Saturday, 3 August 2013

Breath of Fire 6 & a little rant about the increasing popularity of mobile games with developers

Ahhh capcom, just when i feel i can't find something to write about, you come up with some stupidly idiotic idea worth ranting about. What would i do without you?

So back on thursday, Capcom announced a collection of new titles on the way, of which one was a title that should by all means generate a lot of hype, Breath of Fire 6. So wait, "should" you say? Yeah well basically Capcom has gone out and decided that the next main numbered title in the BoF series is to be a browser/tablet/mobile game. Fans have been waiting for around about 11 years for a continuation of the breath of fire universe, and what we get instead, is a kick in the teeth. Or at least what looks to be a kick in the teeth. Admittedly, this may come across as too hasty a complaint to make, but considering that it has been so long since the last installment, i feel it's a little justified.

It's becoming more and more common these days for companies such as Capcom, and maybe more predominantly, Square-Enix to come out with a bunch of Mobile games or browser based games as a means of cheap title to bolster profits, and that's not a bad thing at all. What is a bad thing however, is bringing in huge IPs such as Final Fantasy, or again, Breath of Fire, and instead of putting together another big game, putting in smaller ones. For some this may come across as a decent enough idea, they don't have the time or money to invest in a full title so they get something more for on the go. For the fans of said franchises though, this more often than not enrages them, tests their patience or even removes some of the confidence they had for a company. Takes for example The World Ends With You, a critically acclaimed title from S-E for DS. They released a teaser site hinting at something new for the series back in August last year which ended up being an iOS port. A lot of people had hoped this may have been a sequel after so long and after high demand, but it never came to be. While the game does hint at a sequel, the case still remains that they put the effort into making the iOS port, and then a social game for the title afterwards. It takes away consumer confidence in my eyes and while i can understand the merits of making the game accessible again via other means, it brings up the question, are we forced to expect sequels on mobiles now instead?

Mobile gaming has become a lot more of a widely accepted field but it still doesn't mean you should place more hit titles on the platform, or even make them social for that matter. We get that production costs are steadily increasing year in, year out, but there is still other options companies can take in getting the games out there, and as full titles. Breath of Fire is a title which i could see everyone accepting as a 3DS or Vita title without any issue, in fact i could even see it bringing in Vita sales considering the popularity of the title as a whole. Not only that, but handheld consoles in general have a lower cost of production as a whole, and the market for them(at least for the 3DS at present) is pretty strong, so there would be guaranteed sales. Considering also that 2D and 2.5D are still pretty popular as well, it wouldn't be too hard to make a game in the same wake as BoFIII or IV just with newer, fresher textures. The need for a physical copy isn't there either, so you would avoid the production costs of cartridges too.

Developers please, stop it. You're making me cry in anger

While i can't honestly come up with numbers and graphs(cause everything looks better with graphs) to back up my idea that mobile games are hurting more than helping major IPs, i do feel that at least on a consumer level, you can see the frustrations caused by it pretty easily. While it may come across as a good idea to make Final Fantasy: All The Bravest SquEnix, it's also one of the worst titles to have dawned the Final Fantasy name. Tarnishing a franchise more that has been struggling for the past few years due to XIV(granted it might be sorted now) and a fairly average XIII isn't what you want to do. You would think that Capcom would realise this as well and focus more of their efforts elsewhere. Though even then, their unhealthy obsession with Call of Duty and attracting that market to every other game they make does show me at least a certain level of obliviousness to what gamers want, so it makes sense why they'd move to social games. It just doesn't sit right with me, and i don't honestly think it should with anyone.

 There is plenty of alternative methods to get a game out there without resulting in the creation of a free to play, microtransaction social game which enrages many fans of a series. Sure, keep making mobile games, social games, browser based games, there is a market there for it, but try to avoid making ones for major IPs, and avoid calling them the next in the main series as well. Try to imagine Ubisoft saying "Assassin's Creed V - For android/iOS only" or Activision making Call of Duty a touch-based tablet game with no chance of console or PC release. It just wouldn't work, it would throw away a good chunk of the fanbase that franchise has created, and god knows what else. Just leave major ips as they are.

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