Mobile Gaming Just Got Way More Exciting

I was recently lamenting to a friend the fact that right around when mobile technology was getting powerful enough to deliver console-quality experiences and designers were figuring out how to make good use of touchscreen controls, the horrible exploitative freemium monetization schemes took off, and we missed out on the possibility of a really amazing mobile game ecosystem.

The example that breaks my heart the most is Dynasty Warriors: Unleased which clearly could have presented a great musou-lite experience on the go, but was buried in layers of loot box crap. Similarly, I enjoyed both Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp and Fire Emblem Heroes a lot as games until their monetization schemes overshadowed the gameplay.

But now, as predicted by John Gruber, Apple is launching a subscription-based game service with access to a bunch of games with offline play, no IAP, no ads, and no data collection without player consent. And there are a bunch of quality devs and high-profile games confirmed for the service.

This is REALLY EXCITING. By lining up the incentives in this way, Apple is finally taking huge steps to fix the damage they’ve caused to the mobile gaming ecosystem. We might finally get some amazing mobile games and I can’t wait to see how it goes.