GameSpot Journalist Discovers the Obvious: Paid Mobile Games Are Better

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Carlos Laforet Coll
@carloslaforetcoll
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The story is as follows: journalist Kurt Indovina, from the renowned website GameSpot, decided to go a week without playing on any platform other than mobile.

The popularity of mobile games has always been controversial.

Recently, the casters of the channel and podcast Flow Games did not understand why Call of Duty Warzone Mobile is more successful than Modern Warfare 2, within its own audience.

But Kurt already understood this (which Flow Games should have already figured out) but he wanted a different, more “mobile” experience.



And by mobile, understand mobile, games made and designed exclusively for mobile. Ports or games that simulate or “emulate” the experience of having a portable console did not enter into his experiment. Kurt even deprived himself of controls and accessories. Just the smartphone! (in this case, the iPhone).

A rather indigestible task.

Imagine, for a person who has never had experience with mobile games, landing directly on the home page of the App Store and Google Play.

And that's what happened.

 

Watch the video, in English, but I believe you can put a translator in the subtitles on Youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eu6eT2V1wIA

 

The homepage problem

It's not today that the Google Play and App Store home pages are a problem.

Focused on offering only the hottest and “high profit” games, the beginning of each store is always filled with ultra casual games.

But we can discount this strategy. Big techs don't have parameters to profile the player. However, after some time in the stores, something should have changed. Google Play has an antidote for this by subscribing to Game Pass. At Apple, even when subscribing to Apple Arcade I still find it a mess.



And there's a reason for that.

As much as you don't like casual hypers, they are free and the more free games you download, even if it's to test for 10 minutes, the more games like this the stores will offer you.

With Kurt, the same thing happened, he fell straight into ultra casual games with simple design and that focus on offering you as many boring ads as possible during each game or even in between.

The first games tested

The journalist made it clear that he knows the most popular mobile games like PUBG, Genshin Impact, Call of Duty Mobile and etc. The focus was on letting the attention go to show up in the store and focused on the mobile experience.

It didn't take long for him to get really bored. By just downloading games that he played for a few hours and deleting in the same day, things didn't go well. The reason was that most games bar progress to offer ads or in-app purchases.

Also according to Kurt, there is no problem in these games, nothing to be ashamed of. After all, just delete the game.

But he wanted something with a more interesting art direction, something more creative, something that aroused some emotion, and not just a “past time”.

 

The change…

After a few days of playing ultra-casual games, Kurt decided to type “Story” into the App Store and, according to him, landed in a very private corner of Apple's app store. The corner of “hot” games for ladies (and teenagers too).


The funny part is that the “hottest” parts of these games cost real money, but progressing without “catching anyone” is completely free.


After a few “romance novels” for women (don't laugh) and finding hidden object games, something pretty obvious happened. Kurt got bored and thought: most free mobile games are just ad display machines?

The best sentence in the video for me is this: “I'm sick of free stuff".

I know it may sound superb, but the point is: “there is no such thing as a free lunch”. A game gives you free stuff at first, just to force you to buy something, and you buy it, under the false illusion that you'll have more fun.

Then he gave up and decided to pay for some games.

It didn't take long for him to be amazed at the new world that had opened up.

Free of ads, the journalist can enjoy better games and one in particular caught his attention: Florence!

Note Yes, Florence was first released on mobile in 2018 and only later reached other platforms.

Florence really captured attention with her story about romance and everyday life. A simple and touching game.

 

Conclusion: Paid games are a better “investment” of time and money

I hate to use that term, but the conclusion Kurt came to is the same conclusion I came to in 2013, when this discussion of free-to-play games began.


For Kurt, paid games are a better investment of time and money.

Deepening his conclusion further, he said that in free mobile games, it's as if the fun and contentment is always in small doses. Something thought might interfere with ad windows or embedded purchases. A distraction, between your day to day activities.


But Florence, he said, “was the exact experience he was looking for”, “a game that had a sense of intent to exist, with deliberate design choices”.

Games like Florence, Bury me, my Love e Device 6 changed his perception of the platform. These are games that use the smartphone in unconventional ways.

This is a part that many will find silly, because if you stop to think about it, most of the mobile games that I nominate here are games that are the face of console games. Games that could be on a PS Vita, Nintendo 3DS or Switch.

I usually don't care about this type of game, because I'm too busy with dozens of free releases that come out every smeana, and that's something I intend to change soon.

At the end of the video, the GameSpot journalist says he's hooked and it's time to sign up for the Arcade App.

Good idea!

 

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