Main Street Mobile Arcade: Disney vs. Disney vs. Disney gacha games
Mobile gacha games! They are all the rage. There’s dozens, heck maybe hundreds of them you can download for free on your phone. In case you have no clue what a “gacha” game is, it’s mostly a game about collecting characters more than anything else. You might make progress through a story mode, fight other players, do activities with the characters, but the most important thing is your collection. What’s important in your collection varies from player to player. Maybe you have a small collection but it’s a powerful one. Maybe it’s mostly rare characters. Maybe your goal is to “catch them all” or maybe just the ones that appeal to your personal sense.
And these gacha games are based on all types of things. Original warriors and monsters, historical figures, cats and of course popular IPs. Disney, especially across the board has the most popular IPs in history whether it’s animated classic characters, comic book superheroes, or powerful space wizards so it’s no surprise that they have multiple gacha games based on their various properties.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a mobile game that combines the major different properties that Disney owns likely due to licensing agreements, so they are mostly split up into three IPs, you’ve got general Disney which also covers like Pixar and the Muppets, then there is Star Wars and also Marvel.
I’ve dabbled in a couple of the Star Wars and Marvel ones, but despite being a pretty big fan of both of those properties (seen a lot of the shows/movies, own many video games based on them, read comics here and there, own lots of merch), I didn’t really stick with them too long. What I have stuck with is the more purely Disney ones, Disney Heroes Battle Mode and the more recent Disney Sorceror’s Arena. And this isn’t a factor of pay to win mechanics being unfair (though I have no general qualms about putting money into a mobile game, I have yet to do so thus far) or some other bad facet of bad mobile games vs. good ones, it’s kinda just about possibilities really.
Star Wars is Star Wars and Marvel is Marvel. They are both one contained universe. Sure you might be able to have Obi-Wan team up with Rey Palpatine-Skywalker when those two would never meet in a movie or TV show but it still feels the same. Marvel is even worse because we have comics, games movies, and TV shows where they all team up with each other all the time, it doesn’t feel special in that way.
That’s where “Disney” really is different. There isn’t a lot of crossover in their core properties. Aladdin doesn’t know Buzz Lightyear. You might’ve seen a scene where Mickey interacts with Ariel in a show like House of Mouse but it’s a very rare thing. Seeing all these characters from separate universes within separate IPs is something kind of special and you really only see in mobile games (a little bit in Kingdom Hearts as well but way more limited). When I unlock Rafiki or Darkwing Duck or Captain Hook, it suddenly opens up so many weird possibilities and that’s what really keeps me hooked on these games months in as I don’t even try to make that much campaign or mode progress that regularly if I’m still unlocking characters at a regular rate. It’s why the upcoming Disney mobile game I’m most interested in is Disney Mirrorverse because that’s a similar setup. Granted, now that’s at least three games with the same kind of setup and that might be reaching a saturation point, but the point is right now Disney games where I can collect and team up characters from different IPs keeps my interest way more than where I can collect them from just one. Hopefully, at some point in the future, there will be some mobile (or dare I hope for console) RPG where all the characters from all the various Disney properties are available to collect but for now, Disney wins in the battle against itself (and other gacha games) in what I’m looking for in a mobile game that actually keeps me coming back. That’s all for now, see ya real soon!