The Room Creator: Mobile Games Shouldn't Be Free-To-Play

Despite not being free-to-play, combined sales of The Room and its sequel have surpassed 5 million units last March. It is increasingly rare for paid mobile games to be that successful as the platform is dominated by free-to-play games, but studio co-founder Barry Meade believes that this needn't be the case.

"It's fair to say one reason mobile gaming is dying on its arse for developers is because the idea that one billion gamers want to play variations of Candy-Clash-Saga a thousand times is fucking insane," he argued. "We've got the stats. It's 3 percent at best. So we've nailed that, time to try something else."

"This is a statistically insignificant amount of happy gamers and nothing that gives you a basis to make claims about "what people want'," he added. "I think it just as likely that mobile's orgy of casual titles is due to simple bandwagon-ism or, in other words, not knowing what people want."

Meade pointed out that the success of his own The Room as well as other paid games such Minecraft as proof that mobile games don't have to be casual or free-to-play to succeed.

"Taken as a whole the games industry is making mobile games that nobody cares about available to millions of players for nothing," he said bluntly. "Free-to-play producers chime that quality levels are obviously fine, 'If it's making money it's objectively good, see?' Well no, not quite, shit sells by the ton every day."

In the end, Meade exhorted mobile developers to leverage the unique aspects of their platform to provide players with a novel experience that can't be had on any other platform.

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