Finally, what about Nintendo? They famously usually sell consoles at break-even or a small profit. Why isn't Epic suing them?
But generally, publishing to consoles is a more involved process for both parties, and game consoles are not expected to be open platforms. So I guess the business model of console manufacturers is more tightly tied to publishing contracts.
At least as far as public sentiment goes, the only difference seems to just be precedent. Game consoles have always been locked down, strongly DRM controlled machines, while PDAs/smartphones have ... existed in a strange grey area. For whatever reason, people think they should have rights to their phone, but not as much for the game console.
Guessing it's because you can "just buy a PC" with greater performance and flexibility in essentially the same use domain as a console, but doesn't that apply to iPhones as well? "Just buy an android"?
Modern Society does not require a console to function. Most would agree our Smartphone has become the central to many things in our modern society including but not limited to business from all industries.
>"Just buy an android"?
Today, the iPhone has 66% market share in the United States, 75% of U.S. App Store revenues, and over 80% of time spent on the mobile internet. It has a substantial market that puts their Anti- Competitiveness in question.
Maybe they're just asking for iOS publishing to become more involved and complex, tied to contracts. I still don't see the difference between an iPhone and a Playstation. They both have CPUs and RAM, they both have a locked down operating system (neither are general purpose computers), they both run third party software vetted by the device manufacturer, they both charge a percentage fee to publish on that platform.
Is that really true for the iPad though? I know they are weirdly trying to convince people it's not a computer using their ads, but everyone laugh at theses ads too because that's absurd. It's definitely general purpose.
Contrast that with computers where there is no authority figure exercising editorial control. Those are, by definition, general purpose.
My personal take is that by saying "Sony is different though" Epic is trying to provide a fig leaf for a platform owner that could cause them real financial harm if they got on their bad side.
 Isn't it interesting thought that the 3 console platforms don't compete on what percent cut they take from software published on their platforms. All 3 are 30%.
Lets say console charges 30% to increase profit from -a% to +b%
Lets say Apple charges 30% to increase profit from +x% to +y%
The argument boils down to "One should be allowed to charge if it makes something unprofitable profitable. Therefore consoles should be allowed to charge but Apple should not."
But wouldn't this argument imply it is also wrong for consoles to charge in excess of what makes their profit greater than 0%? Or is there some fixed small amount of profit for which this is ok, say 5%, and Apple's profit from phones alone already exceeds this small number?
I've always seen this as slightly shady even if it is considered a valid business model.
It's often unclear if consumers are fooled about the true quality of goods, whether they are Veblen goods.
If it's a Veblen good or if they genuinely do value the brand name alone then I guess it's fine but it's not too exactly ethical to fool consumers about the quality of your products or what the brand actually represents (which is what consumers always say they value about brands - not the name itself).
I'm likewise not very sympathetic to the idea that these brands deserve government protection from knock offs. If consumers genuinely aren't bothered about whether their Nike shirt is "real" why does the government need to be?
Extreme Gross profits margin is entirely what enables marketing and funding for luxury brands.
… are completely dependent on what expenses are attributed to the revenue by the cost accountant. Is producing WWDC an App Store cost?
It's not absolute PROOF though, because maybe you can charge high profit margins because you make really good stuff and people and are willing to pay more.
But in general, in normal competitive markets, if you have a high markup people will tend to seek\buy cheaper alternatives.
> But in general, in normal competitive markets, if you have a high markup people will tend to seek\buy cheaper alternatives.
That is in fact what happens. Apple rarely dominates in market share, and they do not have dominant phone market share. I can’t recall a time where they ever did have dominant phone market share.
Apple makes lots of money on each iPhone sold.
It really isn't. Apple could charge as much as they want as long as there are competition. Without it ( As in current App Store ) then the practice of 30% will be in question.
The problem then becomes if App Store is part of the total iPhone package, as lot of people and Apple are arguing that to be the case. Today, the iPhone has 66% market share in the United States, 75% of U.S. App Store revenues, and over 80% of time spent on the mobile internet If App Store is inseparable to iPhone, as per Apple's view, with today's Apple market share, will App Store; being part of iPhone cause Anti-Competitive practices to all business that requires for digital access? Since the Apps are solely approved at Apple's discretion. And there are written evidence that Apple could hold or reject Apps that are in direct competition with them.
