In a recent PCGamesInsider.biz interview with Square Enix Montreal's studio head Patrick Naud, it was revealed that the studio is no longer working on the GO franchise. In my mind this news does not point towards a positive direction for the company, at least when it comes to their mobile titles. Obviously games with an upfront price do not earn nearly as much on Android as the many free-to-play titles out there, but does that mean premium games aren't worth the trouble? Well, it would seem so, at least for Square Enix Montreal.
Due to this unfortunate news all three GO games are on sale right now for 80% off their regular price on the Google Play Store as some sort of appeasement to the fans. So if you were looking for a silver lining, here it is. You can pick up Hitman GO, Lara Croft GO, and Deus Ex GO for $0.99 a piece.
As an avid gamer and as someone who has more than a passing interest in seeing quality games released on Android, I have to say this news really saddens me. We all know it can be tough to earn a buck on the Play Store, and even more so if you plan to release games with upfront pricing. Obviously, from Square Enix's viewpoint, it's impossible to ignore how much more money its FTP games make. The problem is all of this money is made off of kids and adults alike who tend to fall victim to the many unscrupulous mechanisms purposefully used in those titles. In business all that really matters is money, but at a certain point, you have to ask when is it ever enough? Does every release have to earn its maximum potential to the detriment of its gameplay, or can some things exist alongside the moneymakers as a means to gain interest and loyalty from fans?
The GO series may not have been popular enough to warrant any more development, but it undoubtedly helped to gain mobile gaming some notoriety and interest as a proper platform. When you think about it, if Square had taken the defeatist attitude it is taking now, these GO games would have never even been made, and frankly, we'd all be worse off for it. Somehow I doubt I'll miss out on much when Square Enix Montreal inevitably releases a sequel to their shallow IAP-filled sniper game, but since Hitman Sniper has more installs than all the GO games combined, what gamers want doesn't really matter anymore. Obviously it's much easier to create mediocre content that targets the larger casual market than it is to produce something that's actually worth playing.
- Pocket Gamer.biz