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【Game-Time News】

Recently, the “Call of Duty: Warzone” mobile game (hereinafter referred to as “Warzone Mobile Game”), developed by Activision, was launched overseas.

This mobile work developed based on the flagship IP “Call of Duty” series has aroused enthusiastic responses around the world as soon as it was launched. In a short period of time, it topped the iOS free list in many regions and entered the top ten free lists in 156 regions. On the day after it went online, the number of downloads on the Google Play platform exceeded 10 million.

Looking back on the past, Activision has cooperated with Zhixingtong and Tencent Tianmei to launch two COD mobile games. Among them, “Call of Duty: Global Operations”, which was cooperated with Zhixingtong, regretfully left the game because the performance did not meet expectations. The FPS mobile game “Call of Duty Mobile” in cooperation with Tencent Tianmei has achieved more than 3 billion US dollars. The success of the latter may also have prompted Activision to personally enter the mobile market expansion of this host IP.

So, whether Activision’s self-developed “Warzone Mobile” can continue the experience and performance of the “Call of Duty” series on other terminals is the focus of attention of the industry and the majority of players.

Produced by our own company, with the familiar taste of “War Zone”

Call of Duty, an IP that has existed for 21 years, has almost always been at the top of the FPS market of consoles and PCs. Every year when new games are released, they can basically lock the top of the major sales lists. According to official data disclosed in 2022, the total sales volume of the “Call of Duty” series has exceeded 425 million copies, generating approximately US$30 billion in revenue.

“Call of Duty: Warzone” (hereinafter referred to as “Warzone”) is an important branch of this IP. “War Zone”, which came out in 2019 riding on the craze of chicken-fighting gameplay, adopted a F2P model that is different from the main game, which greatly broadened the user base and accumulated a huge player base of over 100 million in the second year of its launch. (“War Zone 1” has been iterated to “War Zone 2”, and is now called “War Zone”)

In fact, “War Zone” stands out in the saturated chicken market, thanks to the gaming experience accumulated by Activision on the FPS track. “AAA quality”, “weapon system”, “tactical skills”, etc. are also other features. Conditions for being able to develop later. At the same time, new resurrection mechanisms, in-game purchase of equipment and skills, etc. are introduced to enhance players’ strategic experience in the game.

Now, Activision has finally brought this game to the mobile terminal. It has been more than five years since games such as “Fortnite” and “PUBG MOBILE” were launched. In essence, “War Zone Mobile Game” can be seen as a cross-platform reproduction of the content of “War Zone”. The game retains the traditional “chicken-eating mode” and the “rebirth mode” which is also a chicken-eating game with a more compact rhythm and can rely on unlimited resurrection of teammates. However, the overall number of people in a single game has been reduced from 150 to 120 people. The mobile game version also specially reproduces the iconic first map “Verdansk” and the beloved resurrection link “Gulag” concentration camp, allowing players to relive the familiar content of “War Zone 1”.

Perhaps just transplanting the chicken-fighting gameplay is no longer fresh enough, or perhaps to attract IP fans in the future, the mobile game also incorporates the original multiplayer team modes of the “Call of Duty” series, such as kill competitions and stronghold competitions, which further expands The diversity of gameplay.

As for the game operation and details, “War Zone Mobile Game” strives to reproduce it on the mobile terminal. The shooting feel and realistic level of the firearms can be seen, including the breathing jitter of the sniper rifle, various FPS movement skills, As well as the elements such as reconnaissance aircraft and air strikes that are characteristic of the COD series, the producers have tried to restore them one by one.

Moreover, in order to ensure the consistency of the in-game ecology, the mobile game version is closely integrated with “War Zone” in aspects such as firearms, skins, and some data, and even achieves cross-platform data interoperability. Players who log in through Activision ID can share their account progress with the PC games “Warzone” and “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III”. Whether it is weapon configuration, world chat battle pass progress, etc., all platforms can be synchronized, allowing players to directly Get started on mobile.

It can be seen that the main goal of “War Zone Mobile Game” is to faithfully transplant the core content of “War Zone” to the mobile platform, rather than large-scale innovative modifications. It has successfully copied the classic genes of the PC version in terms of content and gameplay. But even so, the experience was anything but satisfying.

Unable to complain: “The more you play, the better the picture quality will be.”

For this review, the author chose an Android phone equipped with Xiaolong 865 for testing. When I first entered the game, the graphics quality was quite hard to describe. It’s hard for you to imagine that this is what a mobile game in 2024 should look like, and it was produced by Activision, a major 3A manufacturer.

Due to performance limitations, the game can only be played in medium image quality, and when played on a mobile phone that can run in high image quality, the picture is still not very good. More importantly, the shortcomings of the game in terms of optimization are fully exposed, and the obvious heating phenomenon brings about problems such as lag and frame rate drop.

