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Opinion by article by Battlestation: Harbinger developer on Polygon

10-19-2015, 03:11 PM
#1
Joined: Jul 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 1,565
Opinion by article by Battlestation: Harbinger developer on Polygon

People here should read this article.
The mobile games market is an absolute mess, thanks to you

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My favorite video game genres include adventure, board, 4X, roguelike, space sims, and strategy games.
10-19-2015, 03:56 PM
#2
Joined: Jun 2014
Location: Brazil
Posts: 1,001
That just broke my heart. So much potential wasted on mobile...

10-19-2015, 04:40 PM
#3
Joined: Oct 2009
Location: Missouri, USA
Posts: 1,929
Quote:
Originally Posted by klink View Post
Nail on the head.

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10-19-2015, 05:30 PM
#4
Joined: Nov 2014
Location: Tokyo-3
Posts: 369
"We need to be willing to spend a few dollars on a quality app, rather than for a few extra lives or other in-game purchases."

^This. I absolutely don't understand how people refuse to spend $3 for a game yet they drop $100 like it's nothing on freemium/f2p games. This is a very well written article in my opinion that a lot of people should read.
10-19-2015, 06:52 PM
#5
Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 138
I already posted in the comments there (helava, long comment about halfway down), but fundamentally I really think this guy completely misses the point.

I'd love it if the mobile market had a sustainable premium games market, but that isn't the case and *hasn't been the cast since mid-2009*. That's nearly *seven years* since the business model they're pursuing has made any significant amount of sense. Yeah, there are periodically minor successes (Monument Valley, for instance), but MV is an *extraordinary* game, not just a decent one, and even then, they made what, $10M? $10M is a fantastic amount of money for a very small team, but once you start to scale up that team to even 8 people or so, after expenses and development and marketing and everything else, the developers of one of the biggest premium hits in recent memory isn't getting spectacularly rich. I know that's weird to say, but that's how the economics work.

So they chose an incredibly risky business model. And then they made a fairly niche game. And they're complaining about what, exactly? That consumers don't like premium? A fact that anyone who's even been paying marginal attention has known for *seven years*? Then they're shouting at consumers that it's wrong to have rejected the business model they rejected years before this project even started development? That's insane.

Having a game fail sucks. I've been there *multiple times*. It's really tempting to say that *I* think this game is great, therefore it's great. But that's not how things work. You don't *get* to decide how people respond to your game. You only get to decide how you respond to how they respond. And saying they're "wrong" is worse than pointless. It means you aren't learning anything.

In 2009, we released Taxiball - a premium game - just as the market raced to $0.99. We expected we could charge $5 for it. We were wrong. We were angry and bitter and all those things for a while. But we could adapt to the new reality, or we could die. And we weren't interested in death.

F2P is what it is. Right now, it's a lot of exploitative crap and a few genuinely good gems. If we decide that F2P is inherently evil, then the people who will win *the entire game market* are the people who build inherently evil F2P games. But I don't believe that F2P is inherently evil, and I believe that a good F2P game that treats its players with respect and honesty can be bigger and better than crap that exploits cognitive weakness. Because what happens when you have a F2P game that squeezes its users for money is that eventually, the relationship becomes antagonistic, and players want to not pay the developers for as long as they can. For me, that's a *terrible* relationship to have with your players/customers. We want to give you something that you love in exchange for money, and we want you to *want* to spend more, because we're giving you something of value. If we leave F2P to the sharks, then the sharks will win. That's bullshit. Games are better than that. But they're only going to be better if we *make* them better. And that starts with accepting the responsibility for our failures. And not holding our hands over our ears and yelling that the players are doing it wrong.
10-20-2015, 05:45 AM
#6
Joined: Jun 2014
Location: Brazil
Posts: 1,001
Reading the comments there, it's sad to see that many people don't take mobile seriously. Also, tablet gaming is a diferent beast than phone.
10-20-2015, 10:44 AM
#7
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 475
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dankrio View Post
Reading the comments there, it's sad to see that many people don't take mobile seriously. Also, tablet gaming is a diferent beast than phone.
Really? It's not that sad honestly. Mobile gaming is vastly overcome by free to play shit, money grubbing devolopers or cheap ass gamers who won't spend more then a dollar on games. How can anyone take it seriously with these problems?
10-20-2015, 11:56 AM
#8
Joined: Jun 2014
Location: Brazil
Posts: 1,001
Quote:
Originally Posted by spader623 View Post
Really? It's not that sad honestly. Mobile gaming is vastly overcome by free to play shit, money grubbing devolopers or cheap ass gamers who won't spend more then a dollar on games. How can anyone take it seriously with these problems?
You missed the point. They take mobile as a kind of inferior platform, so they think that mobile has to be only for casual gaming and state that it is why they don't pay for games on mobile.

There are plenty of great games on mobile, however people don't feel like paying for them even if they pay more on steam, consoles etc.