In a recent Developer Stream on YouTube, Pixonic mentioned that they are going to attempt to create real cross-platform features for the game in 2020. This also marks the second time that they’ve made an official statement on the matter within the past six months and it seems that this time around, they are indeed going to make a big push for it.
Here is a primer that will cover a bird’s-eye view of the much-anticipated feature.
What is cross-platform capability?
Cross-platform capability refers to the ability of a game to gather its players under a common (or even dedicated and optimized servers), regardless of the device being used. Many of the world’s biggest gaming titles have cross-platform capability.
You are considered to be a better gaming title once you get this one up and running.
What does it do to my gameplay?
As long as the game graphics are optimized, having cross-platform ability means that players can now play with their friends and frenemies across different operating systems (i.e. Android, iOS) and gaming interfaces (i.e. FB Gameroom) with almost no lag and compatibility issues.
To put it short, more fun, more variety and more players without the baggage!
Why is it a big deal in the mobile mech world?
War Robots is long considered to be the largest mobile mech title in the world, with its 50+ million downloads and thousands of concurrent players everyday. It also has a very strong following on YouTube, with hundreds of thousands of active subscribers who follow all sorts of content on its official page – not to mention the legions of followers that its official content partners have.
Yet, despite the game being around since 2014, WR never exerted efforts to introduce the feature whatsoever. In fact, they never even considered having cross-platform capability despite at one point earning $190 million dollars in a single time period.
Only a few titles have cross-platform capability.
What will happen to the in-gamer WR landscape when cross-platform goes live?
For the ordinary players, it will allow them to finally experience the full population of the game. Theoretically, it should improve the matchmaking quality, since there will be more players per matchmaking tier – and there is a bigger total pool of players out there. Practically, it will shake the game for a while, before stabilizing in a completely new direction.
For the clans and more competitive players out there, it will allow them to answer the questions: Who’s better? iOS or Android? Can iOS’s tactical instincts withstand Android’s raw firepower? Can my clan withstand similar, if not better, levels of competition from other places? Am I the best in the world? Is my clan one of the actual, and not just, claimed top ones?
The new landscape will breathe a new (if final, according to the naysayers out there) lease of life into the game.
What is the conjecture behind WR’s recent cross-platform push?
Anyone with a decent background across different mobile mech titles can see that WR didn’t even put cross-platform capability on its sights until the latter part of 2019, when they first announced their intention to do so.
It is safe to deduce that one of the reasons why War Robots is about to introduce this much-needed feature (and to be honest, one which is standard for any “big” title worth its salt) out there is that “smaller” and relatively new titles, both inside the mobile mech landscape and out of it, have actually offered cross-platform gameplay while at the same time optimizing their in-game systems to enable players to play with anyone across the world, regardless of distance and device class.
Yes, Pixonic does have a look at its competitors from time to time – with the fact that it can be safely argued that one or two titles are already better pound-to-pound in comparison to War Robots, whether it is in regards to quality of life, game features or simply projections of success (in relation to the time that they’ve existed in the market).
Thus, the cross-platform feature for WR is rightly considered to be one of the most-awaited features out there. Whether it keeps old players and attracts new players is a completely different question altogether.
Who will benefit from the cross-platform change?
At a relatively “lesser” cost to Pixonic (read: code changes, physical changes to servers, hardware upgrades, in-game streamlining – that is, tons of back-end and front-end work) plus insignificant disadvantages which aren’t even worthy of mention, all players will benefit from the change.
There’s no doubt about that.
Will we see WR go beyond cross-platform and allow players to choose servers?
While it is completely within the capability of Pixonic to do so, it remains to be seen whether they will pursue that path. After all, this means that the company would have to keep servers in different countries – and it is a bit hefty in terms of cost, to be honest.