Sony one step closer to ditching consoles entirely by ramping up mobile game production
I remember a time not too long ago when the idea of a "cell phone game" consisted of a shitty version of Solitaire, or the always reliable Tetris knockoff. You played it with buttons, clicking the 0-9 keys to complete very basic prompts that would usually trigger some type of rudimentary animation.
And then when you finished "playing" the game you would close it by flipping two ends together, wedging half an onion between the two compartments to keep it separated (which was considered the style at the time.) Yes, mobile games have advanced quite a bit in the last decade or so, leading to what can be considered quite a gigantic boom for the industry.
After all, cell phone games (or as we now call them, "mobile games") are cheap, and have a huge chance on making it big in mainstream America (just look at Angry Birds, Candy Crush, Clash of Clans, etc.) For that reason, it shouldn't come as no surprise that video game publishers are flocking to the mobile game scene -- even gigantic developers like Sony Computer Entertainment.
Yes, the house that built Playstation is moving into the mobile game market, following in the footsteps of fellow console maker Nintendo. Both companies will now focus on bringing their brands and characters to the small (like really small) screen, with Sony today creating a new developer strictly for this process.
The developer, dubbed "ForwardWorks," will work on bringing "full-fledged game titles" to both Android and iOS devices, according to the press release from Sony. There's no indication quite yet on what ForwardWorks will tackle first, but chances are we won't have to wait very long to find out -- operations is set to begin for the developer at the start of the next month. Obviously Sony (and on the same token, Nintendo) are hoping that developing their own first-party mobile games will bring new life (and a more mainstream) audience to their biggest brands, and as a company you can't fault them for doing that.
And as long as Sony continues development on their big console titles as well, there's not much to complain about here -- both sides of the video game spectrum can work together, even if my personal tastes shift more towards the former. Still though, the day that the focus becomes more on cheap, "freemium" mobile games than on actual large scale console games is one that I fear immensely. And worst thing is, I'm not even sure that day hasn't already arrived.
So in the immortal words of The Who, Sony is "Going Mobile":