Let’s play a little mental game. Think of the most violent console or PC game you can. Something that, if turned into a good movie adaptation, would undoubtedly receive an ‘R’ rating. Although I never beat it, the game that pops into my own head is Manhunt for last generation’s systems–PC, PS2, and Xbox. Now think of the single most gory, sex laden, or violent title you can for either an iPhone or Android device.
Personally I’m drawing a blank. How about you?
A quick look at Gamestop.com reveals that a Sony Playstation 2 will run you $50. I’m sure you could find one with a dozen or more games off a local craigslist.org posting for about the same, maybe less. God of War will run you $4.99, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City $6.99, and Resident Evil 4 is $8.99. All games with a Mature rating. And all more than your typical $0.99 iPhone game. Keep in mind that an iPhone will run you more than $2,000 after two years. Honestly it’ll likely end up closer to over $3,000. How?
Let’s assume you get an iPhone for free. Who gave it to you? Who cares? You have a free phone! Now you need service. You’ll want to text of course, use it as a phone, and you’ll need a data plan. An iPhone is kind of worthless without all that. I pay roughly $100 a month for all of the above through AT&T. Is there a better–cheaper–option out there? Possibly. My brother told me he’s considering going to Virgin Mobile because apparently they offer an everything is unlimited plan for $30 a month. Even if you could get such a package you’re looking at $720 for two years. And that’s assuming you never buy a single game or app.
Angry Birds is easily the single most well known game on a mobile platform these days. It is now far more than a game. There are toys, clothes, and even food items based off of it. The most extreme moment of violence in Angry Birds is akin to what you’d see in a Loony Tunes cartoon. Gore? Hardly. Explicit violence or gratuitous sex? No. These are birds being fired through an over-sized slingshot at pig heads.
The Call of Duty franchise is one of the most well known in modern gaming. There are CoD titles on nearly everything you can play a game on (not the Vita though). The mission No Russian was a controversy laden bit of brilliance that probably helped sell a few thousand titles simply because of the nature of the mission: Kill everyone you see. This game exists on the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and PC.
What’s the point to all this? It’s something I’ll go over a bit more next week (at least that’s the plan as I’m typing this now), but in a nutshell: Why are the most kid friendly games on a device only adults should have and why are the most violent of games on a platform nearly every child over 4 would want for his upcoming birthday or Christmas?
Why isn’t there a single adult oriented game on the iOS market place? Is it the Batman conundrum? There are no ratings for iOS games, not really, nothing like the ESRB anyways, but they exist on consoles. Is that why we have games like Call of Duty on the PS3? Because there is a classification for it?