In many ways, Square Enix' Go titles were textbook examples of how to make good mobile games: for a little cash up front, you'd receive a truly mobile-friendly experience that felt like it received just as much attention as a blockbuster console release. However, that strategy has apparently run out of steam. Square Enix Montreal head Patrick Naud told PCGamesInsider.biz in an interview that his studio has stopped working on the Go series. The premium mobile game market is "diminishing," Naud said -- there are too many genuinely high-quality free games for many people to pour money into games unless they're riveted by the concept. While Hitman Go, Lara Croft Go and Deus Ex Go had strong reviews and "great revenue," only a small number of people played them.
This doesn't mean the Montreal outfit has given up on mobile games. However, Naud wanted the studio to push for more innovative experiences. If it worked on a familiar property, it would have to "somewhat reinvent" the game mechanics.
It's not hard to see why Square Enix would back away from what seemed like a surefire recipe for success. When a free release like Fortnite provides a deep, polished experience and rakes in massive profits, it's hard to justify charging money no matter how good the gameplay may be. Free-to-play gaming has evolved to the point where it's frequently just as good as the paid games, and mobile developers might not have much choice but to adapt.