Don’t you guys have phones?
Do we really need to play games on little screens? Do we really need League of Legends Mobile Game installed on our devices? Honestly, we all have cell phones. This is not a breakthrough, some of us even start to have the need for two cellphones at the same time. In these days, cell phones are more than a tool to us. We became too dependent on the device that we feel anxious or sad when the battery is about to die. It’s even worse when somehow we forget the cell phone altogether, to some people it feels like a nightmare.
Whether this is good or bad for us, there’s no denying that it gives us too many advantages. This is not like the “watch” that our grandparents had all the time. A cell phone doesn’t just give us the time, like the old pocket/wrists watches. They give the virtue of keeping us in contact all the time with our beloved ones and even help us in a professional matter.
Now, speaking about the gaming genre, this can be exploited in so many ways. The development team from these games already know that you have your device all the time with you. That you check your phone when you’re taking a break or when you have to wait for the train/bus. In that waiting time, you may feel tempted to pass the time activating your phone. Checking for any notifications or with one app that can help you burn some minutes. If you’re hooked with one gaming app, you’ll try to advance as much as you can. That’s when they get you, and they’ll try to squish all the money they can before you get bored. Is this good or bad? Well, discuss this in much detail within this article…
Games have been present in cell phones from the beginning. Those little Nokia phones that had two colours on their tiny screens have some application that was entertaining. It was a well-known simple game called “Snake”. We all know that “simple” doesn’t always mean boring when it comes to video games. And this gaming app was really entertaining and helped you “burn” some minutes. With every new cell phone version that came in the market, the more complex the gaming apps became. Still, though, this market wasn’t that profitable in these years. People only knew the gaming apps that their cell phone came with. If you wanted another game, it required a lot of complicated stuff and probably it wouldn’t work anyways.
Enter the iPhone and Android soon afterwards. With this new wave of cell phones, everything exploded. There were lots of models to choose from, with different components and features. People became more interested in acquiring new applications because it all was easier. With just a couple of touches in your screen, you were able to install anything that the app store could offer. From different chat applications to every social network service out there. It didn’t take that much time to the video games applications to appear in it. At first, there were simple versions of games we previously had in other gaming systems. They were kind of “meh” and just captivated your attention for a couple of hours at most. But soon after that, a number of successful mobile games appeared on the market.
These mobile games didn’t try to emulate what other games in different gaming systems already offered. Instead, they created new gaming mechanics with the touch screen and the movement of the phone. Suddenly there were different ways to play video games because your cell phone became a different type of controller. You were able to cut as you swipe your finger across the screen. Move your running character by shaking the cell phone from side to side. Make a bird “fly” across obstacles with precise taps on the screen.
Free to Play
Even though the “Gameboy” was the king of mobile gaming from a long time, it had some limitations. Between the years when this portable gaming console was on top of the market, the technology was still robust. By “robust” I mean that it required a lot of “AA” batteries to start its functions. Plus, the screen didn’t have a backlight and you needed cartridges for the games. Now with our cell phones, there is no need to buy external batteries. There’s also no need for expensive hardware just to be able to enjoy more content in our devices. Instead, we are connected to the Internet and we download the information we need. Taking this in consideration and the success of the mobile games in the app store, a new logistic made its way to the market.
Besides a large number of mobile games appearing each day on the app store. Almost all of them were free. There was no need to watch reviews or think carefully in order to try the new games. By now you just simply download them on the market. Try them for a couple of minutes, and if they weren’t good, you just uninstall them. No significant loss, besides your beloved time.
Seeing free games all the time kind of felt weird first. It made us think about how were the developers able to gain some revenue. A lot of those mobile games didn’t look that simple, and the touch screen may have been difficult to program at first. But these doubts were gone when we looked a little deeper inside those applications. There were some mobile games that placed a lot of “Ads”. Some advertising images can be seen when we start a new game or we got the infamous “Game Over” sign. Other applications were a “demo” at first. You played a couple of hours and then you had to pay for the “pro version” or “complete version” in order to advance further within the game. And the last ones had the notorious business model that still plagues the video game genre, the…
Some people justify this kind of revenue inside their mobile games. A lot more people dislike this “thing” and hope to see it even less. But what really is microtransactions? Well, to summarize everything up, they are never-ending payments that aim to improve your gaming experience. At first, they look kind of adequate, you pay in order to gain some advantage. But the way its implemented in a mobile game looks kind of shady. Adding a lot of restrictions in the game in order to make them a must.
