South Park the Stick of Truth was a surprisingly great love letter to the fans and RPG gamers. Since then, everybody’s favorite town has not had much luck with riding that wave. Phone Destroyer was a monetized mess, and with The Fractured but Whole, the developers have done some fracturing of their gameplay.
For this week’s Dissecting Design, I took a look at the monetization model of South Park Phone Destroyer and how it encapsulate all the best/worst aspects of monetized game design.
Who would have guessed that the South Park IP would become a new hit RPG franchise. After the surprising success of The Stick of Truth, we got the Fractured But Whole and Phone Destroyer this year. Despite a perfect use of the IP, South Park Phone Destroyer fails to avoid the monetization traps that have plagued mobile games before it, and for me sinks what would be an otherwise great concept.
South Park the Stick of Truth has been a long time coming. Originally a part of Take Two’s lineup, the game seemed to be in development hell with no solid information and multiple delays. When Take Two folded it seemed that the game was doomed but Ubisoft swept in to save the game and gave developer Obsidian Studios a chance to keep working on it.
And now that it’s out, we have a game that for all intents and purposes should have sucked. But instead we have one of the strongest games based on an IP since Batman Arkham Asylum; however that depends on how much of a fan of South Park you are.