- Companies are all too willing to water down great series to make a quick buck.
- Diablo: Immortal and Dungeon Keeper Mobile are two great examples of trashy mobile ports.
- Might & Magic Heroes: Era of Chaos is going to be more of the same.
These days our memories are up for sale. Whether it be remaking some nostalgia bait or producing a terrible entry into a series that has been dead for decades, it seems like nothing is sacred. Back in the day, Syndicate was an action-tactics game about corporate mercenaries killing for profit in a cyber-punk world. Then Starbreeze got their hands on it in 2012 and produced the world’s most generic first-person shooter.
It’s not hard to see why this happens. Companies end up trying to homogenize things so that they appeal to everyone and end up pleasing nobody. It’s the reason that we had so many FPS games in the last generation. In an attempt to sell as many copies as possible, everyone tried to outdo Call of Duty at being Call of Duty and pretty much everyone failed.
There’s No Sign of the Trend Slowing Down
These days we don’t tend to see new entries into long-dead series that completely trash everything that made the original so great. No, instead we have mobile gaming to do that for us. Back in 2018, the entire world collectively booed as one when Blizzard announced Diablo: Immortal. If you were comatose that year, then you probably remember the ‘Don’t you guys have phones?’ memes more than the actual announcement.
Diablo: Immortal is probably an example of the least heinous type of mobile adaptation. While it was completely insulting that Blizzard would waste their time creating a mobile game entry into a series aimed at hardcore gamers, the game was at least playable. Plus it seems like they might be making it up to us soon. It’s only when companies really buckle down and concentrate that they can start to ruin things.
The Worst Offender
Probably one of the highest-profile murders of an IP came in the form of Dungeon Keeper Mobile. In case you’re not aware, Dungeon Keeper was a classic strategy series that put you in charge of managing your own evil dungeon, carving it out of underground caverns. Of course, the mobile port took that original concept and just trampled all over it. You still had to dig out your own dungeon, but in this version, it would take days to actually get anywhere unless you wanted to pay a little cash to speed things up of course.
And now we come to the next defilement. Might and Magic. The Might & Magic series is a cross-genre masterpiece with some of the greatest role-playing and turn-based strategy titles under its belt. Now along comes IP owner Ubisoft to wring the franchise for every drop of cash it can get its hand on. Might & Magic Heroes: Era of Chaos is an upcoming ‘strategy’ game for iOS and Android which promises to lovingly re-tell the story of Might and Magic III. Yeah, right.
Apart from the fact that the game looks about as much like a generic phone game as it possibly can, who really asked for this? Are there really Might and Magic fans out there who were crying out for a micro-transaction-riddled freemium mobile version of their favorite franchise? Almost certainly not. We all know who really wanted this game to be made. The Ubisoft executives with dollar signs in their eyes.