As much as we want triple-A game titles on Android, porting existing games from consoles to mobile devices is no walk in the park. This is the sentiment expressed by game developer and publisher Namco Bandai as it tries to negotiate porting over Dark Souls to mobile platforms.
For what it’s worth, Namco Bandai says it wants to bring the game to mobile. And who really wouldn’t want to bring an award winning game to more users, particularly those who might not own a PlayStation or Xbox console. But a profit-oriented point of view doesn’t really translate to a developer’s perspective. And this is the proverbial wall that Namco Bandai is hitting, with game developer From Software a bit hesitant to make such a commitment.
Here you won’t find the usual reasons about device or version fragmentation that gets thrown around in app development, especially that of Android. Instead, game developers are faced with obstacles that strike at the very heart of the gaming experience. One major concern is that of game controls. According to Namco Bandai, From Software is, at its very soul, a console-oriented studio. The implication is that the controls for Dark Soul are heavily biased towards game controllers, and not touchscreens. While there are definitely game controller accessories for smartphones these days, they are still not common enough to be as ubiquitous as, say, chargers or battery packs. Another, and perhaps deeper consideration is that mobile gaming doesn’t exactly lend itself well to long gaming sessions that require intense focus. A mobile game version would need to be a little bit more casual and have shorter spurts, something that Dark Souls needs to be heavily adjusted for.
The good news is that at least there is the intent and, presumably, the communication to make this idea into a reality. Unfortunately, it will probably take a long while before it bears any fruit that we can get our hands on.