At first, they give you an unwanted mechanic about “energy” or “limitations” in order to progress further in the game. The developer also places the better in-game “items” that give a lot of advantages in the mobile application with a paywall. Lastly, they group another item within the game around different seasonal events. Halloween or Christmas for example, and after a short period, the items are no longer available. Which force you to spend some cash in order to obtain the new collection of themed items.
Another “feature” from this business model is that rarely has a limit. You can obtain all the energy and items you want to have unlimited powerful boost for your account. Although you’ll have to spend hundreds of dollars in order to obtain a meaningful advantage. For this, you may spend like $20 in a game that you see worthy. But a kid that doesn’t even know the “potential” that a credit card has, probably may spend thousands of dollars in seconds.
Wait, there’s more! Yeah, image that instead of offering you the item you want in a game. They offer you a box that has the POSSIBILITY to obtain it. That’s right, enter the “loot boxes” ladies and gentleman.
Mobile vs Console/PC Gamers
How does this translate to the other gaming platforms? Well, imagine playing Super Mario Bros. Yeah, the first game the first game that came with every Nintendo out there. You press start to play and you begin to have fun to learn all the mechanics. With enough skill, you’re able to squish some “Goombas”, jump the dangerous cliffs, and reach the end of the first level. With enjoyment, you see Mario walking to the next level, but before it loads, a message pops out. Some kind of warning telling you that “Mario ran out of energy” and give you some options. You either wait for the next day to continue playing or pay $5 to advance right away.
You can already tell that using this kind of technique is probably not that successful for your audience. And even though some games use this anyways, the more accepted microtransaction practice is used in another way. The “harmless” cosmetic approach. Now let’s go back to Super Mario Bros. Now instead of paying in order to play more levels in one sitting. You got to choose if you want to change to Luigi or another famous character in that franchise by paying a fee. All the characters have the same attributes, but only the little pixels in your screen change. Looks kind of “neat” right? You get to play the entire game for free, while some other people spend hundreds of dollars for some pixels.
The Ideal Mobile Gaming Practice
Now you can really tell where League of Legends stands. It kind of uses a mixture of the microtransactions establishes in the mobile games. You get to choose if you want to spend money to earn champions faster. Or also spend money in order to change the appearance of your characters. Learning from all of this, how can a League of Legends Mobile Game contain? What differences in gameplay can bring to us? Would it work side by side with the computer version or overtake it?
To answer all these questions, we need to compare what other famous gaming companies approach the mobile gaming world:
The Don’ts in Mobile Gaming
Electronic Arts (EA) on Mobile
If you really want to know how shady the microtransactions can be, well look no further. Every app that you can come across in the store with the label of this company feels like a trap. Let’s start with the controversy that is “Dungeon Keeper”. This was a well know PC game about managing diabolical creatures. You had to build a powerful underground headquarters to defend you minions against threats. It was revolutionary when it came to PC, but it was such a letdown after playing the mobile version. Everything felt chained by microtransactions, to the point that you had to wait 24 hours after you did a little in-game action. Of course, the fans weren’t too happy with those changes. Passing the misfortune to any possible media.
After all that backlash, EA didn’t listen and continued with this formula. You can even check the mobile versions of The Sims and all the EA sports games in the app store. It won’t be hard to spot this catastrophic method in every mobile game they offer. Even their exclusive app called “The Simpsons” contains such behaviour. Will the ever going to learn? Guess not…
Enter the new mobile version that was announced on E3, about “Command and Conquer”. It probably is going to follow the same problems that Dungeon Keeper showed. Limiting all the playability with paying walls to the point that it feels ridiculous. This time though, people are aware and complaining before its release. The presentation failed to impress the audience. Leaving the future mobile game in a bad state before even being released to the public. Would a League of Legends Mobile Game represent something similar to this company? We strongly hope not.
Almost all the gaming community knows about Blizzard. Their fans know that this company means real quality and impressive aesthetics. Since the beginning, Blizzard was able to impress every PC gamer out there. They were masters in optimization and almost bugless games. Their games were known to bring to much replayability and immersing stories. It’s because of these qualities that World of Warcraft is still alive till this day. Whit a strong player base to keep the game running for more years to come. They had a few mistakes with Diablo 3, but still, they were admired by their followers.
