EA has announced another Plants Vs. Zombies title for mobile devices, and all I can do—is sigh. Again, this once great title is being resurrected for nefarious purposes: to line the coffers of executives at EA. Will Plants Vs. Zombies 3 receives the same love and attention that the original game—which brought about the series—received? Likely not. In fact, if I were a betting man (and on occasion I am), I would say that not only would it receive worse attention than its predecessors, but it would also find a way to be even more offensive with both how the game is gated and how micro-transactions play a part in all of it.
It is the way of mobile titles after all.
Mobile games are caustic and damaging on a fundamental level, they take what we enjoy about games and find a way to destroy them. Are there exceptions? Yes, like all things. But for the vast majority of mobile games, they are envisioned and designed with a level of greed that Dante Alighieri himself would be forced to reconsider where such a nefarious nature would land oneself in Hell. So why should Plants Vs Zombies 3 be any different? It won’t.
I don’t need to see Plants Vs Zombies 3 before I judge it, because it has already been judged by games past. Its predecessor, Plants Vs Zombies 2 has already shown its true colors, relying on timers and micro-transactions to progress, and from what little can be seen of this sequel, it looks to be much the same. The entire mobile game industry is similar, flaunting its free-to-play nature proudly, with the market consuming it like pigs to a trough with little consideration over the quality of what they are devouring. Franchises that were once loved become warped by the influences of chaos, changing into shadows of their formers selves, whose only true function seems to be polluting chemical reactions in the brain that make oneself want to pull that lever, just… one… more… time.
Once I was a Dungeon Keeper, but in reality, I was being Kept by the Dungeon.
Once I Commanded and Conquered, but now, I was Conquered and Commanded.
Once I was on a Quest for Pokemon, but instead, I was the Quest for the Pokemon
This is their nature, they don’t engage players, they try to capture them in an endless cycle of spending and gambling.
In the past, handheld games were forced to solicit their purchases through perceived value and worth. Consumers needed to make choices between title #1 and title #2 by determining which was best for them, and once purchased, the game provided an achievable path to unlock all that was offered. Sadly, those days are gone, and rather than having a semblance of that past, the slate has nearly been wiped clean with little exception. This new mobile environment thrives off corrupting of what was once the handheld market, demanding the most of those who would wish to join to change. Its toxicity infiltrates all that enter its domain, seeping into nearly every crevice, creating more and more cancerous designs that go after the player, rather than provide them something meaningful. Once, this new market was unspoiled and the possibilities of what it could offer were endless, but now, only a constant cloud of miasma remains, destroying what was once good and relatively pure for the sake of profits.
To avoid the caustic nature of mobile, potential games and titles have become displaced. Their home on mobile, the area in which they would have thrived, has been ravaged by the environment; so they are forced to move. Sadly, only one home exists for these future and existing refugee games to avoid mobile: PC. A place that will accept everyone one and everything, but hardly can generate the same revenue and interest as being on mobile. Rather than supporting them, it ends up destroying. Both the structure and design must change to accommodate their new home, and unfortunately, it will never be the same as what was envisioned originally.
It is a process that is doomed to repeat. The destruction of quality and continual toxic nature all serve to make mobile a continually horrifying environment for existing franchises and new games on the platform to exist on. The gameplay and gotchas are expected, and that is both disheartening and discouraging. Nothing can break free of this mold; it consumes all, and until the light can shine on this pool of darkness, the titles that can be found on it will continue to be corrupt.
This is why when I see titles like Plants Vs Zombies 3 or most other mobile games, they can be judged before they arrive because it is known how they have been influenced. Not by something good, but rather nefarious in nature. They do not have the benefit of doubt that other titles have, because they have never had it and have yet to earn it, and until mobile games change, don’t expect more than taking what was once good and warping it for the sake of profit.
On second thought, I will take that bet.