Editorial

How important is it to have a storyline for a game

A need of a story!

Games. This word, however, is sufficient to recall every application from your phone that has been tested, tried, deleted, and is still installed. For the most part, we rely on games to pass leisure, relax, or avoid boredom while waiting for the dentist. A game is designed in such a way it caters to different audiences, and most of them enjoy it while not thinking too much. However, the games have improved over the years, and most of them are designed in such a way that it gets a long period of game time for the player. One such type is a game with a storyline.

It comes as no surprise that the market right now is mostly focused on multiplayer games with frequent updates. There is no doubt that it encourages more interaction and a broader audience. Unfortunately, this has diminished the creative element of a game, and good stories are not produced frequently, where we occasionally see a fish appear in a sea of whales known as live service games.

The current mobile gaming market is driven by live service games

For those who do not know, live service games or generally called GaaS (Games as a Service) are the types of games that are created to offer game content on a continuing revenue model. The reason behind the emphasis on making such games is Microtransactions. It may be any in-game purchase, say virtual elements, extra weapons, etc, which is how these games make money.

Microtransactions in games
In-app purchases in Clash of Clans (Image via Supercell)

Since they provide several benefits for both players and developers, live service games are particularly well-liked on mobile devices. They are continuously updated and are driven by updates according to the player community’s interest, thus maintaining consistency over time. Growing opportunity to discuss and grow player engagement is also high here.

Why there are fewer plot-driven mobile games

As previously said, the market is flooded with live service games. In fact, so many Action and Strategy games are being released and discontinued that it is impossible to keep track of them all. We could assume that one great game, say a Visual Novel or an offline adventure with a good plot might work wonders, but they are buried without a trace among the numbers.

In a game, as the number of updates increases, the chances of growth and revenue will also increase. However, this is not exactly possible when it comes to story-driven titles. Game creators look for a method to continue making money off of a single game, but in a game purely based on a story, it is a tough task to earn without continually creating and promoting new releases.

PUBG, Clash of Clans, Fortnite
Image via GamingonPhone

Also, in this competition-driven mobile-gaming world, it is hard to find single-player game lovers. Players are always in need of games that boast competitiveness and get the better off players against one another in live battles or contests. This is the reason why games like Fortnite Mobile, PUBG Mobile, and Clash of Clans are popular, which story-focused games fail to provide.

How a plot may make a game more enjoyable

When we think of memorable games we played on PC, GTA, San Andreas, Resident Evil series, etc all were of the action genre. But the story kept the missions engaging and was the driving force. On mobile, Oxenfree, 80 Days, and The Wolf Among Us are some amazing picks. You ask the players if they remember the story, and most of them will answer yes.

The reason behind this is that every next step the player takes is unique. As the plot thickens, it offers the player the ability to think differently as he is in the current scenario for the first time. The player will have a distinct understanding of what they must do and why they must do it, and their curiosity is maintained throughout. You don’t have a repetitive task or scenario, and that itself makes it special.

A bad execution makes it an unpleasant experience

There is no denying that a weak or poorly written plot might fail to engage players. Players will fail to understand the impact the storyline has and will lose their feeling of purpose. A plot with inconsistencies and loopholes will never work, even though it might make the player engage more often. The replayability of the game will decrease, which is the worst-case scenario.

The Wolf Among Us cutscenes
Image via Telltale Games

The other side of the matter lies in representation. Cutscenes are a crucial component of the narrative, and the game will benefit if they are visually appealing. There are just too many cutscenes, for sure. If the detailing is poor, the experience will be ruined.

Is storyline important for a game

Finally, answering our questions. Is a storyline important for a game? Yes. But can a game succeed without a storyline? Yes, plenty of examples. Can a storyline make the game better? Always, no doubt.

In general, a compelling plot can significantly improve a player’s experience of a game. He or she will remember the elements of the game thoroughly and in the future, a chance of the story being told to someone is always a possibility. It will always serve as a key factor in creating a memorable game and the gaming world needs more of such wonders.

What are your thoughts on games having a certain storyline? Are you a fan of such titles? Do let us know your opinions in the comments below!

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