The gaming industry has experienced significant growth in recent years, propelled in part by the COVID-19 pandemic. Gaming has transitioned from being a mere pastime to a means of communication and socialization during lockdowns. One popular category of games during this time was mobile games of service, also known as mobile live service games.
Despite their popularity in the past and present, there are concerns about the future of mobile games of service. Are they on the decline? Let’s explore this question further.
What Are Mobile Games of Service?
Mobile games of service, or mobile live service games, differ from traditional video games in that they continually engage players by providing frequent content updates even after the game’s initial release.
Unlike standard video games with a definitive ending, mobile games of service allow players to continue playing and eagerly await new content. There is no static “end” to achieve.
Features of a Live Service Mobile Game
Here are some key features that indicate a mobile game is a live service game:
- Often free-to-play (F2P) or with an upfront fee or subscription
- Frequent addition of new content and updates
- Option for online or multiplayer gameplay
- Regular achievements and unlocks
Examples of Mobile Games of Service
Some popular examples of mobile games of service include:
- Genshin Impact
- League of Legends: Wild Rift
- Mobile Legends: Bang Bang
- Call of Duty Mobile
- PUBG Mobile
The Potential Decline of Mobile Games of Service
Although mobile phones have become indispensable in our lives, providing easy access to games, there is growing speculation about the waning popularity of live service mobile games.
Let’s examine some of the disadvantages of this genre:
While some live service mobile games are free-to-play or require upfront fees, not all content can be accessed with in-game currency. Premium character or weapon skins, for example, may only be available through additional payments. Some games employ a “Battle Pass” system where players must pay to unlock exclusive content.
Most games also offer in-game currency for purchase, further emphasizing the optional spending aspect. While some games only offer cosmetic items, others provide content that may impact gameplay, such as weapons and characters.
Quantity Over Quality
Developers of live service mobile games often prioritize releasing new content frequently to keep players engaged. However, this can lead to rushed and buggy updates. Players may find themselves struggling to enjoy the game due to prevalent bugs and glitches, requiring additional waiting time for developers to resolve these issues.
Live service mobile games rely on continuous effort and financial support from developers. Once developers cease their involvement, the game may disappear entirely. In contrast, traditional full-fledged games with expansions or downloadable content have a more permanent presence.
But Maybe Not…
However, it’s important to consider that most live service mobile games are not pay-to-win. Players can enjoy the game without spending real money, as the emphasis is often on cosmetic items. While temptation to make purchases exists, it is not compulsory.
Publishers are constantly seeking ways to improve mobile game monetization, tailoring solutions to individual player preferences. This enhances both revenue and player experience.
Continued Player Engagement
Despite concerns about the decline of mobile games of service, there is still a substantial player base. For example, League of Legends: Wild Rift boasts an average of over 10 million monthly players, with peak player counts nearing one million.
Clearly, players are still actively engaging with live service mobile games.
The Future of Mobile Games of Service
What does the future hold for mobile games of service? It’s difficult to predict.
While they may not experience an abrupt downfall as long as they remain popular, such as Genshin Impact and League of Legends: Wild Rift, developers and publishers must continuously adapt to maximize success. This competitive edge sets live service games apart from conventional video games.
As long as they meet player demands and evolve accordingly, mobile games of service will remain a significant force in the gaming industry.
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Basant Kasayap is an entertainment aficionado who delves into the glitz and glamour of the entertainment industry. From Hollywood to Bollywood to regional cinema, she offers readers an insider’s perspective on the world of movies, music, and pop culture.