Basically the current model is not sustainable. ( Benedict Evans has written about this since 2016 ) Judging form the new Apple Quarterly Report I would not be surprised if Apple reach 70%+ of US Smartphone Market shares by 2022. At that point whether the App Store has a monopoly on Apps ( so to speak as people often like to say this ) may no long be important. Because Apple will have close to a monopoly on Smartphone in US.
an IOS or android Epic Games Store will likely exist in a decade (of if not, it won't be because Apple/Google go bankrupt so much as Epic themself pulls out). it's a much more worthwhile endeavor, because they aren't tied to a single piece of hardware. Paying 30% for the console makers to handle their generational leap for them is likely worth it, so I doubt Epic will see much follow up here.
Now for other companies, who knows? As we see with Android, just because other store exist doesn't mean the native store doesn't have a massive advantadge. So it may not be worth the work even if competitors were allowed.
That being said, only the top notch console models come with disk slots these days. Entry models don’t.
Does the Switch have disks or cartridges, actually?
Afaik, not every game is sold on a cartridge but I think every single Nintendo produced game is and anything you get from like Target is.
I personally install games to an SD Card but other family members are very big on cartridges since they're not effectively locked to a specific Switch.
If I want to sell art in a gallery, the gallery probably takes 50%; sure I could sell it online, but no one will see it, whereas the gallery brings customers to the art.
Epic wants profit without cost at Apple's expense, and if Apple if forced to accept this, then everyone else will suffer, except Epic.
You could make an argument that 30% is too high, but it's not a binary choice, 30% vs 0%. Epic thinks that it is.
Right now you have no choice but to buy Fortnite on the App Store. In the future you will have no choice but to buy Fortnite on the Epic Games Store. Customers don't really gain anything here.
I'm sympathetic to the whole software freedom angle and that end-users should be able to run whatever they want on their devices unrestricted but I could care less about publishers wanting to get around Apple's platform fees and store rules which for all their flaws genuinely benefit me as a user.
Like it sucks that it took total control, thousands of human reviewers and an iron fist to keep companies from getting away from bright line screwing over their customers but here we are.
If so, many thanks to you for your labor of love. I have been jailbreaking iPhones since 2012 with your help. I'm sorry that the corporate structure railroaded you.
If Apple rejects the app from being available in its store, then again that doesn't affect you because you want to use only Apple approved apps anyway.
Apple already charges everyone to put things in their store. $100 per year.
I’ve built widely downloaded apps for companies, featured in the App Store, with a small team of devs sharing one standard $100 account.
The goal here isn't to remove the 30%, it's to give the option for someone to develop an alternative way to host their apps, typically by use of their own store.
As we see on Android and even PC: many, many, many developers are fine paying 30% for that visibility, even if FreeDroid or Itch.io will let them keep 100% of their profits. This won't change much except for the billionaire companies who have the capacity to advertise themselves and deem 30% too much.
I enjoy the freedom of going to a repository and building or download a binary without having to use Apple's centralized system. I like paying the developer directly if you want. I've done it with 1Password and other applications. They're high quality software.
Would I rather have an open source system, including for my phone, that works as well as Apple things? Sure, but there is no such thing.
I want Epic to win. Devs should be able to distribute their apps to consumers without Apple dictating style guidelines or which features are/aren't allowed on a general purpose computer. The iPhone and iPad are general purpose computers and Apple wants to pretend they are not.
I've shipped a ton of (legit, non-spam, useful, popular) apps over the years, but there are 2 I was never allowed to ship simply because they didn't fit in to Apple's rules... which were not even explicit, it tooks several rounds of review feedback to land at the final rejection.
Once that happened it made me wonder just how many products out there simply aren't allowed to exist or are intentionally handicapped because Apple said so. We should work to end it.
