With all the good news and great games that have come our way this year we have also had our fair share of stories that didn’t pan out for whatever reason, whether it was a rumor that turned out to be a flop or a game developer changing their minds five times about a game that was going to come to Android. It is time to take a look back over the past year and enjoy the humorous side that is mobile gaming.
Official Unreal Engine Support
For a good part of the beginning of 2011 and even in the last bit of 2010 there was also the idea that Epic would bring official Unreal Engine support for Android. Even though you can develop games with Unreal Engine 3, official support for the Android OS was tossed around like a rag doll over several month. First it wasn’t coming, then it was, then it wasn’t, and once again it was. Epic sells licenses for developers to use Unreal Engine 3 in developing Android games even though there was no official support.
Irony: Epic Citadel running on Android video
There were many reasons given over the months as to why there would be no support such as the file size limit on the Android Marketplace, Fragmentation and all kinds of other good stuff. The problem with those reasons though was that those are things that the developer needs to concern themselves with, not Epic. This is part of the reason why Unity3D has become so popular with Android developers, at least that is one reason I think anyways.
In the end though it was stated that official Android support would come to Unreal Engine at some point although when that exactly will happen remains to be seen.
RAGE by id Software
One game that was highly anticipated when the word got out that it would be coming to mobile was RAGE by id Software. All that mutant killing FPS goodness really appealed to a lot of gamers on the Android platform. id Software even had job postings for Android developers at that time further adding fuel to the fire that RAGE would be coming to Android. So what happened?
Just like the Unreal Engine fiasco, first it was coming, then it wasn’t. Reasons cited were almost identical to that of the Unreal Engine support for Android with fragmentation and file size limit being two of the main reasons. Another reason was that Android wasn’t as profitable as iOS is. This is something that a fair amount of game developers on Android have proved otherwise.
So will we end up seeing RAGE come to Android in 2012? Most likely not. We can have all the Triple-A titles we want but this particular one will probably not be one of them. Of course we hope we end up being wrong about that.
Augmented Reality Gaming
Another great idea that ended up dieing a slow horrible death is Augmented Reality mobile gaming, or AR games for short. The idea of using your actual surrounding as backgrounds and settings to play games in was really a cool idea. Unfortunately even with major companies like Qualcomm tossing as much support as they could into AR gaming including whole SDKs dedicated to making AR games, it didn’t take off as expected.
Paparazzi AR Android Game Video
The problem with AR gaming is that you need your physical area to play the games which really isn’t that indicative to gaming on the go. Holding you phone up in the air to shoot aliens or trying to find a flat service at times with a pattern to use as a game really isn’t convenient. Of course you sort of look like a dork flailing around in public as well.
Don’t get us wrong though, a few AR games have seen some good success not just on Android but mobile in general but those are only a handful of titles and we probably can expect only a couple more in 2012 to be worth playing unless someone comes up with a really stellar idea.
Playstation One Games
With the release of the Xperia Play, and awhile after that the Sony tablets, we saw Playstation One games being available for purchase and play on a few select Android devices. This mostly dealt with the Xperia Play as the Sony Tablets are still relatively new. Still, when the first Playstation One games started appearing for the Xperia Play owners got excited and rightfully so. Who wouldn’t want to play Playstation games on their device without the use of a third party emulator?
The problem is the selection was terrible and still kind of is with the exception of a few titles. On top of that the quality wasn’t that great either. Now we are not talking about Xperia Play optimized games, just the Playstation games themselves as there are a lot of excellent Xperia Play optimized games available.
However the good side to this little story is that Sony is really going to be pushing the development of games for Playstation certified devices like the Sony Tablets and the Xperia Play thanks to their future release of the Playstation SDK. 2012 should be a lot better and hopefully we see better Playstation titles from the past making their way to Android as well.
While we only have four major flops listed here there are plenty that could be added and so we shall mention a few who have also earned the distinction of being a flop when it comes to Android gaming. Congratulations to everyone who has made this list though, you’ve worked hard to be here.
So what other flops has their been? Well we could certainly talk about Zynga’s slow decline into the gutter with games like Words for Friends, especially after their newest update the other day. We will also add EA’s staggeringly odd way of releasing games whether it’s exclusive to their Flexion store which few can actually access, their other weird exclusives or their strange decline in supporting some of the most popular Android devices currently out.
We can also add the select few twits out there trying to make a buck by ripping off popular games and uploading apk files that don’t actually work, copying and pasting the descriptions and photos but labeling the game wrong such as the recent event of one developer doing this with Cut The Rope descriptions and photos but labeling the game as Assassin’s Creed. We could also add the LG Optimus 3D commercial with the Yoga girl as a flop too. That was just horrible and not a way to advertise a device which should be used for gaming.
In the end though it’s been a pretty stellar year for Android and Android gaming in general. We have seen so many excellent games and services come to the platform and 2012 is already gearing up to be twice as good. Still we do have to salute the flops of 2011 and enjoy the humor in them. If you have a flop that you want to share and you think we missed, add it to the comments below!