The game world is changing. Ten years ago, many kept mobile platforms at home for basic mini-games and less experience, but in a few short years, it has become the largest sector in the gaming industry – and it continues to grow.
Long console game brands have noticed and are starting to shift more of their production to mobile devices. People like EA, Ubisoft and Activision are already enjoying tremendous success with Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed-based smartphones, and they have all announced plans to expand their mobile offerings in the coming years.
To learn more about the rise of mobile gaming, we talked about the King behind the two developers Crash Bandicoot: Running, which is the first Crash mobile game, and the latest console icon to switch to smartphones. They explained what it was like to adapt Crash to mobile devices, and why console gamers, despite their reservations, could find something lovable in their app store.
The same old crash in a new way
When you think of the free-to-play mobile versions of your favorite series, you’re expecting a much weaker experience. Mario Kart Tour shocked many fans with the lack of multiplayer at the time of release, and games like the soon-to-be-ending Kingdom Hearts: Unchained X switched from RPG gaming in 3D to simple 2D turn-based battles.
Stephen Jarret (creative director) and Chui (chief designer) explained that Crash Bandicoot: On the Run was designed out of the gate to feel like games that people fell in love with on the console in terms of aesthetics. “We wanted the game’s visuals and sounds to feel like a Crash game,” said Jarret. “We gave each Crash Bandicoot: On the Run venue a unique music, bosses, mechanics, and gameplay for that reason.”
There’s more to the game, of course, than it looks. Chui played a lot with Crash with his growing family, and he wanted On the Run to recreate his feelings. “I know a lot of people used to play Crash together with their loved ones, so we’ve also translated the‘ playing Crash together ’experience,” he told us. “The Team feature allows you to play with friends, and this time you don’t have to fight for a controller!”
Based on their own gaming experiences, Jarret and Chui tell the truth. Crash Bandicoot: On the Run feels like a genuine entry in the Crash series and important. As Jarret explains, “Crash Bandicoot: On the Run sits in the middle of Crash Multiverse – it’s the first Crash game to combine all the other Crash games.”
With such a prominent spot throughout the series, it’s no surprise that this Crash mobile game was released in 2021, the same year as Bandicoot’s 25th birthday, and Jarret promised that more surprises and classic characters are expected to appear throughout the series. at the end of the year in honor of this great anniversary.
This dedication to the mobile game shows that King and Activision aren’t just throwing them into the air of Crash Bandicoot: On the Run out and hope it succeeds by its name alone. It’s a game carefully designed by Crash fans for Crash fans, and it has so much to offer all types of players.
If you’re a casual player, the difficulty of the story rises nicely, and Jarret believes it’s the easiest game in the series, but if you miss a challenge, Chui pointed out that you can still show off your skills by completing challenging time trials – like in traditional games – or participating in seasonal competitions to earn prizes on your team.
Why are more characters migrating to mobile devices?
But why are console characters being ported to mobile devices at all? If they succeed, why not leave them on the console? Well, mobile gaming is so big these days that you can’t ignore it. In 2020, mobile gaming on smartphones and tablets accounted for an estimated 50% (or $ 86.3 billion) in the global gaming market, while console gaming was only 30%. In 2010, mobile gaming accounted for only about 10% of the global market, so its growth has been significant.
This rise in popularity not only offers huge financial opportunities for studios and developers, but makes gaming more accessible than ever before. Few of us today don’t have a smartphone, and we are hungry for delusions and entertainment, whether it’s at home or on a business trip.
Chui says some of his friends don’t own another gaming device, but they’re already in love with Crash by playing on his smartphone. The availability of mobile gaming opens up so many opportunities for classic characters to find new audiences, and we imagine more to follow in Crash’s footsteps – Jarret teased just as much, “You might see another Activision IP coming on mobile devices in the future …”
We’ll probably have to wait at least a little while before we figure out what and who’s next from Activision – we’re sure to hope for Spyro the Dragon – but what we’ve seen in Crash Bandicoot: On the Run is excited about things to come.
If you’re a committed console gamer who’s been skeptical so far, or maybe even rejected mobile and free-to-play games, there may be a new attempt some time ago – you might be pleasantly surprised by the things out there.
Crash Bandicoot: On the Run is now available on Google Play for Android and the App Store for iOS devices