I could see Apple offering a new entitlement for payment processing, maybe with defined endpoints for canceling/managing subscriptions but 3rd party app stores open a whole can of worms. Can Apple lock down their private API's? Maybe, but I feel that will lead to a cat and mouse game where apps have lots of code testing to see what they can reach out and access on the OS version they are installed on. Sure, the FB through the official App Store won't be doing that but the FB distributed through Facebook's own App Store will. We've already seen what FB will do when given unchecked ability to distribute apps (see Onavo, FB's VPN to spy on users). Do you really think that end users will care that they installed an app through a seedy 3rd party app store? No, they will blame Apple if their data is stolen/privacy invaded.
I can already see the "promos" apps like FB or scummy games will run to get you to install them via some app store which isn't vetting the apps. "300 free coins if you install via AppStorez".
This is something that happens currently because Apple has decided they are the sole distributor of apps, with their explicit approval implying that the app is good and wholesome.
I think you only need to look to Windows and macOS users to understand that people don't hold the platform fully responsible, and rightfully so.
> Do you really think that end users will care that they installed an app through a seedy 3rd party app store?
Apple certainly will care, and they can and have rejected signing certs on Mac. For better or worse (Apple still having final say on what constitutes malware), I think this is fine (for now).
> Can Apple lock down their private API's? Maybe, but I feel that will lead to a cat and mouse game where apps have lots of code testing to see what they can reach out and access on the OS version they are installed on.
Yeah, sounds great. Look at where Windows security is compared to 10 years ago. Things get better over time and that only comes through testing the limits.
Apple has a lot of money and they can certainly hire the experts to work on these hard problems.
how does Google or Windows handle it? This idea isn't novel, and there are billions already spent on antivirus initiatives, regardless of how open or closed the platform is.
I wouldn't be surprised if people blamed Google for a variety of things they downloaded on Chrome or an android device, but I haven't heard much traction being gained on how responsible google is for what users download from the internet.
Most people will not be taking advantage of this option; many won't download outside the IOS store, and many companies won't make a new storefront to get around 30%. because hosting a storefront is expensive. Fortnite took themselves off Google play and they likely lost a lot of sales. But that's on them to decide.
Why is it a bad thing to give a dev a choice of hosting powers? If you don't, they find loopholes that inconvenience the user regardless. e.g. you cannot sign up for Spotify or Netflix through your IOS device.
It would be a significant barrier to entry for them to completely remove it, and I imagine they would lose many users if they did so.
The Epic launcher on Windows can’t provide more underlying functionality than Steam, but it can compete on pricing and features.
Have an app you want to ship? Apple gets to decide whether you meet "minimum functionality requirements". You cannot distribute your app to paying consumers without their approval.
Doing something truly unique, perhaps with some hardware in the phone? Apple may decide they simply do not want this feature in an app on the App Store. Which means you cannot distribute your app to consumers.
I'm less concerned about having other "stores," I just want a way to buy apps from legit developers that don't involve Apple dictating look and feel and entire feature sets.
You know, the same way I can purchase and run software on a Mac without Apple being involved in the transaction.
So while a few (like, literally 5-10) blockbuster game companies may take the PC launcher route if this wins, there are several smaller time apps that can benefit form this if the app store wasn't the only source of downloading here.
Plus, this case probably has pretty far reaching implications on the future of computing. If Apple is allowed to lock down their phones & tables, can they do so with Mac OSX? If Apple can do so with OSX, can Microsoft do the same and lock down Windows to prevent apps from being installed outside of their App Store?
If Microsoft can lock down Windows like iOS/OSX, can Dell lock down their servers to prevent other operating systems from being installed?
This is one example of a completely legitimate scenario in a very popular entertainment category and yet it's blocked because of Apple's arbitrary rules of what you can do on your own device.
Either way users should be able to choose what they install and from where.
This isn't a problem if Apple ups their game and actually competes to keep people on the App store despite having real choice.
We can go back and forth forever with what-ifs. It's nothing we cant overcome in the future.
That's a strange argument though. Apple forks over an advertising ID so that any app can fingerprint you with a single system call yet you complain that more apps might in the future fingerprint you themselves.
Without app review there would be no practical way for end users to avoid fingerprinting.
> That's a strange argument though.
Only if you don't consider consent. A user opting-in and enabling the advertising ID is very different from a bunch of apps using third-party SDKs to fingerprint their device without asking.