And every Blizzcon was like a wonderful journey to all their supporters. For them, it felt like a couple of days filled with good news. No matter what game you followed from Blizzard, this event was kind to announce amazing things from it. New expansions, characters or another version of the game. Everything was cheered and kept their fans coming for more.
But the last gathering created the opposite. After all these years of creating a powerful fan base, with every amazing update from their intellectual properties. What could they possibly do to throw it all out? They announced a mobile game. To everyone that doesn’t follow Blizzard this doesn’t seem that bad, right? But the franchise that they chose and the timing made it all wrong. To begin with, they picked the Diablo IP, yeah the one with the mistakes. Fans were anxious for powerful new about their favourite franchise. Their computers were ready for another instalment. But it all went downhill when Blizzard announced the mobile game. The followers felt betrayed, shocked by the new direction it was taking. Would it be the same case if they announce the League of Legends Mobile Game to the public? If done well, probably won’t cause this kind of backlash.
The Okay-ish in Mobile Gaming
PUBG on Mobile
One of the games that became revolutionary by adding the new “battle royale” game mechanic. After their huge success over the steam store. If felt that there was no competitor that could compare to this game. This first-person shooter (FPS), was able to unite a long list of players in a huge map. The “Non-player characters” (NPCs) aren’t required in this game. There is no story or multiple objectives. There’s only one mission, to kill any other player that crosses your path until you’re the only one remaining. Simple as that. But like I said before, “simple” doesn’t always mean that it’ll be a boring experience. Once you are able to try one run, you’ll always want to come back for more.
After a long period of success. They wanted to add more player base by jumping into the mobile gaming platform. Even though this game has microtransactions, they use the least annoying one. That means that they only charge for cosmetics. Which means that you’re able to play as much as you like and with no need to spend a cent. Besides the price tag, there are some differences from the Pc version.
Due to the limitations of the cell phone hardware, there are fewer details on the map. The textures are also being downgraded to reduce memory use, and there’s “auto-aim” to appropriate the limitations of the controls. Even though they jumped to mobile gaming, they still update the game in the original platform, which keeps their fan base intact. Depending on the revenue, they’ll probably focus more on the successful version. Could this be the ideal approach for mobile gaming? Well, the League of Legends Mobile Game can surely take this example.
Fortnite on Mobile
After all the accomplishments that PUBG made in the gaming industry. It didn’t take long to other companies to try and copy this peculiar mechanic on their works. Fornite started as a paid game about building creation and tower defence objectives. At first, you played alongside your friends to defend important elements from your base. The building part felt innovate but the tower defence element was not their strong suit. How could they rescue their franchise? Well, they ditched the tower defence thingy and replaced it with the “battle royale” stuff. They also changed their business model to the least annoying microtransactions practice. Just like that and they suddenly became the top game in the market.
Taking advantage of this new playstyle, they quickly ported the game to other platforms. It didn’t take long to release a mobile version to the game as well. Due to the game’s cartoonish visual style, the mobile version almost looks identical. There are a few details from here to there, but overall its closer to the PC. You need a monster of a cell phone to play it in its full capacity though. Which means that is more reliable to buy a regular PC than the top phone out there. But, if you want to play in your spare time, you can go ahead and try the mobile game instead. Whatever the case, you’ll have fun for a long while. Will this be a better suit for the League of Legends Mobile Game? It kind of has the same visual style, which means that it can be possible to achieve.
NetherRealm Studios Mobile Games
This franchise has a lot to offer to the fighting genre. With both Mortal Kombat and Injustice, they are capable to show the World that they still got it. Mortal Kombat contains a lot of history written in their series, 10 games so far. Still somehow seems to never stop. They recently “rebooted” their lore in MK9, continued with this new approach in MK10. To all their fans, this reboot felt like a nice refresh. NetherRealms even returned to their classical “2D” fighting playstyle in order to create a little bit of nostalgia. Due to their partnership with WB, they were able to make one spin-off with characters from DC comics. Which help them obtain multiple revenues from both IPs, instead of depending on just one.
Their approach to mobile gaming was somewhat intuitive. From the first Injustice, they created a spin-off by making a 3v3 on that platform. So, instead of the usual 1v1, that is present on the console versions. This time you’re able to collect multiple characters depicted as playing cards. These characters can be grouped in to form a 3v3 match against AI (artificial intelligence). Like all these examples, it contains microtransactions as well. In this case, it can be categorized as a shady one. Where you are “punished” by playing too often and wanting to obtain cards at your own pace.
