Why mobile gaming is growing in popularity
If you have any form of mobile phone or tablet then you will no doubt already be aware of the popularity of mobile games.
Indeed, although still a relatively new industry, mobile gaming has developed at an astonishing rate in recent times. Just how quickly this fledgling industry has boomed can be emphasised by these stunning facts:
- A third of the total population of the United States are mobile gamers (100 million people).
- By 2015, turnover from the mobile gaming industry alone is projected to be worth $54 billion, up from just a little over $12 billion in 2011.
- 64 percent of people, who play mobile games, do so on a daily basis.
- 76 of the 100 biggest earning iOS apps are mobile games.
- 70 to 80 percent of all mobile or tablet downloads are games.
- By 2016, the number of people playing mobile games on their smartphone is expected to have doubled in size from 2012, when 81 million play each day in the US alone.
- 84 percent of people who own a tablet play mobile games.
- Since 2008, there has been a 241 percent increase in the amount of people enjoying online gaming.
It is clear that mobile gaming is a rapidly developing market and has clearly impacted upon how people now use their mobile device or handset. In the recent past, mobiles were communication devices alone, but now their adaptability has seen them become far more. For many individuals, their handset is their window on the world; it is the key to accessing their social life, interacting with others and of course, entertainment, chiefly in the form of mobile games.
Just how big an impact has this been? Well, experts have predicted that the much-vaunted forthcoming releases of the Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft X-Box One will see sales far less spectacular than in previous versions of the console; chiefly due to users changing their gaming habits from their online console, to mobile gaming.
Yet, there is a paradox here. Mobile games are generally much smaller, cheaper and lacking in content compared to console or PC games. Mobile games tend to be more simplistic, lack the spectacular graphics and depth of play that many gaming companies believed was a necessary requirement for any games success.
So if mobile games are not as extensive, complex or detailed as other types of games available, why are they growing enormously in popularity?
There are several reasons for this;
Mobile gaming is popular because it is fits in with the busy lives experienced by many people in the modern world. When time is scarce, having a mobile game to play in a break at work, on the bus home, or while away on holiday is ideal. Mobile games fit in perfectly with modern life and they are all immediately accessible on most modern devices, at the touch of a single button.
Cost is certainly a factor, considering that a game on the new PlayStation 4 will retail at around £55 in the UK initially, the fact that you can buy top quality mobile games on your tablet or mobile device for around £3, as well as play many free versions of the top games, makes mobile gaming much more affordable.
3. Ease of Use
In their quest for bigger graphics, more complex game mechanics, more options for player, console games have become rather complex to play, especially for beginners. Mobile games are much simpler to play and use rudimentary controls, this makes them much easier to use and accessible for all players, not just the experienced gamer.
4. Social Gaming
Gaming was once a solitary pursuit, but that is no longer the case. The best mobile games tend to have a large social gaming factor, whether that is actually playing against other people or friends, or just comparing scores with them on the leader board. Social gaming is ideally suited to mobile gaming and is one of the fundamental keys to its success.
Finally, one of the most unrecognised aspects of mobile gaming’s rise to success has been the innovation shown by small, independent companies in developing games. In the console industry, games are made by just a few huge companies and many have bemoaned the lack of innovation and creativity in the games for a long time now.
The mobile gaming industry echoes the first fledgling days of personal computing in the 1980s when many small programming teams came up with some classic games on much less powerful machines. These games are now regarded as classics and the open-source nature of the mobile gaming industry has recaptured some of this magic. Angry Birds is a perfect example of how a well thought out concept can go global. Rovio now earn around $6m per day in advertising alone from this product.
Mobile gaming is still a young industry and it is still developing but it has emerged as a crucial factor in the future of gaming of all kinds and perhaps the most startling fact to remember is that this is still an infant industry and that the best of it is still to come.
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