These kinds of theoreticals have likely already been addressed with Apple's biggest competitor. Androids aren't known to be virus ridden privacy compromising devices. At least, no more than any device with communication antennas installed.
I mean, statistically, they kind of are. From Nokia's Threat Intelligence Report for 2020 (https://www.nokia.com/networks/portfolio/cyber-security/thre...):
Figure 3 provides a breakdown of infections by device type in 2020. Among smartphones, Android devices are the most commonly targeted by malware. Android devices were responsible
for 26.64% of all infections, Windows/PCs for 38.92%, IoT devices for 32.72% and only 1.72% for iPhones.
And as always, these cases come down to how many people really concern themselves with that risk. Windows has had that reputation, but it hasn't helped Apple that much in terms of Mac adoption, let alone Linux.
because many people commenting on security and privacy aren't necessarily experts on such topics. Their interpretations of what is secure or not comes from marketing and word of mouth.
If you look at the stats in an extremely stark interpretation; no device is perfectly secure (0%), but no device is so malware ridden that you are more likely than not to be compromised (50%). most users will be safe as long as they don't go out of their way to disable default security settings, and few need to. In that way, privacy won't be the main factor determining why a user purchases a device or chooses an OS.
In that respect, What a user feels (or what their immediate bubble feels) has more weight than any statistical reality. Or in other words, "mindshare".
A lot of discussion has gone into what the 30% covers - it is arguably too high. At the same time, it would be interesting to see what Epic sees as the cost impact of hosting and distribution along with the cost of data security and what protection for their customers privacy they will put in place, were they permitted to have their own store.
My biggest fear, although I don’t think it will ever happen, is apple being forced to support other stores on iPhone, and someone like Facebook moves their app over due to it allowing them to farm data, or games moving over using their own credit card provider and not knowing where my details are going.
You already don't have any freaking clue where your credit information is being sold - I promise you it's being sold by your bank (Various "affiliated" 3rd parties pay the bank money for it). It's also being sold by most point of sale companies.
Apple is also using that data for its own ad sales.
Apple is also using your purchasing data to put small dev shops out of business - They intentionally target apps that they see making money through their payment systems, copy them, and then place their own software at the top of the store results. Very convenient for them.
Apple is also tracking when and where you use your apps (don't worry - All in the name of security [fucking /s]).
Your biggest fear shouldn't be having to think for a second before handing over your credit card. Your biggest fear should be that you've literally given the richest company in the world full control of your decision making processes, because they happen to be excellent at marketing themselves.
Google was that company 15-20 years ago, and look at how well that's working out for all the folks who are slowly trying to move away from that ecosystem now that it's become apparent that no benevolent dictatorship ever lasts - regardless of how great it is at the moment.
But if I’m going to share my info with someone, I would rather it be Apple than the likes of Google, epic, or some random app that’s allowed to take payments using whatever they want.
You're much more likely to have your card information stolen at a physical, point of sale location - Restaurant, gas station, clothing store, etc.
If this is really a concern you have, a disposable credit card is a much more reliable way to prevent unauthorized charges.
> But if I’m going to share my info with someone, I would rather it be Apple than the likes of Google, epic, or some random app that’s allowed to take payments using whatever they want.
You're already sharing this info with all of these folks, plus many, many, many more. This is what I mean when I say your bank is selling that data to affiliated parties.
Basically - what makes you think this information is private? Apple has it and uses it to make money. Your bank has it and uses it to make money. Apple happens to be large enough and enough of a monopoly that they can generate money from that information without directly selling it (at the moment, in some places). But they're doing the same thing - Profiling you to make money.
The second Apple thinks it will make more money by selling that information, they will. Not to mention it's a tad on the late side, since your bank is already sharing it everywhere.
This could potentially extend to the web as well. Apple already forces any web browser on IOS to use Safari underneath. So there's the potential that Apple could eliminate features from websites, such as the ability to play video, unless those sites pass the strict criteria enforced on native apps from the App Store.
I'm impartial to having a variety of payment options, some more expensive and theoretically trusted than others.
