Iron Man 3 on Mobile: Fly Till You Die
Iron Man 3 is Free to Play — A New Direction for Gameloft
In late March, the blogosphere got wind of Gameloft's plan to release a companion game to the upcoming Iron Man 3 film. In the newest trailer, we're given a release date: Available on April 25th, gamers will be able to fly their favorite alcoholic billionaire around in stunning 3D just in time to hype up the film's international release (fingers crossed it doesn't get Djangoed on the third here in China).
The game itself will be a freemium endless runner– So you play till either you or your battery die, upgrade your suits (of which there are 18), and pay real money for the coolest stuff. As far as I know, free-to-play with micro-transactions is new territory for Gameloft, a developer who usually attaches a $6.99 price tag to their products. Does this reflect an overall shift in the mobile gaming industry's philosophy of monetization? I don't know, but let's talk about the explosions and stuff for a bit.
If you watched the trailer, you already know what I'm about to say: “Iron Man 3” is a handsome, handsome game, especially for a free-to-play. Gameloft is known for putting out solid products nearing console quality, and they did not cut corners with Iron Man 3. The effects are convincing, the animation smooth and I'm told that you can pilot your suit with either tilt or touch control, for those who are easily confused by more complex technology.
According to the Gameloft blog, there will be 18 suits to choose from, some being relatively minor modifications on the basic Iron Man suit, others being featured characters in previous movies (War Machine) or the new movie (Iron Patriot), some being more dramatic modifications on the Iron Man suit (the pincer-wielding Red Snapper and aptly-named Striker), and then there's Igor.
"Privyet." -Igor (Rumored catchphrase)
Overall, Iron Man 3 will be interesting to see for a number of reasons: Firstly, as an endless runner game, Iron Man 3 carves a new notch on the console-mobile style spectrum for Gameloft; how will Subway Surfer and Temple Run gameplay dynamics work with advanced 3D graphics and Gameloft polish? How will Gameloft innovate and improve on their successes? Second, will the micro-transaction schtick turn out to be profitable, or will the company find that the $6.99 price tag is the greenest of financial pastures? And lastly, did Igor ever graduate high school, or did he drop out and become a career bouncer at a Vladivostok disco? Find out on May 25th.