Unless you have been living on the moon in the past ten years, you would have noticed just how big the mobile gaming industry has become in that time. In fact, revenues from this gaming sector are strongly estimated to account for 42% of the sales across the entire gaming industry.
What are the reasons for this meteoric rise? With a doubt the reasons are the incredible advances in mobile technology over the last decade coupled with an improving internet and WiFi and the low cost of mobile devices capable of running the games. Players can pick up mobile devices cheaply these days that are more than capable of playing some of the best games on the market.
The Smartphone was only introduced around ten years ago, so when you consider how much the gaming aspect of them has improved in that time, it really is astonishing. Admittedly, in the beginning the experience was far from perfect, with many games consistently having glitches, devices regularly crashing and hanging and the games were very basic. However, that has massively changes in the ten years since as we now have some excellent gaming options to choose from using stable hardware and software that is not as resource intensive as it once was.
Additionally, when you consider that almost everyone has a smartphone these days but might not have a computer or console, you can see why mobile gaming might be popular. Not everyone can afford to splurge on both a smartphone (which is needed for calling) and then a high-end PC or console as well. So the market is instantly appealing to these people that before would not have had access to online gaming. They are essentially getting two for one with their device and are not losing out too much on performance either.
From Raw Roots
It would be fair to say that when mobile gaming first burst onto the market, it was more aimed at simply giving people the ability to fight the boredom for a few minutes at a time. Whether they were commuting on a bus or train, or waiting for something, players would be able to enjoy a game for a few minutes to pass that time.
Nowadays, while mobile gaming still carries that benefit with many of the short puzzle games available, many of the recent releases to hit the shelves are titles that become massively popular, attract huge interest and has players that spend most of their spare time playing. Gamers in many cases are now choosing to play mobile games instead of games on their computers and consoles. One reason for this is the wide choice of games available and the fact that games are low cost or free to play in many cases.
Free to Play Models
In reality, if players had to spend a lot of money to play mobile games, you’d expect that their popularity would be nowhere near what it is today. It is this ease of access that brings players in; as they know they can play for free, test out a game and then back it with making in game purchases when they feel it is worth it.
Have you ever bought a console or PC game and wished you hadn’t because it was not as good as you thought it would be? Getting a refund will always prove difficult so in most cases it is lost money on a game that you do not enjoy. The free-to-play methods prevents this from happening, attracts more players to give the games a try and ensures that a percentage of them will be more than happy to spend if the game makes them happy enough.
What the Future Holds
We can only assume that technology is going to continue to evolve at the same kind of meteoric rate that it has been doing for the past decade. When you start to think what that might lead to, it only leads to very exciting thoughts of massively popular games with very impressive graphics.
However, we feel that it’s important that mobile gaming does not forget its roots and the main reason why it became so popular in the first place. Short, fun and addictive games that can cure the boredom of people that need something to fill their time. Its very important to strike a balance between offering a variety of short burst mobile games and more intensive titles that will satisfy those that want a more sustained and immersive experience when at home.
Could Mobile Gaming Ever Replace PC or Console Gaming?
We doubt it will replace either as there will always be a core type of player that wants a dedicated system that is made purely for playing games on and nothing else. However, do we believe that the market shares will shift more in favour of mobile gaming? We think so, as the current growth of mobile gaming is showing.
Console gaming and PC gaming will still there for the most serious enthusiasts that prefer bigger screens and more intuitive control methods but there is no doubt that there will always be a place for mobile gaming in the high-tech world that we live in.
There is very little doubt that mobile gaming will continue to grow and improve and many more players will make the crossover into the niche. Whether casual players or serious players, the gaming niche will always have something to offer and while we’re starting to see some excellent titles now, it’s very exciting to think about what might be thrown up in the next decade, especially considering the growth we have witnessed in the last ten years.
It’s difficult to say whether the quality of games in terms of graphics will ever be as good as standalone consoles and PCs can offer but you can be certain that they will not be too far off – not in a way to take away from the gaming experience anyhow.