Assuming a competitive market the number of app stores and their markup should dwindle. It's not like we are overwhelmed with app stores on Android.
It’s honestly a perfect example showing that Apple has little to fear - users have preferred marketplaces and are hesitant to shop outside them.
I would go so far as to say that the public consciousness probably thinks the same about the Google Play Store and Android devices despite it not actually being true in that case.
I disagree. I think the public knows software is locked to specific hardware (Windows vs. Mac, Android vs. iOS, PlayStation vs. XBox). I don't think they know that if a developer creates working software for their iPhone, the only way it can be distributed to them is through Apple's AppStore, which charges developers a 30% fee.
"The only way to get Cyberpunk 2077 is at the Microsoft Store. There's no other way to get the game"
> Apple is not a monopoly, so as far as I am concerned they have a right to charge whatever they want
The whole problem with antitrust cases however, is that they leverage their position and exclusiveness to do exactly that. So, your point that "it's not a monopoly because you can chose not to pay for it", is what people are pointing out might be missing the point.
I don't think it is unrealistic of me to assume that only a small portion of HN users have experience as legal professionals.
> Also, the level at what this is discussed requires only rudimentary knowledge of antitrust laws, and the applications. So it's not like "qualified to judge" has a degree in law barrier.
I think it kinda does. I am not an expert on the application of anti-trust law so if I told Epic that they are completely wrong they will rightfully tell me where to shove it because we have people who's entire career path is dealing with the intricacies of law. Some random HNer saying that they are qualified to judge this case strikes me as particularly arrogant.
> The whole problem with antitrust cases however, is that they leverage their position and exclusiveness to do exactly that. So, your point that "it's not a monopoly because you can chose not to pay for it", is what people are pointing out might be missing the point.
Apple doesn't have exclusivity of anything except on the product that they built and wholly own. Said product is not a monopoly either, since even in the market where it enjoys the largest share it is only about 50% . In other words, I cannot fathom how anti-trust law applies since Apple doesn't have much leverage to abuse in the first place. Game consoles have a long history of exclusivity but no one seems to think that is a big deal. I have yet to hear a compelling argument why the iPhone is special.
Just to summarize, and also hit the nail on the head, and perhaps be less polite (not intentional, but sometimes it helps with clarity): "In other words, I cannot fathom how anti-trust law applies since Apple doesn't have much leverage to abuse in the first place", you are 100% mistaken on both accounts (though spot on, on the inability). The former misconception I've already explained, the latter is to be found in troves, the article I linked earlier has a good explanation on a lot of points, and unwillingness to educate yourself is also your own business. So, I'm chalking this up as a willful ignorance, which is fine. I'm not really interesting in arguing with you, or all that bothered with trying to convince you. So, I suppose we can leave it as is.
Android has several different stores you can host on, and Epic is making their own store for Android. Google Play store still has far, far, far , far more marketshare than any other storefront. It's not even close. But I appreciate the OPTION for developers to forgoe that for whatever reason. Be it to support open source development (FDroid's MO), host content Google won't allow (adult apps tends to be the most common one, but I used some modded Youtube apps back in the day), etc. It's not an option 95% of people make, but contingency plans are always appreciated
using your logic, I don't understand why you would find the mere existence of these splinter stores offensive. don't support them with your money.
If Apple had a dominant market share to the point of being a defacto monopoly, then I might believe differently, but they don't.
That's the crux of the entire case, Yes. Jury is literally out so I won't make any judgement on how right/wrong it is.
I'll just note that "monopoly" isn't a clear cut case here. IANAL, but I imagine it very much depends on "accessibility" as well as market share. e.g. it's easy to walk across the street from walmart and shop at Target if they one day change policy. If you don't like android's play store, you can use F-Droid, Amazon's app store, and a few others that aren't beholden to Google's rules.
There's zero other stores to try without voiding warranty on IOS if Apple one day decides to ban a certain kind of app; for all intents and purposes, that form of app is banned from IOS if it's banned from the App Store. And buying an android is more expensive than walking across the street.
>Game consoles have had exclusivity pretty much since their inception and no one seems too bothered about it.
