Why do people look down on mobile phone games when they have evolved exponentially?

Speaking as a frequent PC and mobile games player myself, I feel there is a lot to unpack here.

First, one needs to under stand that mobile gaming culture is dramatically different from PC, Console, or even handheld gaming culture.

The above listed platforms are predominantly characterized by high developed strategy games, and action games of either a highly skill focused, or tactical knowledge focused nature. These are games that in some degree or another, are characterized by a dependence on user skill, be it their reaction times, game sense, or simple tactical and strategic know-how.

Even those titles that have far less to do with player skill are often focused on excellent and engaging story telling.

Now, mobile games have made excellent progress to achieve the same goals, particularly games originating out of Chinese and Japanese game studio’s. Honkai Impact, and Azur Lane are both excellent examples of this.

However, even the best of mobile game intentions are technologically held back. Since they have to be built around the assumption that all controls need to take up minimal space and can only be executed by a maximum of two thumb control contact points, the gameplay becomes heavily simplified. Even MiHoYo, makers of Honkai Impact, struggle with this, with their action titles inevitably involving a fair degree of button mashing.

This control complexity and screen size problem means that most mobile games can only at best achieve a level of control and combat complexity that on PC would at best be considered a B tier game, and a far cry from the offerings of the AA and AAA markets.

While I fully admit this is all attached to a sense of elitism, there is reason to it.

However, for everything good that the heavy hitters of the mobile game genre can achieve, they are stuck with being attached to a platform that involves, among other games, Gardenscape, Mafia City, Girls X battle, and others. Games that at best have horrifically misleading advertising, and at worst, outright lie in their ads. And then they make sure those ads appear everywhere they possibly can.

As though that wasn’t bad enough, we need to get into the micro transaction pay walls. Even the well regarded games of the mobile genre like Azur Lane cannot escape this stigma. In the early days of gaming ( before mobile gaming), it was expected that you would get a complete game upon purchase. Even with the rise of free to play games, companies generally limited their pay walls to an absolute minimum.

Mobile games stand in direct defiance of this, being the most mirco-transaction heavy platform you can find.

This all culminates together to create the long standing reputation of mobile games that it’s a cesspool of lies and shady business practices, with even the diamonds in the rough feeling tainted, while traditional gaming platforms tend to stress a level of quality and pro consumer behavior that would be considered impossible in the mobile games space.

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