The Stupid Gamer

Video Games, Opinions, Thoughts, & Tomfoolery

The Stupid Gamer - Video Games, Opinions, Thoughts, & Tomfoolery

Android is now 72% of the mobile market, so can we start using “mobile” to refer to apps and games?

One thing that drives me crazy is the insistence that many people have to refer to mobile games as iOS versions of a game. They’ll be talking about Assassin’s Creed or Call of Duty and say, “there’s an iOS companion app for the game as well.” Yeah, there is, but it’s not limited to iOS. Many times the app is available for Android and Windows Phone 7/8 as well. Heck, most times it’s available for at least one other platform than iOS.

The people doing this are being irresponsible. It would be no different than a reporter mentioning that Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 was now available…for Xbox 360. Yes, it is, but it’s also available for PC, PS3, and Wii U. Multiconsole development became a standard quite a while ago. Only when we have an exclusive app do we mention the platform, and mobile development should be no different.

So why is this an issue, exactly? Well, I’m very well informed when it comes to the gaming industry, but often news sources can fail us. It’s impossible to get news from the original source every time, so I rely on podcasters, editors, and even word of mouth from peers. When these people are saying, “out for iOS” by default simply because they own an iPhone, they’re being misleading, even if it is unintentional. As a specific example, I saw many prominent gaming media members discuss the availability of Xbox Smartglass for iOS, and I figured that the Android version must be coming lately. Finally, a few days later I decided to just search for it on the Google Play Store, and there it was.

Call them whatever you want, “mobile apps/games” or “apps for phones and tablets” or whatever you want; but please, use a term that is inclusive, not exclusive. We’ll all be better informed, and we’ll all be doing our job better.

Republique Kickstarter – When the Industry Decides You Need to Pitch In

Update: With a furious last push, Republique was successfully funded. Congratulations to Camouflaj and Logan Games. Now, make us a game worthy of all the attention the project has been receiving.

Republique is a game being developed by Camouflaj and Logan Games for iOS, PC, and Mac. It aims to be a higher quality gaming experience on the mobile scene. I’m a backer, but I have to admit that I’m not terribly excited by the project as it looks a bit hokey to me. I’m just supporting the project because I like to see developers try something a little different, and for me, $10 is a pretty small price to pay to support new ideas. I am getting a little bothered, however, by the constant evangelizing of the project from the gaming press.

Ryan Payton is the founder of Camouflaj studios. For those unfamiliar with Ryan’s background, he’s gone from games journalist to working in the game industry as a developer. After his time with 1up and Famitsu, Ryan had the chance to work on some high profile projects, including Metal Gear Solid 3 & 4 and Halo 4. Last year Ryan left 343 Industries to found Camouflaj, where he could start up mobile game development on iOS. Due to his roots as a journalist, Ryan has a lot of friends spread around the games journalism scene, and the overwhelming support from the press for his Kickstarter is a direct result of those relationships.

I don’t have a problem with anybody giving a quick shout out to a friend’s project or even a little encouragement to check out what a colleague is doing. But this whole Republique banner waving is getting a little gross. I feel as if we, the readers of these video game sites and blogs, are being held captive to their evangelizing. We don’t even know if the game is going to be any good, and every time you turn around, another major media outlet is reiterating how you should be donating or increasing your current donation to the Republique Kickstarter fund. Shacknews, Giant Bomb, Joystiq, etc. are all over this pitch, and barely a day goes by without a mention hitting the podcast or news feeds.

I don’t think that reporters are totally conscious of how heavy handed they’re being. I don’t think they realize how biased they appear. Many of the people constantly reminding us about Camouflaj through their stories, Twitter updates, Facebook statuses, and podcast mentions are some of my favorite journalists and editors in the industry. I just think that the nepotism that we show for fellow games journalist brothers (or former members of the media) is getting to the point where lines are being crossed.

I think an editor, podcast host, or reporter should be able to give a mention to the stuff that they love, but I don’t think they should act as bannermen, pledging loyalty to a product. If Camouflaj wants the exposure, they should buy it through marketing efforts. Not everybody with a good idea is lucky enough to have come from the ranks of games journalism, and it’s unfair to them (and to readers of the site) that certain projects get constant attention ahead of their own for no significant reason.

There are only three days left on the Republique Kickstarter, and it’s pretty obvious that the project won’t be funded. Everybody who pitched in will get their money back, but the profile on the project has been raised so much that when the game eventually makes its way to release via alternative funding, most of its marketing push will already have been established and “paid for” through free mentions and articles on many of gaming’s largest news and opinion outlets.

I hope Camouflaj puts out a good game. I hope that they find themselves successful as a studio, but I don’t think it’s our burden to ensure that they are.