I don't mind the consoles opening up stores either. However, consoles are much more ephemeral than a PC/mobile OS, so the incentive for 3rd parties to make a store every 5-7 years may make the openness moot. So I see very little changing even if they get caught up.
Sony did lose a lawsuit over removing the very niche option for a PS3 to install another OS, so it's not like there is zero precedence there.
I know this won’t be a popular comment but I used to come here because it was open to new ideas. Increasingly, popular comments here are reaffirmations of the community’s biases.
I would really hate if HN turned into yet another Reddit-like echochamber
I do agree though that people should be careful about creating echo chambers. Not every opinion needs to be weighted the same, but it's important to be open to differences between people.
> Nobody _wants_ to play games on mobile devices, not even kids
Was responded to with a factual statement on the size of that business that "no one wants to take part of", suggesting that perhaps there might be some correlation between a 77B revenue market, and some desire for it to exist by the consumers.
To which you argued that one should make a distinction on the type of games. Which brings us full circle to my point, that, no. The original did not make such a distinction, so neither should the refutation of it require such considerations. Whether or not that is the best approach for the sake of convincing anyone is a separate matter.
edit: fixed source
Relatively few people want to play games like Fortnite on their phones. A great many people want to play crossword puzzles.
Just want to point out although I was once dismissive of mobile gaming, there is a whole mostly-untapped market for genuinely great video games on mobile despite the current market being flooded with low-effort/exploitative options.
At first it was, but this didnt work well on mobile because the players themselves were mobile and did not have dedicated time to deal with this game mechanic. But by fixing it for mobile with backgrounding and automatic state saving, it breaks the core incentive of the game.
Just my two cents.
In my opinion, not being forced to complete an in-game day in one sitting, but rather at your own leisure, matches perfectly the chill and leisurely gameplay of Stardew Valley.
“Is game same in a fundamentally way, yes/no.” No more, no less.
Do you go crystal farm, or do you go into town and form a relationship, or routine watering of your farm, or …
It's going to take a big player having the fortitude sustain the marketing (and potential losses) to sell an app that doesn't fit in this paradigm.
For a good 80+%, it's a simple time waster to play for an hour between the day. Not a gambling simulator, not a hardcore grinding MMO-lite. And if they think something is a ripoff, they have literal thousands of other games they can try in minutes.
More importantly, though, the average console game is 50 bucks, while the average mobile game is free.
You can get a PS3 for next to nothing, and games also cost hardly anything. No online subscription required either.
Go down to PS2 and PS1, and you can get all of it essentially for free.
I bought GTX 970 and Ryzen 7 1700 for 240$, but it was 2 years ago
Or you can just walk into a shop and leave with a new phone.
>A phone can be had for comparatively cheaply, in comparison.
Some phones definitely can, same with some computers, the thing is whether you're comfortable with trade-offs.
Computer unlike smartphone can be relatively easily built with used parts.
The consoles would never allow them and even if they did, people don’t mindlessly get addicted to crap when playing on a console like they do on their phones.
They allow Fortnite, don't they? Or more recently Genshin Impact, which is a pure "gatcha" game - as "mobile" as it gets - and is probably doing very well on PS4/5.
Edit: Oh, I totally forgot about the original console "strip you of your money" game: Fifa.
Probably one of the most ridiculous things I read ever. For starter there aren’t even any game worth called a RTS on mobile. Screen size and lack of keyboard means that any real RTS experience is impossible. How playable Wargames: Red Dragon or Age of Empire II would be on mobile? They won’t be at all, and that one of the reasons they aren’t available on smartphones.
Don't like them? I don't care.
Here is a more direct quote from statistia:
" In 2020, smartphone games generated approximately 74.9 billion U.S. dollars in annual revenue, accounting for 43 percent of the global gaming market during the measured period. Console games were ranked second with 51.2 billion U.S. dollars in global revenue."
I think looking at the number of folks playing Fortnite on each platform and comparing that gives a better idea of where gamers prefer to play games.
> gamers prefer to play games
most of the money being made in mobile gaming is coming from people who would not self-identify as "gamers". If you're just considered about where "gamers" want to game, then sure. But that's excluding a massive (and the fastest-growing) segment of the video games industry.
