Mobile recently blazed past console and PC as the biggest and most lucrative gaming sector, and the switch to compact, affordable, and connected experiences shows no signs of slowing down. Mobile gaming is now worth almost $40 billion, and its global market share is set to increase year-on-year until the end of the decade while traditional gaming declines.
The origins of mobile gaming can be traced back to the turn of the century, but it really started to gather momentum with the arrival of Apple and Android smartphones, which allowed users to access a vast array of gaming experiences on the go. Its impact has been remarkable, and the proliferation of mobile apps and games in recent years has had a huge impact on the gaming industry.
Tech in mobile gaming is constantly in flux, but the smartphone has emerged as the primary platform for content consumption. Game development company Supercell claimed back in 2012 that tablets offered the “ultimate” outlet for gaming on mobile, but that notion was quickly dispelled with the launch of portrait-focused games with compelling features and gameplay. Developers are now branching out to leverage augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) in order to offer new means of playing. Other tech such as the Unreal Engine and Unity are also empowering gaming companies to bring next-gen experiences on increasingly powerful mobile devices.
Renowned traditional gaming companies such as Nintendo and Capcom are capitalizing on this tech and the mobile boom to reach a worldwide audience. Capcom, which is best known for its Resident Evil franchise, announced last year that it had established a dedicated mobile division with the aim of bringing its biggest and best properties to smartphones and tablets in the coming years. It expects mobile content to drive growth in the wider market and its own business, and has already published eight games on iOS and Android, including Street Fighter IV.
Nintendo has had perhaps the biggest success in transitioning a widely loved franchise from console and handheld to mobile with the launch of Pokémon Go, which is based around AR and catching pocket monsters in real-world locales. A staggering 34 million people downloaded the game in the US during the month after its launch, and it quickly became a worldwide phenomenon. The success story shows that well-loved IPs offer incredible potential in the mobile space, and it is no surprise to see other gaming companies attempting to replicate the Pokémon Go craze.
One area that has also been critical to mobile games achieving mass appeal is the internet. Users now rely on connectivity to log onto stores, download content, access online-only experiences, and make in-app purchases. Popular games such as Clash of Clans and Candy Crush Saga, for example, do not deliver the same end user experience without an online connection. Mobile devices have also given a new lease of life to older games, such as mobile casinos, which can be found at onlinecasino.net/mobile-casino-reviews/.
Mobile has had a transformative impact on gaming during the last ten years, and now that it is the most lucrative platform with the biggest install base, it is sure to lead the way during the next decade.