There has been a huge love for MMO games which has grown over the past decade. And that genre over time made its debut in the mobile games industry. When looking at it now, there are tons of MMO games that are out there for mobile. However, not everyone around the world can afford to spend much money on MMOs, especially the younger generations. Here are a few ideas to make these types of games fair for low-income players.
Why Aren’t Some MMO Mobile Games Fair?
This all comes down to the monetization and the business model used by the game publishers. Most MMO games for the mobile tend to be free to play, however, it doesn’t necessarily mean free to complete. There are often times disadvantages posed by prevailing mobile games in the MMORPG genre and they affect a lot of players especially low-income ones.
One such disadvantage would be that content and progress can be locked behind a paywall. This is especially practiced by Korean MMOs where in order to get access to a DLC update, you have to make additional purchases. Often times MMO game publishers would put up experience boosts for sale in the cash shop of the game.
This can heavily deter some players who are just looking to have some casual fun and experience the content. They may not purchase anything now but are still keeping the game servers alive while bringing in new players.
Less grind, more fun
Amongst the various MMO mobile games for free, grinding for experience can be a tedious task. Those that cannot afford the luxury of paying extra money for an experience boost may be at a disadvantage.
This heavily affects one’s gameplay process preventing them to reach their full potential in-game. Games should be played for fun, not an endless grind. An example of grinding can be seen in some popular MMOs. These often lead to AFK farmers and bots that actually clog the servers.
Performing repetitive activities that require you to progress the story, whereas players can get an experience boost to save up time and skip this repetitive process. Grinding can only be fun if the gameplay mechanics are fun like in some prevailing mobile games.
Rewards, Contests, and Events
Some very popular MMO games out there give out rewards and at often times can be seen hosting community events. What are these? These are incentives that act as rewards for free players. An example of such rewards in some free to play MMO games for the mobile is daily quests, dungeon battles, PVP battles and special games events inside the MMO.
Social media has become such a huge aspect that can help promote these games, so the ones with active social media pages like on Facebook often host contests that reward the winners with lots of in-game loot. Most mobile games that are in the MMO genre, often lack these features and quickly die out over time. However, this can be avoided when the publishers listen to the complaints of the players.
Add New Content
Publishers should work with their game developers to keep posting consistent game updates and bug-fixes. Without these, any MMO game whether it be on PC or Mobile becomes unfair to all players. New updates and patches improve the game over time and help keep a stable in-game economy and player base.
But for low-income players, accessing new content can be difficult if one doesn’t have the extra expenses to spare. When we look at the various free mobile games in the MMO genre, we can clearly see the lack of content and updates and whenever there is one, it is locked behind a paywall.
Building A Stable Game Economy In Free Mobile Games
Why should mobile gaming companies focus on building a robust economy for MMO games? This is mainly because of retaining older and free to play players. There are very few MMO games in the mobile category that is “buy to play”. So in most cases, an unbalanced cash shop can throw off the game economy.
This means the auction house. In most MMO games, the auction house can be the only gateway for free players to acquire high-level items other than crafting or defeating dungeon bosses.
Often times a game economy can also be destroyed by hackers and bots that farm up all the creeps in one zone. Bots are a plague that has affected the MMO genre since the early days. Even today when you look at mainstream mobile games in the MMO industry, you might just spot a few bots. Though over time, developers and publishers did take countermeasures to ensure that bots don’t destroy the economy and are known to take strict action against players caught botting.
A free-market economy where auction prices are set by the gamers alongside farming zones free from bots can truly create a stable and fun gaming economy.
Some might argue that microtransactions are the backbone of the MMO mobile gaming industry. Even though most microtransactions are purely cosmetic, some are not. Especially the ones that provide gold, items and experience boosts.
When playing free MMO mobile games, low-income players don’t want to be blasted in the face with microtransaction offers when they login to a game, they just want to have fun. Even though microtransactions are unavoidable, the worst part of microtransactions is RNG loot boxes or lucky boxes.
This is something very frowned upon almost by every player since random lucky boxes often incite elements of gambling and this can be especially bad for children when playing games.
Though MMO games have come a long way from where they used to be, there are many out there now with different monetization and business models. My suggestion would be to try out some popular free to play titles and see how they differ. The best ways to make MMO mobile games fair would be for the developers and publishers to listen and interact with the community of players. This would, in turn, build a stable game economy which will make it enjoyable for everyone.