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Games Inbox: How much do you spend on mobile games?


Do you play for free? (pic: King)

The Thursday Inbox continues the debate over physical versus digital games, as one reader is shocked at how expensive Pokémon Home is.

To join in with the discussions yourself email gamecentral@ukmetro.co.uk

 

Free to play
So Nintendo has made $1 billion from mobile games? I’m not going to lie that is a lot of money. And most it from a Fire Emblem spin-off that’s technically, in terms of the number of downloads, one of their least popular games? While their most popular by a mile (Super Mario Run) has made relatively little money for them. If that doesn’t sum up everything that’s wrong with mobile gaming I don’t know what does.

The worst thing is I don’t know anyone that ever spends money on mobile games. I know three people that are playing Mario Kart Tour at the moment and they claim not to have spend a penny on it, which given how few characters they have I think is probably true.

That means these ‘whales’ must be a tiny minority and yet everything is built around attracting them and making all their profits from just these small number of people. It’s awful really, especially when you consider they’re probably all kids and the easily addicted.

Personally I’d welcome government intervention as I think the whole nest of ideas is just rotten the core. Although I’m curious to know how many Inbox readers spend serious money on mobile games? In my experience it’s almost a point of honour for most people that they ‘trick’ the game by spending nothing.
Mando

 

Protective instinct
As it seems to be the season for recommendations, I would forward the excellent A Plague Tale: Innocence. Once again, Focus Interactive have published another little gem. I think this game outshines anything they have previously published. Set in a fictionalised France during the 14th century plague outbreak it is immensely impressive, with a believable world with a ridiculous level of detail. I think the environments trump Kingdom Come: Deliverance in authenticity.

The sound design and fantastic voice-acting complement the horror of escorting your little brother through a land beset by disease and religious fanaticism. Most games with companions can be a pain if the artificial intelligence is not up to snuff but the little boy is a believable and endearing companion.

Your desire to protect him is backed up by the emotional resonance of the acting and believable script. The game is on Xbox Game Pass at the moment and I really recommend both this game and What Remains Of Edith Finch.
Lord Leaping Lynx

 

In the bag
Now I haven’t played Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for a looooooooong time, but I put it back on for a blast last night… version 7.0.0! And very happily found the home run contest sat awaiting me in the classic mode menu.

I don’t know when it was added or how long it’s been available but I ruddy love slapping that sandbag about and with so many more characters than usual it should keep me (and mine) entertained for a good while to come, now excuse me while I go beat a sandbag with a face silly!
big boy bent

 

E-mail your comments to: gamecentral@ukmetro.co.uk

 

Empty boxes
Just wanted to add my two pennies RE: the digital vs. physical debate. I’m a big retro gamer so own hundreds of physical games, so you would think I would be attached to buying physical current gen games – but I’m not. I went pretty much digital only for all new purchases a long while back.

I think the argument that digital games can’t be sold is a strong one, especially if you buy a new game you just don’t like. Also, digital games are still way too expensive at launch, I generally wait for sales. Even so I still made the jump. My reasoning is that I just don’t feel physical games are ‘special’ anymore.

There are never any manuals so it’s literally a disc and a plastic box, and also with games constantly being updated after release, what’s on the disc will often effectively be no more than a beta version. Physical games just aren’t what they were.
drumbeatvideo

 

2 in 1
The main reason I have gone almost all digital is game sharing on Xbox. People seem to think it is illegal. Microsoft even tell you how to do it. With two consoles all you do is make the main account on each, with one being set as home.

What people fail to understand is it also covers Xbox Live Gold and Game Pass, so only one of those needs to be bought by the main account as well. Saves a fortune and if you do the daily rewards programme on Xbox, Bing and laptop you get around what equates to £5 a month to spend in points, which can used for Game Pass, Gold, or gift cards.
TWO MACKS

 

Feel the experience
In response to Mike3; Yes, I buy almost exclusively physical.

As might have been a bit obvious regarding my incredulousness at the price of Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath, there is no digital game that has ever or will ever be available that I feel is worth over £15. If I’m going to be
paying in the region of £30 to £50 for a game, it will only be physical. I own it. It’s mine. As Jim Sterling pointed out; when you ‘buy’ digital, you’re not buying the game, you’re buying access to it and companies reserve the right to revoke that access whenever they please. As we’ve seen with so many digital releases.