The picture above is medium quality, the picture below is high quality

In fact, the game screen is not always so mosaic. “War Zone Mobile Game” adopts a design of downloading and playing at the same time. The picture is “the more you play, the better the picture quality”. In theory, the picture can gradually improve over time, but this On the contrary, it aggravates the user’s initial experience problems – the low-definition mosaic picture and the additional computing burden caused by playing while playing make the game appear blurry and unsmooth, which greatly affects the retention of new users.

At the same time, it also suffers from the inexperience of most console and client game manufacturers. In order to integrate the rich functions of the mobile game on the small screen, the interface layout of “War Zone Mobile Game” appears complex and numerous. It is not user-friendly enough to take into account these operations on the mobile terminal. Players need to go through a lot of customization settings and adaptation period before they can Barely reaching a more ideal operating experience.

Some of the non-adjustable buttons are small and difficult to hit accurately.

All these aspects make for a bad experience when you first start playing the game. Market response has confirmed the existence of the above-mentioned problems. The score of “War Zone Mobile Game” on the Google Play Store once dropped to 3.1 points, with the vast majority of negative reviews focusing on the game’s optimization flaws. It can be seen that Activision still has many hurdles to overcome in mobile game development.

However, a week after its launch, the score of “War Zone Mobile Game” has rebounded (3.8 points), indicating that as the game resources are fully loaded and players gradually adapt to the gameplay, its playability is gradually revealed. After all, “Warzone Mobile” has indeed successfully transplanted the core strengths of the series. Coupled with its unique cross-platform progress sharing feature, especially pass progress, it has been recognized by many players. This unified product ecosystem may be an important consideration for Activision to choose to independently develop “War Zone Mobile Game”.

As overseas big IPs enter the mobile game market, the importance of domestic original IPs becomes increasingly prominent.

In traditional perception, major AAA game companies with consoles and PC platforms as their core businesses should have demonstrated technical advantages and deep accumulation when entering the field of mobile games. However, perhaps the design ideas are inconsistent with mobile games, or the business structure cannot adapt. These long-standing major manufacturers in the field of PC and consoles cannot always replicate their brilliant achievements. For this reason, many major game manufacturers tend to join forces with Chinese manufacturers. .

However, with the explosive growth of the mobile game market and its commercial potential, more and more console game giants have changed their original conservative attitude, from passive acceptance to proactive attack, and not only actively transplanted their well-known IP games to mobile platforms , and are increasingly choosing independent research and development to better grasp their own IP and prepare for future adaptation to the mobile game ecosystem.

Take Blizzard as an example. In November last year, Blizzard launched its first self-developed Warcraft IP mobile game “Warcraft War”. The gameplay is similar to “Clash Royale” and includes more than 65 classic characters from the Warcraft universe. In less than a week, Cumulative revenue exceeds RMB 30 million.

Ubisoft is not to be outdone. Many of its AAA-level IP works have been adapted into mobile games. Currently, Ubisoft has three titles in reserve: “The Division: Dawn”, “Rainbow Six M” and “Assassin’s Creed: Codename JADE”. Although the latter two games are both in cooperation with Tencent, Ubisoft has always insisted on independent research and development as the leading role. Among them, “Rainbow Six M” was participated in the production by 11 Ubisoft studios, and Tencent was responsible for “providing professional knowledge and suggestions to the team” “Assassin’s Creed: Codename JADE”, Ubisoft also emphasized that they will avoid relying entirely on external research and development and adopt a development model that combines self-research + joint research.

Japanese manufacturers such as Capcom and Square Enix also attach great importance to self-development of mobile games. Capcom established a mobile game department as early as 2014, and many of its classic IP-related mobile games have been launched online. According to statistics from third-party data platforms, Capcom has released nearly 80 mobile games since 2009, including many. Self-developed products such as “Monster Hunter: Adventure”, “Monster Hunter Riders”, and “Mega Man X DiVE”. At least it proves Capcom’s continued efforts in mobile games. Square Enix has also entered the mobile market with a number of self-developed mobile game products such as the “Final Fantasy” series, the “Dragon Quest” series, and the “Kingdom Hearts” series.

Even Nintendo, which has always given the impression of focusing on console games, has broken barriers after the launch of the mobile game “Super Mario Run” in recent years, and subsequently launched “Fire Emblem Heroes”, “Mario Kart Tour” and ” Classic IP mobile games such as “Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp” are popular among players.

It can be found that in the face of the opportunities and challenges in the global mobile game market, overseas console game manufacturers are increasing their emphasis on self-research of mobile games. Through continuous learning and improvement, some manufacturers have gradually adapted to and mastered the laws of the mobile game market. In this process, the blockbuster IP they hold plays a crucial role. Just like “War Zone Mobile Game”, even if it faces certain controversies, it still uses its powerful IP to gather a large number of player groups and provide them with A large sample of preferences.

Compared with major overseas manufacturers, domestic manufacturers have obvious competitive advantages in mobile game development, but they still need to work hard on the cultivation and promotion of original IP. Only by continuing to increase investment in original IP and innovation capabilities can they compete in global mobile games. Create a unique cultural identity in market competition and achieve long-term and stable development.

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