While many major gaming publishers like Sony and Nintendo are struggling to translate their most popular franchises into successful mobile titles, Square Enix seemed to be doing something right with its series of ‘Go’ games.
With these games, fans got the chance to play fully-fledged mobile versions of their favourite franchises, such as Hitman and Tomb Raider. They won awards, frequently found a place on ‘best of’ lists, and were even ported to consoles. Yet it seems Square Enix Montreal will no longer be working on them.
Speaking to PC Games Insider, the head of the studio, Patrick Naud, said that the line of games (which admittedly hasn’t seen a new entry in a while now) had come to an end. The reason for this is, apparently, down to the fact that the premium mobile game market is “diminishing.”
While the Go games charged an up-front premium fee to access the whole game, Naud said that “You’ve got more and more high-quality free titles, so there are even fewer and fewer people inclined to try something that will not be free.”
In the grand scheme of things, the Go games really aren’t that expensive at all (you can sometimes find them on the UK Google Play store for only 99p) but, according to Naud, people “want to spend on a game that they’re sure they’re going to like.”
This means that free games with in-game purchases are usually the preferred option for both publishers and consumers. You only need to look at Fortnite Mobile and the millions of dollars it’s making to know that mobile gamers aren’t averse to spending cash, they just need to be invested in the experience first.
That’s not to say, however, that Square Enix is giving up on mobile titles entirely. Naud said the company will continue to create mobile experiences but that it’ll be trying new experiences now that the Go series is no longer.
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Emma Boyle is TechRadar’s ex-Gaming Editor, and is now a content developer and freelance journalist. She has written for magazines and websites including T3, Stuff and The Independent. Emma currently works as a Content Developer in Edinburgh.