Don’t get me wrong, I love mobile development as much as the next person, but I can’t help but nod in agreement with Edmund McMillen, co-creator of Super Meat Boy, when he claims that “the core of what is wrong with the mobile platform is the lack of respect for players”.
In a development blog focusing on the progress of Super Meat Boy: The Game — a touch based, ground up reworking of Super Meat Boy for iOS and mobile platforms, McMillen went on a bit of tangent, discussing his own personal issues with mobile development.
To us the core of what is wrong with the mobile platform is the lack of respect for players, it really seems like a large number of these companies out there view their audience as dumb cattle who they round up, milk and then send them on their way feeling empty or at times violated…
There is an on going theme these days to use a very basic video game shell and hang a “power up carrot” in front of the player. the player sees this carrot, and wants it! all the player needs to do is a few very rudimentary repetitious actions to attain it, once they get to it, another drops down and asks them to do more… but then the catch… instead of achieving these “goals” by running on the tread mill, you can instead just pay a single dollar and you instantly get to your goal! better yet pay 10 and unlock all your goals without even having to ever play the game!
[W]ords can not express how fucking wrong and horrible this is, for games, for gamers and for the platform as a whole… this business tactic is a slap in the face to actual game design and embodies everything that is wrong with the mobile/casual video game scene.
This will most likely reflect my own personal preferences as a player, but all of my favourite mobile gaming experiences have involved fair, but challenging goals (like Tiny Wings). Or a high score mechanic — like Collision Effect, Ziggurat, or Doodle Jump — that allowed me to increase my skill level through practice.
Pay to succeed games? Bleh. The reward is instantly lost for me if I can simply pay to win.