Written by Lance Lasheras
I remember the first time I heard that Mario was more recognizable to children than Jesus. It had been a massive revelation. A figure who spent all day long eating mushrooms and jumping on turtles was more familiar to kids than someone considered by some of the parents to become the savior of mankind. It made sense, Mario was fun and straightforward. Jesus on the other hand designed a large amount of adults yell at one another.
A great mascot is not born overnight. He’s forged through years of amazing games, huge sales, and brand recognition. While Nintendo and Sega were very clear in the early 90’s who their warriors were, nowadays it isn’t so simple. Take Sony for instance, who could arguably have fifteen mascots to select from. From Kratos to Nathan Drake, it’s difficult to pick which character Playstation would save in a fire. Microsoft on the other hand could easily go with Master Chief, but then again it does not seem to wish to brand itself exclusively with one single mascot either.
Not exactly what George A.Romero had in mind.?
That raises Android, a gaming platform home to many amazing franchises. Angry Birds combined cute cuddly characters with amazing physics. Plants VS Zombies brought tower defence towards the mainstream. Asphalt 8 demonstrated that console grade racing was possible on a mobile platform. Unfortunately all these amazing titles are available on iOS as well.
Another key element to a good mascot is exclusivity. Say what you will about Nintendo’s relentless recycling, however it has generated a foundation of nostalgia that keeps the company afloat. Sega’s whoring of Sonic the Hedgehog has not fared well for the blue bomber. The first time I ever played Sonic 2 on a Gamecube I felt dirty, and needed immediately to break out my old Genesis to purge the sin of selling out.
While there is the signature green Android mascot, he’s yet with an official game outing worthy of his brand (‘Replica Island’ doesn’t count since it is not officially licensed). The little green alien would make for any great protagonist, yet Google seems relegated to keeping him as a logo and anything.
One of the most popular obstacles in exclusivity is that Google does not create proprietary games for the Android platform. Sony owns multiple gaming studios that create huge arsenals of exclusives for PS4. The majority of mobile games are made by independent developers who’ve pointless to not release their games on multiple platforms in order to maximize profits.?
Sure it’s a ‘Killer App’…. of other people’s ‘Killer App’s’.
While there is a handful of Android exclusive games, none are what the industry calls “killer apps”. It’s extremely difficult to find games around the platform that can’t be also available on Apple devices. The biggest exclusive the woking platform has is the OnLive gaming service, allowing any Android user with a decent connection to play top end PC games through their device. Or maybe you’re into old school gaming, the emulation scene on Android is ripe when compared with iOS.?
Like many great things in the Android scene, the city needs to combined efforts to forge a killer game. One relegated exclusively to Android devices. We need a fat plumber of our own, and hell we’ll even have a Luigi too.
Who do you consider is Android’s best exclusive gaming mascot? Hold forth in the comments below!?