If you play a lot of obscure casual games, you may have noticed there is this one guy who keeps appearing in all these different games being developed by different developers, in different countries, who seemingly have nothing to do with one another.

YET SOMEHOW! This one guy manages to keep appearing in all these different games and haunting your dreams! 😱 …ok maybe not haunting your dreams but you get the idea…

Who is this guy? Where does he come from? Why is he in my game? And does he have a girlfriend? It is time for some answers.

Simple answer. He is an asset.

If you didn’t know this already, most of the games you play on your smartphone are made using a game engine called Unity 3D. Didn’t know this? You should check out some of our latest developer interviews!

Unity 3D is kind of like a toolbox in that it allows developers to create games without the need to create ‘everything’ from scratch each and every time they begin working on a new project.

Not only this, but Unity 3D also has an incredibly powerful assets store that allows developers to buy everything from pre-made scripts and 3D models to fully functional games that are ready to sell to consumers.

The guy we see in all these different games is, in fact, a 3D asset developers can buy from the Unity Assets store for around $27.90.

You can check it out for yourself here.

End of story? Nope, this is just the beginning…

2019 was the year casual mobile gaming went 3D, which is awesome but raises one serious problem for developers.

3D assets are obviously harder to make than 2D assets. This is kind of obvious, and the reason why so many developers are now buying the assets that make up their games from the Unity Assets store.

But this creates a problem. With so many games using the ‘exact same’ characters, maps, and environments as each other, it is slowly becoming increasingly more difficult to distinguish between games, and more importantly for developers, brands in general.

There used to be a unique 2D style known within the developer industry as ‘Ketchapp Style Minimalism’ but with the rise of 3D, there really isn’t a leader in actual game design since everyone is using exactly the same assets.

Just take a look at all these assets you have probably seen in multiple games you’ve played before! Click here.

The ‘originality’ debate yet again…

We recently had a discussion with one of our followers on Twitter about originality in the casual gaming space. Although we kind of had to agree to disagree in the end, we believe our point is more valid in 2019 where most 3D games share at least a few visible elements with another game than ever before!

For example, we once featured a game that used the same 3D assets as were used in the mega-hit game Hole.io by Voodoo and you can imagine the reactions we got from sharp-eyed players who realized that this game had ‘stolen’ graphics from one of their favorite games.

The market is shifting rapidly and I don’t think brands have fully figured out how to protect themselves from fans who don’t realize what is going on.

Likely 2020 will be the year casual 3D games really begin to differentiate themselves from one another and designers who create 3D assets are suddenly in super high demand. 😅

3 COMMENTS

  1. Really? I at least knew they weren’t all from Voodoo, but I do find it interesting that popular developers/publishers would chose to use a free asset in their app icon. That is just asking for trouble and confusion.

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