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Thoughts on PBBGs


Bedouin
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I wanted to share this article with the community. The writer of this article is calling all PBBG owners to work together.

https://blog.pbbg.com/thoughts-on-pbbgs/

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Of course, it’s not just where our players find our games that matter, it’s also the experience itself.  We have an opportunity to raise the bar for not only ui/ux and other matters impacted by web tech, but also just game-related things like mechanics, writing, and world-building and business related things like marketing, growth, and monetization.  We must keep our players engaged, and not just for nostalgia’s sake but for the sake of the games themselves.

If only there were a way we could organize ourselves, advise each other, and help each other grow for the benefit of the entire PBBG community. ?

We have TGL here so we're already at an advantage! Although they're trying to communicate through their blog, the same can be said for this community:

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I’ve been saying for awhile now that we’re on the cusp of a new era of PBBGs; a second golden age.  I still very much believe this, but it isn’t going to happen unless we challenge ourselves, reflect on the state of our games, and above all: communicate with each other. 

I hope we continue to communicate with and help each other as a community so that all our games can collectively become better. Sure, there is competition between us. But working together can only strengthen us. In the words of Tecumseh, "A single twig breaks, but the bundle of twigs is strong."

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Sure. Let's have a read. 

Dedicated (also called native) mobile apps are also becoming dated for a variety of reasons. 

  • You have to fight to get (and stay) in the App/Play Store
  • You have to fight to get noticed in the App/Play Store 
  • You have to convince users to install an App
  • They're more expensive to develop

That's opposed to the Go to -SiteName.com- and play that made this type of gaming immensely popular in the early 2000s. 

Think that's the experience the gamer/potential customer of the future is going to want. 

Go to the site and play the game. Anywhere. On any device. 

If a game came out of the gate and scratched most of those itches (free to play, works anywhere and is updated regularly, and not just those "We put things in the shop/have a click-to-win Event/ran the lottery script!" updates), it'd be fire. 

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To be blunt, with professional studios focusing elsewhere, we’re left with a lot of games that look and feel, well, amateurish.

Professional Studios interests are in chasing the best, easiest and more importantly most profitable buck. 

There's an easier Buck to be Made making a dedicated app with a monthly service fee or micro-transactions ... for now. 

Mobile Games are getting their own reputation for being low quality cash grabs. 

You're more likely to find - 

  • Games that offer the bare bones of their console counterparts, usually with a Gacha Element (See: Mario Kart Mobile/Pokemon Go)
  • Games that are reskinned clones of other popular mobile games, usually with Micro-transactions (See: Neopets Ghoul Catchers or the dozens of Farmville clones) 
  • Games that are ports of their consoles games, usually with an upfront fee to take the place of offering Gacha and/or Micro-transactions (See: Square or SEGA, which has ported most of their 90s hits to mobile for a fee) 

Mobile Games can scratch a gaming itch while you're waiting at the doctor's office or commuting home on the subway. 
If you want to play a high quality game with depth you may be waiting until you get home and get on the Desktop/Console, however. The Nintendo Switch is doing what it can to turnaround that stigma, but it too is under-powered and appears to have gotten a reputation for catering to a niche (usually younger) audience. 

There are reasons for this, of course. No Smartphones are as powerful as you're average modern Desktop/Console. 

There are also reasons about the same as discussed in the article; the barrier of entry to make even a mobile game is low. If you have the money to pay your mobile app developers your latest Gacha App will be up and running in a couple of months. Even if you're a Solo Developer you can get an engine that can produce a revenue generating game good enough to go in the Play Store for around $100. 

Aside - That stock imagery in the Blog Post looks really amateurish. but the low barrier of entry to create a blog or post these days is almost another discussion. 

It's near-free to create whatever you want online compared to what it was at the turn of the century. You can secure a domain name for around $10-20 bucks a year. You can dedicated processional hosting for as low as $5 a month. You can get your blog or social media account started for free. 

Think the low barrier of entry is more an advantage than a thing holding a game back, these days. The thing I feel holds most games back is the lack of updates/innovation. Instead of trying to put something new, interesting or innovative out there many games are "Like -successful game-, but better in superficial ways". That seems to be the case even with games coming from Professional Studios. 

Is simply having a clone of a game that works out of the box on mobile going to make yours a hit? Absolutely not. 

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