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Quick Take: Why Mr. Robot App Is an Exciting Case To Watch

Photo of Karol Severin
by Karol Severin

Mr. Robot is a cyber-security psychological thriller of NBCUniversal, popular with the tech-crowd. The company has partnered up with Telltale Games and Night School Studio and created a mobile game as a spin-off. The game is set in the first season of the TV show. The story starts by finding the smartphone of one of the main hacker characters. The interesting part is that the whole game is played through a fake messaging app. Players interact with characters and affect the outcomes of the game by their messaging choices.

In our forthcoming report ‘Candy Crush, Clash Of Clans And The Future Of Mobile Games: From Silos to Ecosystems’ we argue that games will be gradually be lifted away from their siloed nature and become increasingly integrated with popular mobile experiences and platforms such as messaging or video.

Mr. Robot is a great example of game publishers reacting to the evolution of mobile experiences. Messaging has grown so popular that mobile game publishers are willing to adopt the activity as the main interface of the game and don’t have to worry about the early adopter tech crowd questioning it for lack of imagination. On the contrary, it will likely be received as a bold move thanks to the precision of the contextual fit with the game’s locus (hacking phones and interacting with characters through messaging to affect ‘real world’ events)

The messaging experience in the game resembles the way we currently communicate with chatbots (a number of text options to tap and answer to the message to trigger an event). It is not too hard to imagine, that future games embracing a messaging format will be some of the earliest suited to make the extension from being only siloed apps to becoming integrated into the wider mobile ecosystems (for example, being built as bots on Messenger in the future). The advantage of the social messaging networks’ vast distribution reach, coupled with an all-encompassing user experience, will become increasingly more difficult for traditional app developers to ignore.

On the other hand, Mr. Robot also shows us that game app developers are being responsive to the latest trends in digital consumer behaviour and are adjusting the gaming experiences accordingly within their siloed apps. The transition from siloed apps to integrated mobile experience ecosystems will not be smooth or fast, as each side will put up a fight. Rather it will be a process where each side will keep coming with improved iterations of their respective offerings. Therefore, rather than a complete transformation, we are likely to first see an emergence of a parallel mobile experience market (e.g bots and integrated messaging experiences vs. siloed apps distributed via appstores). Accessibility, social connectivity, user experience and support will be key things mobile consumers will consider when deciding in which camp’s favour to tip the scale in the long term.

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