You might have noticed that, recently, I wasn't posting for a little while. I was enjoying a couple days off, a four-day weekend that not only let me get a lot done, but also let me enjoy some quiet time and a chance to stretch my wrists a bit from their standard position, hovering over a keyboard. But I also got some game time in, and had a wild time with "Saints Row 4
", running around the alien simulation of Steelport and blasting whatever happened. But with this rare slice of time off, I also got a lot of stuff done around the house that I'd been meaning to do, and after catching up on gaming news I saw a bit on VentureBeat about how being an adult means that there's a lot less time for gaming than there used to be. While games have been getting deeper and more complex, the time to unravel a major game was harder to find that ever.
While I couldn't help but sympathize, I got to wondering just a little more, and discovered that this, quite possibly, has more going on than may be thought on the surface. We all know that mobile games and browser games have been on an uptick lately, and much of the attribution for that was the increased proliferation of mobile devices. This makes plenty of sense; if there are a lot more mobile devices out there then why shouldn't there be more mobile games sold to play on said devices? But that bit about adult gamers who are short on time got me to thinking.
One thing I know about browser games--being well acquainted with same from Kongregate
, Armor Games and a literal host of other options when it comes to browser gaming--is that they are quick to pick up and fairly quick to put down. A browser game, under the right circumstances, can be played to completion in a matter of hours, and not too many of them. Mobile gaming isn't exactly too far removed from that, with focuses on puzzle games and the like, so the idea may be there as well. Adult gamers don't have much time for complex games--I personally love the "Fallout" and "Elder Scrolls" games because I can take them on in pieces, and despite the fact that I loved all that I've played so far, I haven't played a "Final Fantasy" game since "Final Fantasy X" came out. And there have been several since. Many gamers simply don't have the time for long and complex titles that don't have easily compartmentalized storylines, and the mobile and browser markets may be capitalizing on this.
So to answer the question the headline asks, is the mobile gaming
market seizing gamers on time constraints? There's no way to be sure on that one, at least not until a full study can be launched. But on the anecdotal level, there's at least enough evidence to suggest a potential connection. While it'd take a lot more study to figure that out on any kind of scientific level, the concept that mobile games--and browser games--may get a burst from former core gamers who simply don't have time to game any more is likely more valid than some may have expected, and poses some unusual possibilities for future game development.