Last week, Blizzard announced that the next Diablo game will be skipping both PC and consoles, and would instead be a mobile-only release. Diablo Immortal as it is called has received lukewarm reception at best and pitchforking at worst. But this is not the first time, a storied franchise has made its way to the mobile platform. Here are 5 long-standing franchises which made the move to mobile.

P.S. The List has been compiled using information available on the Google Play Store.

1) Final Fantasy – {Square Enix co. Ltd}
First Appearance:: 1987
Mobile Game: Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition

As is a trend that would be clear soon. Its not about the games per se, but the publisher behind them. Square Enix hasn’t had a groundbreaking Final Fantasy success in a while (even the impressive FFXV had fans divided). But that hasn’t stopped them from releasing Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition. With 500,000+ downloads and a mostly positive rating, FFXV PE as its called has brought Square a lot of moolah ever since it was released. And that’s not all SE have banked on the nostalgia factor and the increasing power of today’s mobile devices bringing a plethora of old-school RPGs to smartphones. Almost every Final Fantasy game is now available to download and play on the handset of your choice. And it’s not only limited to Final Fantasy, but even franchises like Chrono Trigger, Secret Of Mana, Dragon Quest and even the lesser known Chaos Rings have also been released for consumption on the go. Mobile phones truly are the new handheld.

2) Mortal Kombat – {Warner Bros.}
First Appearance:: 1992
Mobile Game: Mortal Kombat X

Its hard to predict what prompted what, but Nether Realm developed Injustice, the fighting game set in the DC universe for Warner Bros. (and led to one off the best comic book arcs I have read in a long time). Soon after or maybe it was alongside it, Injustice was also released on the mobile app stores. The experiment was successful I believe and when Mortal Kombat X rolled around (a franchise which Nether Realm have based their identity around), it came with its own simplified for smartphone version cleverly called ‘Mortal Kombat X’. By that time a precedent was set so when Injustice 2 launched, lo and behold Injustice 2 for mobile launched alongside it too. A quick search and it’s clear which path the brother Warners are taking, there are mobile versions of almost every LEGO game that has come out in recent time, there is one for Middle-Earth: Shadow Of Mordor, and there is one for Game Of Thrones too. You can’t seem to find any of the earlier Mortal Kombat on the app store, so I guess that’s a plus, but I guess its more because of copyright issues than the lack of zeal.

3) Rayman’s Legend – {Ubisoft}
First Appearance:: 1995
Mobile Game: Rayman Adventures

It would be surprising to see Ubisoft missing from this list. The company is quick to cash in on any trending practice and are guilty of attrition. Assassin’s Creed, first seen in 2009, is already on the app store with at least 2 phone only games. The first Trials game appeared in 2000, and then found its way to mobile through Trials Fusion. But the cake has to go to the Rayman franchise, which found its start on the DOS platform way back in 1995, and currently finds a place on the mobile store in the form of Rayman’s Legends with 10,000,000+ installs, and a 4.6 rating even after 600,368 reviews. Wow, just wow.

4) Tomb Raider – {Square Enix Co.}
First Appearance:: 1996
Mobile Game: Tomb Raider Go

Square Enix has brought so many of their franchises to mobile, that they appear twice on this list. I mean Square Enix literally has 2 publishing ids on the Google Play Store: Square Enix co. Ltd, and Square Enix Co. Probably because they didn’t want to anger too many fan bases together (More probably because one of them handles all the JRPGS, and the other one all the western franchises). Anyways game franchises like Hitman, the inimitable Deus Ex, and the iconic Tomb Raider have all been given the GO treatment. A simplified puzzling experience that does not have any relation to how their PC/Console counterparts play. But that didn’t stop Square and all of these games are now available to play on the GO. Really smart Square, really smart.

5) Uncharted – {PlayStation}
First Appearance:: 2007
Mobile Game: UNCHARTED: Fortune Hunter

So this mobile ecosystem is such a huge cash cow that even PlayStation wants a piece, even if it means sacrificing their most cinematic experience for it. Uncharted a franchise known for its cinematic set pieces and attention to detail graphics has been reduced to a simple puzzler in Uncharted: Fortune Hunter. At least it does a good job of introducing you to all the main characters of the franchise, but that’s about it. A quick clicking about and its easy to see how badly Sony wants in, there are multiple companion apps for many of their PS4 based games, unlike other entries in this list though none of its entries has hit the home run so to speak, and maybe that’s why PS4 is still the best place to play.


 

So there you have it, folks, 5(+) long-term franchises that have made the move to mobile. I think its clear from the list above that the teams that work on mobile games and the ones that work on the PC/console version are completely separate, and are brought together by the publisher under their copyright and trademark umbrella. It’s also clear that most mobile versions offer a uniquely different experience from what those franchises are known for (Rayman Legends maybe an exception here).

We should also give credit where credit is due, and note that when any one of these games do strike gold, they are frequently updated with content and events from time to time to keep the community engaged.

Finally, it’s clear to see, that publishers tend to repeat this habit, so if one game under them does it you can rest assured that the others will follow suit.

So I guess here is to World Of Warcraft and Overwatch coming to mobile soon.

What do you think of more and more games taking the mobile route? Do you like or dislike this particular practice? What other games do you think we have missed in this list. Let us know all this and more in the comments below.

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