The “cool part” though, is that you’re able to “link” your mobile account with your console/PC account. By doing this, you were able to obtain unlockable items from both versions. Which created benefits from both ends. The bad thing though, is that the link process rarely works. Making this feature kind of pointless. Should it be a working version of this example for the League of Legends Mobile Game? That would be great. Imagine gaining progress to features of LoL when you’re waiting for the bus/train.
The Best Approach in Mobile Gaming
Bethesda Mobile Games
With their “Elder Scrolls” and “Fallout” series, this company was able to obtain a lot of fan base. They specialize in RPG (role-playing games) with “open world” features. That means that you’re able to create a character that looks like you and mould it to your playstyle. Even though both series are in different universes, they keep this “Bethesda” essence. With every entry in either of their brands, they are able to improve graphically and gameplay wise. You can tell with “Skyrim” and “Fallout 4” how the fighting has been enhanced, and the exploring has become compelling.
The announcements from their mobile games have all been flawless. They were able to show to the public these “little” mobile projects to fill the gap between their other releases. With Fallout, they announced “Fallout Shelter” and was available the same day. At the same time, “Fallout 4” was showcased with a prompt release date. In other words, the mobile game was created to keep you entertained and involved in the Fallout series for a long while. When Fallout 4 was released, they even added another app in order to link elements of the game between your cell phone and the main console/pc.
With “Elder Scrolls” they are making the same strategy. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Can this be a great example to any company that wants to jump into mobile gaming? Of course, if done right, any announcement about League of Legends Mobile Game can be welcoming to the audience.
Square Enix on Mobile
Having a wide range of different properties in the gaming industry is no strange that Square Enix is still going strong. With franchises like “Final Fantasy”, “Dragon Quest”, “Tomb Raider”, and “Hitman”; they accumulated lots of fans to their company. They are also able to distribute their IPs to almost all the gaming platforms out there. Which means that almost all the gaming stores contain a lot of games from them. One of their main series, “Final Fantasy” has been with us since the “Nintendo Era”. This particular franchise remains alive due to its diversity. Every instalment contains new characters and new stories filled with twists and drama. Which helps a lot to anyone that wants to start playing these games, because they don’t really need to know what happened in the oldest versions.
Just like their other gaming platforms, the mobile repertoire has almost everything. Due to their long story and multiple series, they were able to add a lot of different games in the app store. In one part, they re-release past games to the mobile platform with improved graphics. Their business model for these particular games remains intact. Which means that you need to pay once in order to obtain the game.
The plus side is that they aren’t plagued with Microtransactions. The other part though is the regular mobile style. Making spin-offs with their newer IPs. Likewise, they are free to download but require payments to be fully enjoyable. Is this a better example for the League of Legends Mobile Game? Well, even though Riot doesn’t have multiple games, there are lots of mini-games to use. The recent Odyssey, for example, can be turned into a little mobile game in the future.
Ubisoft Mobile Games
With main IPs like “Assassins Creed” and “Tom Clancy’s games”, there’s still a lot of potentials to exploit for a lot more games in the future. This company is well known for all the extra details that decorate their franchises. With stunning graphics that take your gaming platform’s hardware to the limits. Still, though they are fun to play and contain so many things to do. With their recent games, they usually take the “open world” gaming mechanic. Where the protagonist has the freedom to explore every part of the map. Their downside though, is that their games sometimes feel “empty” and plagued with repetitive side-quests.
Their mobile catalogue is filled with a lot of different mobile games. This time, they use this platform to come up with new IPs, link between platforms and release lesser versions of their known franchises. Which creates a lot of different options in their business models. Some games require a single payment, while others are filled with payments. Due to the original IPs from the mobile market, they are able to focus more on the different playing styles that the cell phone has to offer. Which erases the way that some games try to “emulate” a console controller with buttons all over the screen. This can be a great example for a possible League of Legends Mobile Game. Making a totally new product that takes advantage of the new gaming mechanics of the touchscreen.
League of Legends on Mobile
So, after all those examples of different companies, and their journey through the mobile gaming industry. We can summarize success in this area somewhat by taking into consideration these important points:
- Presentation: If Riot really wants to explore this gaming platform, they really have to know how to sell us the idea. This doesn’t mean that they will stop working on the PC version and alienate their current fan bases. But to create more revenue by adding more people to their franchise. This is the problem that recent companies had with their latest announcements about mobile games. They want to force their followers to change platform in order to continue playing their favourite gaming series.
