Can FPS succeed as a mobile esports genre?

03 February 2017


Veli-Pekka Pirrainen, Critical Force

These days phones and tablets have reached a point where they can be used to play ever more graphically intensive and complex games. So whilst digital CCGs and others are making tracks on mobile, can FPS do the same? 

Critical Force, the Finnish developer behind Critical Ops, thinks so. Critical Ops is a newcomer in the FPS esports scene and has been designed specifically for mobile phones and tablets. The game has the same same basic idea as CS:GO; there are two teams, terrorists and counter-terrorists. The terrorists need to bomb the designated area, while the counter-terrorists are tasked with stopping them.

As with any competitive online FPS game, the game requires good hand-eye coordination and excellent teamwork skills.

So far it’s had over 11 million downloads on the Play Store (it’s also available on iOS) and has been well received.

John Armstrong, an esports consultant who is working with Critical Force at the upcoming Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, said: “There’s no doubt that mobile esports is generating a lot of attention right now. Critical Ops is an established mobile title and over ten million people can’t be wrong. 

“I’ll be in LA following the GDC conference for some time as I look to build the community around Critical Ops, create tournaments and partner with businesses. In my view it has the potential to be a significant mobile esports title, and yes FPS can work on mobile – try it out for yourself and see.”

While it can be played casually, Critical Ops sees itself as ‘first and foremost an esports game at heart’. Critical Force has already hosted several tournaments with its partners and fans. Hundreds of teams all over the world have challenged each other and thousands of spectators have followed the battles. 

Critical Ops has been downloaded over 13 million times in total (February 2017)

Critical Force CEO Veli-Pekka Piirainen commented: “Last year’s success showed that Critical Ops has really huge potential to become the first smash hit in mobile esports. We are on the way to make Critical Ops the most popular esports FPS game on mobile devices worldwide.”

Mobile esports is becoming increasingly significant to large audiences with new titles geared for skilled competitive play. Smite Rivals is another which Hi-Rez has developed so that players can switch between platforms (either PC or mobile) without it affecting their progress. 

Esports Insider says: We’ve tried out Critical Ops and it’s a lot of fun. There’ll be a lot of movement in mobile based esports this year following the success of the likes of Vainglory and Critical Ops looks well placed to lead the way in mobile FPS.