Developed by Square Enix Montreal, titles like Hitman GO will have their future development cut as the studio reconsiders the mobile platform.
Four years into development of a series of “GO” titles, Square Enix Montreal has decided to cut the mobile series at just three games. Originally published in 2014 with the release of Hitman GO, the company found critical success if not commercial. Pushing the mobile titles at just $4.99, Hitman was followed up by Lora Croft GO and Deus Ex GO – admittedly average AAA brands for the team to develop with.
In an interview with PC Games Insider, Square Enix Montreal studio head Patrick Naud claims that the “premium” cost of a mobile title at $4.99 was the misstep of the company that caused this development stoppage.
“The Go series was a great adventure for us as a studio. We’ve done the three games, we’ve seen the wind. The hardest element is making premium games on mobile. You’ve got more and more high-quality free titles so there are even fewer and fewer people inclined to try something that will not be free.”
“Despite the critical success and the great revenue we’ve had, it’s sad to see that our games are only played by a small slither of the population because of the price point. A lot of people consume mobile games only and they have all these options, all these games; why should they invest money in this one unless they’re very convinced?”
With Hitman releasing in 2014, Lara Croft GO launched in 2015 and was much received the same as Hitman – critics enjoyed the title, but units didn’t move on mobile despite the reasonable price. Clearly perception on the Android and iOS marketplace isn’t the same as Steam or any console platform, but at 500,000+ downloads to date for Lara Croft GO, it may be that Square Enix feels their resources could be better used.
Released in 2016, Deus Ex GO has moved just 100,000+ units on the Google Play Store, which may have been a direct result of a less recognizable branding and “samey” reception from critics around the world.
All three titles are currently on sale for just $0.99 USD on the Google Play Store. Check them out on the Developer’s official Play Store page if you haven’t yet played one of the best mobile games of the last 5 years.