going to be explosively popular for a long period of time. Competition in games can keep people coming back for more. Leaderboards, chat rooms and community driven discussion boards do well to spur franchises and keep them growing. Something that we don’t really see right now from mobile games.