Why aren't "Overwatch-style" games successful on mobile?

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Carlos Laforet Coll
@carloslaforetcoll
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Launching a copy of “Overwatch Mobile” is a success, right? Not really! On the contrary!

Since 2017, there have been games for Android and iOS with gameplay and visuals similar to Overwatch.

While Blizzard's game has almost certain success, see the Overwatch 2 queues at launch, on mobile things are quite different.

For those who don't know the style, a shooting game with heroes of fanciful abilities, facing each other in small arenas, is commonly called hero shooter.



This style of play has been popping up on mobile since the launch of Overwatch on PC.

However, what seems like a sure formula for success has turned out to be a ton of resounding failures of the kind that shut down studios and can even bankrupt some publishers.

There were many games released from 2017 onwards with this Overwatch footprint. Most of them were good games, but they ended up being a lack of public interest.

Gameloft took a huge toll with the failure of Modern Combat Versus.

Here are some examples of Overwatch-style games that either closed their servers in a short time or were never released canceled:

  1. Modern Combat
  2. Shadowgun War Games
  3. Respawnables heroes
  4. kick-flight
  5. Hero Mission
  6. Ace Force APK
  7. ShellFire
  8. Heroes of Warfare
  9. Mobile Battleground
  10. King Legion

In addition to these there are games that are in the “refrigerator”, waiting for a launch window or a marketing investment, aka “hype”, minimally decent.



This category includes games such as: Project X22, Dream Edge and Star Wars: Hunters.

Faced with so many good studios failing and heavy franchises like Star Wars being ashamed, the question remains: why hero shooters are not successful on mobile?

 

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What's missing for hero shooters to take off on mobile?

If I knew the answer to that question, I'd be working at some big game developer.

But if there's one thing I've noticed with the releases of shooters like Apex and COD Mobile, it's that the public doesn't want the “copies” anymore.

Just pay a little attention to the mobile market. New games that are “copies” are no longer as successful as they used to be.


Players are preferring to wait to play the real port of Valorant or COD Warzone, for example.

Games that are “similar” or “xxxx mobile” from company A or B no longer attract as much attention as they used to. This applies to any style of play, not just hero shooters.

In other words, the era of “copy games” surfing the ocean of money from the mobile market is over. Whoever took advantage, took advantage, the best example of this is Free Fire.


Gamers now want exactly that franchise on mobile. And even so, not even that guarantees that the game will be the leader in that segment.

A good example of this is League of Legends Wild Rift, which took so long to arrive that Mobile Legends remains in the lead as the most played MOBA in the west.

Anyway, having said all that, I still think there is some secret to confirm why hero shooters don't attract so much attention.

What do you think? Leave a comment!

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