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Avatar: The Last Airbender Deserves Better Than This

"Avatar: The Last Airbender" is getting its own mobile game, and fans are not excited about it. On October 20, 2021, Square Enix announced the creation of its new London Mobile Studio via a press release. The studio is an initiative that will put out "high-quality, free-to-play mobile games." The first two projects London Mobile Studio will take on include continuing work on "Tomb Raider Reloaded" and hiring more people to work on a brand new title based on "Avatar: The Last Airbender."

Canadian studio Navigator Games has already started the development process for the upcoming "Avatar" mobile title, which still doesn't have an official name. Navigator is best known for its successful mobile RPG "Iron Maiden: Legacy of the Beast," though the game that's considered the company's best work still has mixed reviews from critics and fans alike.

Given the massive success of "Avatar: The Last Airbender" that has led to it being called the best animated series of all time – and for good reason — anything less than a AAA title feels insulting. At least, that's what fans of the show think due to a long-standing history of disappointing titles.

Fans Want More from an Avatar Game

While some fans are happy to have any new "Avatar" content on the way, most feel unsatisfied. In the Twitter comments of Square Enix's London Mobile announcement, fans of "The Last Airbender" took the time to air their grievances with the company.

In the words of one devastated fan, "I wanted another Avatar game but not like this...not mobile." Others felt a similar level of disgust, like one fan who used the vomit emoji to express their feelings, and another who wrote, "yuck, was excited, but once I learned this was a mobile game, no longer interested." Clearly, the mobile game news left a bad taste in many gamers' mouths.

Among the comments and complaints was one desperate plea that summed up the sentiments of many fans: "Please make a real game of it for Consoles and PC. The Avatar community [has been] begging [for] years for a real game, but always get just mini games or now mobile games. There is a huge demand for ATLA games." A similar request appeared elsewhere on Twitter: "Nobody wants a mobile game for any of these franchises ESPECIALLY Avatar The Last Airbender. Literally nobody asked for this. They deserve AAA open worlds with the best development team behind them and exclusive to consoles. Not this mobile BS."

While it seems likely the upcoming "Avatar: The Last Airbender" mobile game will do well in player numbers since it's free, the missed opportunity to deliver on something fans would eat up is leaving those gamers feeling empty.

Previous Avatar Games Haven't Delivered

The "Avatar: The Last Airbender" mobile game announcement hit fans even harder because they've weathered this same storm before. While many people might not realize it, there have been a number of "Avatar" games released to date, all of which were considered unsuccessful and disappointing compared to the super-popular source material.

Games on the Nickelodeon website are hardly worth mentioning given how minuscule they are in proportion to the multi-layered "Avatar" series. As far as console titles, there are several with similar names, all of which have let fans down since the original "Avatar: The Last Airbender" game launched in 2006. As summarized by Screenrant, "None of these games were known for being exceptionally good, but most were considered to provide an average level of enjoyment."

While the video games for "Avatar" haven't made much of an impact, there may be a sliver of hope for an upcoming board game. Magpie Games is working on an RPG that has caught the attention of fans, who destroyed the Kickstarter goal for the game in mere minutes

Skins and Silent Characters Aren't Enough

In addition to "Avatar" themed games that haven't come close to meeting fan hopes for a full-fledged feature title, some of the characters from the franchise have made their way into other games. Unsurprisingly, these appearances have also felt lackluster compared to the popularity of all things "Avatar."

In 2020, "Smite" announced the addition of "Avatar" character skins to the popular MOBA game. Aang, Zuko, and Korra brought with them custom attacks based on their characters, but their addition to the game still left much to be desired since none of them got to join as standalone characters.

Similarly, fans went wild after finding out that Korra, Aang, and Toph would make an appearance in "Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl." However, sentiment dipped when fans realized that all the characters in the game are silent and no signature Nickelodeon soundtracks are featured. The Washington Post called the game "a Smash Bros. clone that completely misses the point." When it comes to the "Avatar" characters' appearance in the title, this criticism is on point with how fans seem to feel about the upcoming mobile game.

By the looks of things, long-standing hopes for a AAA "Avatar" game are still going unheard. As much as the news about the mobile game for "Avatar: The Last Airbender" is a letdown, perhaps there's still hope in the form of the upcoming live-action Netflix adaptation of the series, especially since the cast has officially been announced.