The games industry moves quickly and while stories may come and go there are some that we just can't let go of…
So, to give those particularly thorny topics a further going over we've created a weekly digest where the members of the PocketGamer.biz team share their thoughts and go that little bit deeper on some of the more interesting things that have happened in mobile gaming in the past week.
At last. OK. So the big problem with 'search' isn't purely a problem limited to Apple's App Store but it's great to know that one of the most searched and product-packed catalogues in the modern world is acknowledging that there's a great deal wrong with search these days.
Whether you're looking for a specific TV show, music video, app, game, trainer or telescope finding JUST what you want has grown next to impossible. There are too many me-too products. Too many goods and gadgets passing themselves off as the number one in the category and 'search' - wherever it is - seems unable to understand the difference between 'great' and 'wtf'.
Of course, the answer is AI and while I embrace being axed in favour of a robot typist with some degree of caution the idea that 'search' can better serve me with the same 20 things I always search for (and get exasperated to find EVERY time) sounds great to me. And it the increasingly hard-fought world of mobile games, Apple surfacing new stars and giving people new ideas - what Steve Jobs famously called the 'things that you didn't know that you wanted' - alongside the usual hits sounds like a great step forwards.
I’m a long-time fan of the Hitman franchise and its infamous barcoded silent assassin, so I absolutely will be diving into Hitman Blood Money - Reprisal. The title comes from Feral Interactive, the same team behind the Lara Croft switch ports. It offers to celebrate Hitman’s 25th anniversary in style with reworkings to the game, such as improved gameplay, and it even comes with full keyboard and mouse support.
It’s great to see more iconic games making their way to mobile, with more players gaming on their phones than ever before, it's a fantastic way for those who may have missed these gems the first time around to dive in.
Many people still see mobile gaming as only for casual players to spend ten minutes on, but we’re seeing more variety in the types of games that are making their way to mobile. It’s not just old classics coming to the platform but big triple-A titles such as Resident Evil 4 Remake. Mobile gamers really are spoilt for choice.
Those of us who spend too much time in the digital world are well aware of miHoYo, Honkai: Star Rail and its success. The game smashed records from day one and has already accrued well over $500 million in revenue. But what about those among us who aren’t always thinking about gaming? (Yes, such people still exist!)
The upcoming collaboration between Star Rail and restaurants around the globe is an intriguing marketing tactic, as it will place the IP in front of a fresh set of eyes out in the real world who may try out the game because of it. And I must admit, the thought of offline diners enjoying a night out, only to find a horde of cosplayers charging into the restaurant and getting discounts for their efforts, does tickle me.
Horror is perhaps my favourite genre, and Silent Hill is among the most beloved horror franchises in gaming history, so having a release date for the long anticipated revival is exciting, both to me and to legions of fans.
MILE’s are experimental, and being the centrepiece of one of horror’s scariest franchises could help bring them to wider attention - and a story unravelling over six months is the cherry on top.
However, fans worldwide are likely to be disappointed that the air time - 6pm PST is reasonable for California viewers, but what about fans worldwide? That’s 2am in the UK, when many viewers would be in bed, or 10am in Japan when many would be at work. As such, it feels like the experience offered to a lot of users, perhaps even the majority, won’t be on par with what’s offered to those in the Americas, as they will need to contend themselves with primarily watching the series, rather than taking part in the interaction that’s set to become a core of the experience.
For these users, the only hope is that the series eventually goes on sale as an experience akin to the likes of The Quarry or Detroit: Become Human - after all, the series is likely to have multiple endings and many different paths to explore on the way to them, all of which have been shot and edited in advance, and it seems a shame that not only will some users be unable to participate, but that so many options will go unexplored.
This acquisition really excited me, mainly because of the excellent statement by Modern Times Group explaining why they decided to acquire Snowprint. It’s rare to get a proper thesis statement, and MTG’s simple explanation that “We think Tacticus is already a great game, and we want to help Snowprint grow it to be even bigger” is basically any writer’s dream statement. It’s simple but detailed and lays out a clear plan for the future with very little grey area.
More than that, it also further vindicates our awarding of Mobile Game of the Year to the title at our 2022 Pocket Gamer Awards. The Warhammer universe, IP and its countless elements are ripe for exploration. We’ve seen amazing games across multiple platforms, whether that be Space Marine, Total War: Warhammer, the cult-hit Freeblade or, yes, Tacticus.
What MTG seem intent on doing is unlocking the mass-market appeal and bringing in new Warhammer fans to build Tacticus into a true adaptation of the famous tabletop franchise for mobile.