2012 in review: Joseph Barron, PocketGamer.biz contributor
From Retina to Rayman
As we consider the trends of the past 12 months and look forward to the next 12 months, we've asked the great and the good in the mobile gaming industry for their opinions.
Joseph Barron is a freelancer journalist, regular PocketGamer.biz contributor and former community manager at iOS developer Kwalee.
Pocket Gamer: What do you think was the most significant event for the mobile games industry in 2012?
Joseph Barron: In a strange way, I think that the PlayStation Vita has been very important for the mobile games industry this year.
Its struggle to find an audience has provided the most concrete evidence yet that portable video games are gradually being replaced by mobile experiences.
It is fascinating that consumers are happy to purchase multiple iOS devices and sometimes even multiple iPad models in a single year, but they have largely ignored a hugely powerful dedicated portable games console.
What was your favourite mobile game of the year?
Rayman Jungle Run, by some distance.
On a Retina display screen, especially the iPad 3 or 4, Rayman looks phenomenal. It's arguably the most beautiful game released for mobile and I also enjoyed the fact that all of the gameplay content is given to you from the beginning.
Other console publishers have released premium mobile games this year and still charged players for gameplay updates, so credit to Ubisoft for only charging for cosmetic customisation.
What do you predict will be the most important trends in 2013?
Next year, the console platforms will adopt more of the tropes of mobile gaming in a big way.
I expect to see free-to-play titles become much more common on the Xbox and PlayStation.
It is going to be interesting to see whether this can be successful in the living room and whether portable platforms like the 3DS and Vita will follow suit in order to compete more directly with mobile games.
What's your New Year's resolution and what resolution would you enforce on the industry?
In 2013 I would love the traditional big game publishers to show more respect to their free-to-play consumers on mobile, especially if they are porting console games.
We recently saw Square Enix release Theatrhythm Final Fantasy for free on iOS, but then charge so much money for content that the full game would cost the player twice as much as the 3DS original. EA had similar problems with the mobile versions of Theme Park.
I hope that 2013 will see more creative, bespoke mobile experiences created by the big publishers, which don't attempt to nickel and dime their customers.
Thanks to Joseph for his time.
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