As a fan of games it seemed pretty logical to stick a bunch of games on my iPad for the 45minute bus journey home after work. Naturally I wouldn’t want any of the classic Facebook style God sims that require Internet access, similarly anything else with an online focus. Hardly the most limiting requirements so I hit the App Store. With about two dozen games, a mix of free and paid, I felt armed to combat the boredom of the journey home.
I was wrong.
It surprised me how many games that have little online gameplay, say maybe a battle mode and Game Center support, could only be played online.
One thought I had as to the reason for this would be that free to play games will require online access in order to monetise them, for example Friendface Games aren’t going to get a penny from their in app purchases if I can’t access the store, so yeah they want me online. However if I can’t load the app, I won’t play it and be able to get hooked enough to buy something at a later point. In fact many of the games were just deleted.
I get mobiles (nearly) always have online access, however given many people have data limits to think about you would hope that games aren’t using data unnecessarily, therefore if online access isn’t required whilst I’m playing the offline mode, I wouldn’t expect any communication to be going on. The other consideration is the likelihood to lose and regain connections throughout a journey (a good time to be playing mobile games). Games that completely block based on Internet loss will also be unplayable… Or unplayed.
When entering a mode requiring, and I mean requiring, Internet access, that is the point to check that online access is available should be done, not before I’ve loaded the game. Then users can be presented with an option to go back or retry.
Anyway, I should wrap up my little ramble/rant. I think it is pretty dumb to block users and potential customers due to to an always on Internet requirement.
Note: I wrote most of this on my tablet. Even blog apps know the value of offline usage…