Our society is becoming increasingly more mobile. Nowadays, everybody
has a smartphone - at best; you're considered an odd duck if you don't have one. As a
result, mobile gaming has become big business, and it's not hard to see
why: mobile games simple, cheap, and addictive on-the-go fun.
Unfortunately, they're also far from perfect. Relatively new technologies rarely
For one, it could be argued that mobile games, by nature, are not meant to be terribly complex, particularly when touchscreens neter into the
equation. It's not the fault of the developers, nor is it a limitation where power is concerned (there are, after all, plenty of tablets which outpower my old laptop). Rather; the problem lies with touchscreen technology itself: See, touchscreens aren't well suited to the complicated control schemes required by a lot of deeper games.
Sure, they feel like something out of a science fiction novel; sure, they can be really fun to use...but ultimately; they simply aren't designed for traditional gaming, which by its nature calls for more conventional controls. All attempts to shoehorn them in without using peripherals have failed spectacularly. Virtual controllers are terrible, and fall victim to finger creep(since you can't feel where your controls are, your fingers tend to slip off). Not only that; the design considerations necessary for designing touch-screen controls are vastly different from those required in any other games medium.
What I'm saying here is that perhaps we shouldn't try turning mobile games into something they're not.
It'll save us a lot of headaches, methinks.
According to a survey carried out by Ebuyer, poor touch-screen controls are, hands down, the most irritating aspect of mobile game apps, with 23% of the survey's respondents labelling them as their biggest pet peeve. Of course, they're far from the only thing peopel find irritating - microtransactions are a close second (20%), with buggy apps (17%) a near third.
With this in mind, it's not terribly surprising that they found puzzle games - uniquely suited for touchscreen controls - were the most popular titles on smartphones and tablets; with fighting games (which typically feature a very complicated control scheme) coming in a very, very distant last. One of the most interesting findings of the survey - and one which might have a few app developers seeing dollar signs -is the revelation that around 40% of people expressed disgust with in-game advertising, with 41% willing to pay a small premium to avoid such advertisements. Only 13% had any interest in free to play.
"It's really interesting to see what app developers can improve on," said Ebuyer Marketing Director David Wood; "whether it's awkward controls, advertising, or other problems; responding to these criticisms will undoubtedly shape the future of gaming."
An infographic detailing the full scope of their findings can be viewed below: click for the full-sized image.
I'll see all you beautiful people tomorrow.
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