And yes, I understand that there are almost always digital patches, updates, and DLC. But to me, I get as much of a buzz actually having a physical game in my hand as I do getting to play it. The ‘experience’ of
gaming to me isn’t just playing, it’s 50/50 with physically owning it. If physical is taken out of the equation, that’s essentially removing 50% of the experience for me. In which case, I’ll only pay what I think a totally ethereal game is worth, which isn’t much. There have been digital games that I have paid up to £15.99 for before (I’ve never gone over this price digitally) and felt utterly ripped off and then I’m stuck with it, I can’t trade it or sell it.

When gaming inevitably does go 100% digital, it will be a sad day for the medium. Collecting games is definitely a huge part of the magic to me, and I see digital as the fast food version of gaming: it cheapens
it, delivers it sloppily, disrespects the efforts of the artisans who work hard to craft the ingredients together, and will never be as good as savouring the way it’s delivered along with the delicious experience of consuming it.
Phil Spearpoint

 

Abandon all hope
With Nintendo trademarking some of their old titles wouldn’t it be amazing if they did something with Eternal Darkness?

I know they won’t but stories like this kill me with hope. I’ve developed arthritis in my fingers because I’ve kept them crossed so long for a new Bully game. Not gonna fool myself this time! Still…
Chris

 

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

 

Stuck in their ways
RE: Physical copies of games. I have this discussion with my husband more frequently these days, especially as the progression of new consoles hit the news. Figures are obviously showing that the majority of gamers are now downloading new games, leading to the change in technology to purely SSD for the new releases from Sony and Microsoft. Have they delved into the demographics for the gamers? I am assuming younger purchasers are downloading alone, whereas the mid-40s players are maybe stuck in their ways?

Whilst having a heated conversation with the gamer of the house he stated, ‘I like to see them all lined up!’ on the shelving unit. When we first met in circa 2001 (PlayStation 2 and Dreamcast era) he dreamt of a shelf full of games. These days he has 100+ games, the majority are on the external hard drive, as they were free with his membership, forcing him down the download-only route.

As the past dictates the future of gaming, will the infrastructure be there to make the new units perform at their maximum? We currently live outside of Cambridge where BT offer a maximum 55Mbps broadband download speed, whereas Virgin Media is 300+, but sets you back in excess of £45 a month. America boasts faster and more stable broadband speeds, these are taken fully into account when the next generation consoles are developed. With the size of games increasing massively over time, the duration a download takes will surely need to be considered at some point?

Backwards compatibility has been embraced by Microsoft, but back-handed by Sony. Ensuring a new income stream for all us old farts trying to reclaim our youth by repurchasing the games we played in the 90s is very clever. With the next gen on its way Microsoft need to come up with new tariffs as gamers are starting to get frustrated with the increase of costs for new games (plus the infuriating season passes!), we do not want to have to pay for a game again on each generation! (We had some games bought on Xbox, PlayStation and Steam!).

Most technology companies are starting to price us out of the market. I dare say the new generation of consoles will probably be too expensive for us to buy, alongside the gamer laptops, mobile phones, and televisions.

I am definitely getting too old!
Nikki Hades (47 years old!)

GC: Sony has said the PlayStation 5 will be fully backwards compatible.

 

Inbox also-rans
That Pokémon Home pricing is both surprisingly expensive, and utterly bewildering. Why are there different prices for the Switch and phone versions? Don’t they connect to the same endpoint? Does this mean that I would need to pay twice?
Joseph Dowland

GC: The answers to your questions is because Nintendo.

Farming Simulator 19 for PC is the free game on Epic Games Store from today for the next week. I have to just get the free games without downloading them now as I have had so many free games from Epic Store, Steam, GOG, and Humble Bundle that it is filling up my 2TB hard drive!
Andrew J.

 

This week’s Hot Topic
The question for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Franky, who asks what was your favourite game of 2019… that wasn’t released in 2019?

We’ll be running our annual Reader’s Top 20 of the year shortly but what game did you enjoy most last year that wasn’t a new release? Was it something that’s been in your backlog for a while, a game you’ve played before that you’ve returned to, or an ongoing online title that you’ve been playing for a long time?

How much of your time do you spend playing new games versus older ones and how big is your backlog at the moment? How do you rate the game in question compared to newer releases and your all-time favourites?

E-mail your comments to: gamecentral@ukmetro.co.uk

 

The small print
New Inbox updates appear every weekday morning, with special Hot Topic Inboxes at the weekend. Readers’ letters are used on merit and may be edited for length.

You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word 4Player viewer features at any time, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.

You can also leave your comments below and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.

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