Anyone who plays a game is a gamer, that's fair - so let me clarify my assumptions:
- I think more folks play games for longer on consoles/PCs compared to mobile devices
- I think mobile games punch above their weight in sales due to dark patterns and scammy business practices
I could be wrong
The fact that the cheap, shallow, and manipulative tripe that fills the App Store & Play Store to the brim are pulling so many players and so many dollars is genuinely depressing.
This could be especially true of a core (not casual) game like a shooter.
I am not claiming it's the best format for these games but playing it on my phone was easy and great.
There's also a solo card game, the name escapes me, I spent hours on it (edit: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tinytoucht...).
My phone is the most available device and games are cheaper than Switch games if easy-to-pick-up is a criteria.
Anyway, it depends on what you like :).
(I didn't like an old man's tale at all, I thought it was ripoff).
edit: if some people on HN get my preferences from this post I am all ears for mobile game suggestions :).
Solitaire maybe? The classic Solitaire (Klondike Solitaire) is quite playable on phones, even in portrait mode.
Self-plug: you can enjoy it in this mobile-first PWA (progressive web app) of mine: https://FreeSolitaire.win/
Card game wasn't a good choice of words.
> Card game wasn't a good choice of words.
Well yes, it was: “Card Crawl is a solitaire-style dungeon crawler game played with a modified deck of standard cards.”
Funnily, it’s even advertised as a solitaire game ^^
And Monument Valley which has similar game mechanics (you twist the environment around rather than make your way through it).
Regarding the ambiance: no idea :/.
But in the same vein, not on Android there is : Invisible Inc. https://store.steampowered.com/app/243970/Invisible_Inc/ and another game with a little girl and her invisible friend or something and it's turn based and tiled based and there's a back-in-time mechanic. Eh. I am useless.
Edit: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1433530/Bilal_Go/ Found out about that one. It even has Tomb Raider Go's tiles :).
I'm also a fan of Slay the Spire, mostly playing it on PC and Switch. But I triple dipped for the Android version, which has a little bit of clunkiness with the UI but the underlying game is there.
Great games, all of them.
Many kids (like my own) prefer the mobile form factor and mobile controls.
That said, they're not playing Fortnite and likely don't even know what Fortnite is.
There's actually more controllers now than ever before that have even more buttons accessible to non-thumb fingers. A phone just seems like a poor choice for a game like Fortnite.
On the other hand, mobile screens have multitouch and drag/swipe actions, and that's a real complaint when he's using a controller with physical buttons.
That said, I've yet to truly enjoy playing a port of a console or PC game on mobile. The control compromises, if nothing else, are just too large.
But very few did, until very recently (in the grand sceheme of things. It didn't help that native controller support for Android took until a few years back).
Because that seems incredibly awkward and uncomfortable?
Playing on the table is one way - but it hurt my neck too much. I preferred the "claw grip" on my phone while laying on the couch - though I could only comfortably do 3 fingers. Some of the best mobile players do 6!
Yes, my watch. I have 2048, an Arkanoid clone, Pong, and a fun little strategy game called Tiny Armies.
Now, to be clear, I do very little gaming. Don't own a desktop or console, the only games I play on my laptop are occasional web-based games (usually when something shows up on HN and I'm bored). I had a phase of playing games on my tablet but I just kinda fell out of the habit, and for whatever reason, the only phone game I've played in the last five years is Monument Valley.
I did game on my phone more often in the early Teens: Doodle Jump, something called Bit Trip Beat, Osmos, and yes, Flappy Bird. Just kinda stopped doing it.
So when I'm standing in line, or watching video and kind of bored with it but not so bored I'll stop watching, I do some casual gaming on my watch.
I didnt love the tiny screen but given the option between no playstation and playstation I was going to play on the tiny screen.
Had no idea Fortnite was a $5B/year game. That's ludicrous.
The landscape of video games in the past (+/-) 10 years changed quite a bit. Nowadays, it's the biggest type of money making entertainment product (by a magnitude more than movie) and the acquisitions of studios start a multi million figures, up to billions. Seeing suits in gamedev studios now became a common occurrence.