Mobile or PC - Can the Biggest and the Smallest Gaming Platforms Get Along?
As we write these words, League of Legends: Wild Rift is on the verge of launching in North America, South America, and Canada, following successful betas in Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.
This eagerly anticipated mobile version of League of Legends - the PC game that pretty much gave birth to the MOBA genre - was a long time coming. Riot Games just wasn't sold on mobile, and insisted on coming up with a whole new version for the small screen.
Was Riot Games right to be sceptical for all these years? While the developer was slow to embrace mobile, it's far from alone in believing that you have to build games from the ground up for mobile, rather than simply porting them across.
EVE: Online developer clearly came to the same conclusion with EVE: Echoes, a mobile spin-off of its popular space MMO that takes place in a parallel universe, safely insulated from the PC players.
Likewise PUBG, Call of Duty, and the awesome Black Desert Online all exist in separate online universes from their mobile counterparts.
But, thankfully, this segregational approach isn't always necessary. Mobile is a brilliant platform in its own right, and some games that started life on PC have turned out to be even better on mobile.
We'd put FTL, Stardew Valley, and countless others in this category. Even cross-platform games like Gwent: The Witcher Card Game, Hearthstone, and Old School Runescape favor the small-screen players in our humble opinion.
It's all about the game in question. Sure, a frenetic shooter or 3D platformer built around keyboard and mouse controls is unlikely to thrive on a touchscreen, but card-battlers, digital board games, and simple RPGs work better on a handheld device every day of the week.
And if a developer approaches a game with both PC and mobile in mind, any genre can be awesome. Just look at Genshin Impact, one of last year's best games on any platform.
What's certain is that mobile and PC cross-platform games are only going to get better and more numerous.
There's even a rumored mobile version of Rocket League in the works, potentially allowing smartphone gamers to step into one of the most chaotic and competitive online arenas of the last decade.
Bring it on!