To say the news surrounding mobile gaming are exciting feels like a gross understatement. Of course, it used to be that the same feeling was attached only to PCs and consoles, where developers were working painstakingly to outdo each other in terms of graphics and gameplay. While that still exists to an extent, there’s definitely been a shift in intrigue thanks to the sheer number of people picking up their mobile devices to do more than call, text, tweet, etc. More of us than ever before are gaming on the go, and it doesn’t look like it’s a trend that’s about to die down.
One company that’s looking to keep people glued to their smart devices is none other than Nintendo, aka one of the three main companies in the console world next to Microsoft and Sony. The Big N has enlisted the help of Japanese mobile gaming company DeNA, who are anticipating some huge numbers for their collaboration with the guys who created Mario, Princess Peach, Donkey Kong, etc. Forbes.com reports that DeNA is looking to bring in upwards of 200 million players (!) to its collaborations with Nintendo, none of which anyone has seen yet.
The CEO of DeNA West, Shintaro Asako, said that it all boils down to the numbers associated with Nintendo’s existing fan base. He noted that if hundreds of millions of people are spending $150-$200 on consoles (and another $50 on games), then it only makes sense that they would also be drawn to mobile titles. It’s a fair point, even if it’s making it seem like Nintendo’s mobile games are going to cost money, be it through micro transactions or upfront costs.
Speaking of micro transactions, they’re playing an essential role in the growth of mobile gaming when it comes to revenue. The way it works is that people are initially drawn to what’s known as a freemium title, or one that you can download for free and then (maybe) you will throw money at it to receive upgrades, new abilities, new levels, and so on. And if you think that people aren’t shelling out their cash for these types of games—think again. Last year, VentureBeat.com reported that mobile gaming revenue is expected to double by the year 2017. Yes, double, as in it’s predicted to jump from 2013’s numbers of $17.5 billion to $35.4 billion by the time 2017 rolls around.
That’s an impressive figure, to say the least, and portions of it are already coming true in one corner of the market. SBCNews.co.uk shared some interesting numbers from gaming company Gala Coral this past August, and they indicated that more people are indeed flocking to their mobile offerings. One of their sites, GalaBingo.com, has seen its mobile stakes at 71 percent ahead of last year’s numbers while the entire company’s mobile performance is 82 percent ahead.
Given all of this information, it’s not much of a surprise to see one of the aforementioned big three, Sony, backing this movement to mobile. At this year’s Tokyo Game Show event, FT.com reported that the company’s head of gaming said, “I think we could be on the cusp of a golden era.” He added that mobile has created “a springboard for creative talent,” perhaps a nod to how we may only be seeing the brink of what mobile devices can truly do. And it’s that right there—the potential for so much more—that demonstrates just how this platform continues to grow. The best is yet to come.