Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Supporting AAA games with great apps

Our first article after a long while covers some of the ins and outs of second screen apps and companion apps aimed at console gamers.

So why the long wait between articles, well Gametrender has taken a massive sabbatical to start eating into the enormous backlog of current (next?) gen gaming in PS4. After lengthy forays into the Witcher 3, the Elder Scrolls Online, a smattering of Battlefield 4 , some Far Cry 4 goodness (amongst others), I've finally dragged myself away from the console to contemplate how AAA high budget gaming and App gaming can live together.

A good example is the second screen capabilities such as Xbox Glass and the Playstation Companion App, with the support  of the likes of Sony these apps go a long way to enabling interconnectivity and feeding/nurturing a gaming habit. Looking particularly at the Playstation Companion app,the big takeaway is that if you're going to support your game with an app ready access to a good API is crucial. Without the ability to link to your Playstation Id , see what friends are doing and track your achievements the app would be nigh useless.

It's almost de rigeur for this type of companion app to accompany a big release, some notable examples are the Destiny App allowing a lot of the lore to be examined (crucial in the story void that Bungie has encouraged), weapon swapping and raid info also makes things easier. Battlefield Commander also brings a different take to the companion app scene.

From a developer perspective , aside from the small question of the legal perspective and gaining access to an app's data/api; creating an app to support an already established IP is a no brainer. The publicity and user base is already there, so if the actual dev is not going to support with a good app then why shouldn't you? If you've got your own best game companion app then please share in the comments.

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