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Super Evil Megacorp Pushes Mobile Gaming Boundaries

Photo of Karol Severin
by Karol Severin

The company most known for its multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) title Vainglory, has announced that it successfully raised $19 million to further expand its studio space.

Besides its name, Super Evil Megacorp is worth watching because of its persistent vision of mobile gamers deserving more than sub-par gameplay experiences, due to the limitations of their mobile device.

The company is putting utmost emphasis on developing high-grade gameplay experiences—both visually and in terms of character depth, coupled with intuitive and addictive controls.

Getting mobile gamers to spend more

Sometimes, it feels like a large part of the industry has accepted that the cards on payer versus non-payer ratio in freemium gaming have largely been dealt. So many studios are doing the same things. This is different with Super Evil Megacorp.

In the low conversion mobile freemium games world, there are only two ways to increase spending of mobile gamers to a level that would have a frontward impact on freemium games economy dynamics. One, is to extend the proposition onto better-monetized platforms like PC and console. The other, is to un-teach mobile gamers the premise that a freemium game inherently has to be a sub-par experience, compared to higher-end PC and console experiences. Super Evil Megacorp is choosing the second route. And although it may be the tougher route to undertake, it will arguably lead to a great competitive advantage—if executed successfully.

Currently, mobile gamers believe – due to the market’s saturation of such propositions – that freemium mobile games have some sort of cap on what can be achieved gameplay (and experience) wise. Consumers are willing to accept this quality compromise in exchange for free entertainment, but this is largely due to a lack of better propositions, rather than their digital behaviour profile—especially when it comes to hard core gamers and aficionados. So, when a company proposes a freemium game that dramatically improves the freemium experience via cutting-edge visuals, multiplayer experiences and character depth, it starts appealing to hard core gamers much more than the vast majority of freemium propositions already available. This is because it more closely replicates the higher-end gaming experience they are more accustomed to, and pay for. The more hardcore gamers you can attract to a mobile game, the higher paid conversion it is likely to achieve.

Super Evil Megacorp has proven that the limits of freemium mobile gaming experiences are by no means exhausted, and it will continue to push them further. While the investment will be used to mostly expand its studio space, it will also allow further development of its own E.V.I.L. engine, with which it is attempting to deliver console-grade results.

If freemium mobile games can start delivering something even remotely close to the console and PC experience within the mobile freemium framework, it will carry a number of implications, which will manifest gradually over time. One such implication is that hard core gamers and aficionados are likely to flock to these propositions away from the currently sub-par mainstream freemium games on mobile. This is great news for the likes of Super Evil Megacorp and others who are pushing the boundaries, but not so much for standard freemium games producers: it means they’ll face the threat of their most valuable users gradually withdrawing, and moving towards higher-quality experiences.

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