You can game pretty much anywhere these days. As phones have rocketed forwards in capability, games have risen to match. Until quite recently, Fortnite – arguably one of the most popular games of recent times – was available allowing players to get their battle royale experience anywhere with an internet connection. After Epic slid out an update that allowed people to make purchases within the app, circumventing both Apple and Google’s terms of service, the game was removed. One of the industry’s biggest names was booted out. But what’s next for mobile games? Can really all mobile games make it like Esports? We’re expecting more out of our mobile games now. Gone are the days where it was amazing to play Snake for hours on end. Microsoft has taken a huge step by launching its Game Pass service on mobile – as of September 15th. Over a hundred games will be available to stream directly to your mobile device.
It’s obviously their intention to make games you can play anywhere. With other parts of the industry sure to follow suit, you have to wonder – can Mobile games, as Esports find a home on our phones and tablets?
What are the chances of Mobile Games making it as Esports?
Honestly, in a somewhat educated opinion, it seems difficult. That’s not to say it couldn’t happen, but there are just too many drawbacks to the inherent mobile gaming experience in the way. The first one that comes to mind is the sheer amount of disparity involved in device and controller specification. Sure if the stars aligned and we somehow ended up with a Fortnite World Cup on mobile it’s almost sure all competitors would be handed Galaxy S20s or something.
But why would that happen anyway? It would be cheaper to just play on a PC with peripherals that enhance player performance rather than simply enabling them. Maybe we are going too big here – maybe we shouldn’t be applying the large event mentality to the mobile gaming scene, but either way, it’s hard to imagine an exciting mobile game tournament. Not to mention the ultimately pointless logistics involved in making it work in the right way.
Obstacles in Mobile games thriving as Esports
Now coming to the hurdles. Hearthstone has a huge competitive scene but it really makes no difference whether you play on PC or mobile. Because official tournament setups use PC so that everyone can see what’s going on around. Yes, you can stream from mobile, but why would you? Esports will struggle to establish themselves on a platform that is inherently casual. Is it a stepping stone to the competitive scene. It’s great that games are becoming accessible to a wider audience. You now don’t even need an Xbox to play Xbox games anymore! But, in fact, this is going to serve two functions. But neither of them will result in mobile games flourishing as Esports.
It’s going to let players enjoy their games when they’re not at their console, so they don’t miss out on fun with friends or can while away a few hours on the move. Eventually, it’s going to get people interested in playing games as they’re designed to be played. But at some point, they would naturally graduate to a console or PC. For a lot of people, screen size alone would be the biggest obstacle in competitive play, especially in fast-moving first-person shooters. You would definitely not like playing with a mobile screen and controller combo against people with 27-inch screens and mouse + keyboard? Forget about it.
For the mobile games to find a home as Esports, we would need an experience built from the ground up to encourage that scene. And even if somebody were to make that custom-tailored, ingenious mobile esports prodigal child, we would bet good money most people would just want to play it on PC anyway. And you can learn how to bet them on several platforms.
Mobile games are fun, and now more than ever the gap between portable and conventional gaming is closing tight. But can Mobile games thrive as Esports in the future? Not likely in the least.
Can mobile games thrive as Esports in this gaming industry? Drop in your opinions in the comments section below!