After Dauntless made its way to the consoles last year, they were bought out by one of their early investors in January, Sea Garena. Garena is the platform owned by the Sea Group and is responsible for running and localizing games like League of Legends, Blade & Soul and Arena of Valor for Eastern markets like Asia and Taiwan. Early on, Dauntless developer Phoenix Labs partnered with them to launch the game successfully.
Garena is also a leading advocate and organizer or eSports events in those countries and hopes to one day push Dauntless towards success similar to that of Fortnite. They’ve already acquired massive success with Free Fire, a game like PUBG which has amassed 320 million quarterly active players in the third quarter of 2019 according to App Annie, making it the most downloaded game globally for that year. Now, that the two companies are doing their best to polish the core game and have decided to de-prioritize the mobile port’s development at this time.
We’d had some discussions around this, but for now, we’ve pivoted away from mobile while we work on the core features of Dauntless.Source: Reddit AMA
We may return to mobile in the future, but at this time, no one is working on it.
Dauntless is a fresh take on the Action-RPG genre, developed by the industry veterans from Riot Games, BioWare and other acclaimed studios. After a cataclysmic event mankind survives in a harsh, yet majestic world of floating islands. Ferocious beasts known as Behemoths now stalk the earth. You are a Slayer, an elite warrior who risks life and limb hunting the Behemoth threat. On your journey, you’ll forge an extraordinary arsenal of weapons and gear to overcome formidable challenges threatening our survival.
In an interview last year with WCCFTech, Phoenix Labs CEO and Co-Founder Jesse Houston, Game Director Chris Cleroux and PR manager Andy Burt talked about the game’s journey to mobile and stated that the greatest challenge is that it has its own control method and that they would then have to create a mobile friendly interface to go with it. Being that the game is nearly unplayable on the Nintendo Switch due to its terrible framerate, we think this may have more to do with the delay. If they can get the game working flawlessly on the Nvidia Tegra chip in a handheld game console then maybe they will be much closer to a smoothly running port on much weaker devices like phones. While Chromebooks offer more powerful processors and oftentimes more RAM, it’s unfortunate that no one develops for them first over phones and instead plans their game’s development around phones entirely, leaving them to run on Chromebooks simply as a positive side effect of Google Play apps being available on them. Perhaps Apple’s WWDC announcement today to bring mobile iOS apps to the Mac OS platform will change this in time.
Dauntless is now on Playstation and Xbox consoles, on the PC via the Epic Games Store and of course on the Switch. After the acquisition last year, cross-play was added. Cross-play with mobile is nearly impossible to implement for most developers you ask, especially in player vs player (PVP) gameplay as playing with a mouse and keyboard or a gamepad offers significant advantage over touch controls. If the game released for mobile now without significant advances in mobile controls then it may cause Phoenix Labs to see their game and brand as offering an inconsistent product – something no one wants. We should mention that PUBG, though it’s a different style of game, has made significant intelligent updates to how these control schemes work to retain console and PC functionality and accessibility on mobile. Stadia’s touch gamepad, which is now in beta, has done the same, so these may be two cases to take notes from.
What concerns us is that in a recent Reddit AMA (ask me anything), the developers stated that they my return to mobile in the future, but at this time, no one is working on it. If the mobile version of the game continues for too long without any attention and the core game continues to develop and evolve, then the mobile port may quickly become antiquated and may have to be created once more from the ground up. If this happens, there’s a chance that the game may never come to our phones and Chromebooks. Remember, they said they ‘may’ return to mobile in the future, but they’d have to continue to see its value.
So, the silver lining here is that the better the main game becomes, the better the mobile port will be and we believe that mobile ports of ever popular games are likely inevitable, given enough time as mobile gaming is becoming more recognized and important with each year. Also, if anyone can eventually roll this out, it’s Garena, which bought out Phoenix Labs under Tencent who basically secretly owns everything. What do you think about this delay? Let us know in the comments below!