- Business Model: There are lots of examples to look for at this point. From a single payment to multiple uses of microtransactions. The model that is a little bit more acceptable to mobile gamers is the “less shady” way. Which means that the game can be free to download, and filled with payments that only exchange the looks but not the gameplay. You can change the looks and not making something like pay to win the thing.
- Gameplay: This part can be summarized as “Gameplay first, monetization second”. This means that the main focus should (and needs to be) their main goal. Check those gameplay mechanics which attracts a lot more followers. Create a beta and let is a test for a while, and recollect some feedback. After that, they should add some kind of monetization. This may sound a little “impossible” if you check the business standards. But hey, why not improve the mobile gaming perception by doing this “revolutionary” strategy.
- One form of Link between platforms: It would be impressive if there’s a link between the League of Legends mobile game with the Pc counterpart. Just imagine that you can have the option of progressing in your champion collection by doing another specific task in your phone. Something like mini-games while you wait for your bus/train that lets you gain some EXP. And you know that with every new level, there can be drops to unlock more champions. Or another item in both games.
- Cellphone adaptability: If they follow the “new trend” of porting the computer game to the mobile world, it may not look that great. You can really tell by so many rip-offs of League of Legends in the app store. The control layout hides almost all your screen and like the computer counterpart, it requires a constant stable Internet connection. This kind of gameplay for your cell phone may cause a lot of missing bus/trains. Plus, your phone battery could probably need more recharging times and reduce its lifespan. It’s better if they make another kind of game that doesn’t require constant Internet, and matches with the lore. At the same time with controls that are more suitable for cell phones, instead of covering the screen with weird layouts.
Pros vs Cons of having a League of Legends Mobile Game
Yeah I know, there isn’t even one announcement about a possible League of Legends Mobile Game now. But, if Riot is ready to try this relatively new market, and follow the best possible way to do it. This may be the possible advantages and disadvantages.
|You can play with your beloved champions in different ways.||More possible Microtransactions.|
|Get to know more the interesting lore with new backstories.||Less impactful gameplay.|
|Able to play anywhere, any time.||Lower graphics and more loading times.|
|A possible link between platforms.||More battery usage|
Besides the idea of possibly adding seasonal events to a League of Legends Mobile Game version. Here are more ideas that may be more “cell phone friendly” that could possibly gain success in this market:
- Endless Running: Almost all of us have already tried one version of this type of mobile game. The main goal is to keep your character running by dodging obstacles in the road. You do this by tapping left or right in order to move your hero in another “lane”. It’s easy to learn the mechanics but hard to master. A League of Legends theme can be easily applied to this type of game. Just add Jinx running in one of the lanes. You can even add difficult hazards with attacking creeps or some champion’s abilities.
- Card collection: League of Legends already has a lot of champions in its repertoire. Adding one image of every single one and turning it to a card can be easily achieved. With these cards, there can be almost endless gaming mechanics in the mobile platform. You can create teams of five champions and challenge another player’s team within the app. There can be even more elements, like mini-games that help you improve your cards.
- Base building: Take a little break from all the fighting and try to create the best place for your champions. Imagine pixelated art characters with the League of Legends brand. Placed together in an empty terrain that can be populated of lore-wise buildings. Such places give you the option to improve your little space and unlock even more champions.
To be honest, for a moment… We all know why many companies are taking this platform, China. Yeah, almost all the people in that country only have a cell phone for their gaming needs. So hey, let us share the lore that League of Legends brings to the table. With different spin-offs about the main computer game, there may be a way to hook another audience to the “minion-smashing” genre. With all these examples from many different companies. We hope that Riot (if they really want to “jump” on this platform) are able to follow the right track.
If there’s a possible announcement of a mobile game, let’s hope that retains the essence of the game. That it focusses more on the gameplay instead of shady business models. Plus, we can finally hope that gives something new. With revolutionary ways of addressing the peculiarity from the cell phone controls.
Whatever the case may be, we still have our main game running. If there’s a possible announce in the future, we hope that it stays that way. In order to keep every one of your followers happy, it’s necessary that Riot maintains the respective support. Not only in one platform, but in all the game versions.
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