Mobile games are taking an increasingly large share of the global video gaming market. PCs and consoles no longer dominate the consumer market. And in a statistical view of the state of the video game industry, We PC notes how the global market value of mobile gaming was $68.4 billion (£52.27 billion) in 2018, and is slated to grow by up to $74.4 billion (£56.86 billion) this year. Meanwhile, the site also notes how the PC gaming industry was worth $29.5 billion (£22.5 billion) in 2018, and could grow by up to $31.4 billion (£24 billion) this year. The numbers don’t lie: it’s clear that mobile gaming is dominating the global video gaming industry. This has resulted in a number of mobile gaming trends that will continue to grow in the near future.
Retro and/or Low-Spec Games
We can of course expect new games and updates to push the limits of the most powerful smartphones on the market in terms of HD graphics. However, at the other end of this spectrum is the current demand for mobile games that require lower specs, allowing them to be played on older, less powerful phones. PUBG MOBILE LITE is the flagship game in this ‘low-spec movement.’ Alongside this more accessible version of the popular first-person shooter are the retro games that appeal to nostalgic tastes, such as the role-playing game Void Pyramid, and beast-collecting game Wild Tamer. This shows how mobile gaming companies are successfully tapping into the nostalgia of older gamers, while also ensuring a larger audience share that includes those with less powerful phones.
Live Casino Dealers
The online gaming industry has become low-key innovators in mobile gaming. A popular development that has come to carve its own niche in this industry is live dealers for casino games, in which human dealers interact with players just as they would in a regular casino. This shows how online entertainment companies are further blurring the line between real and virtual activities that can be experienced anywhere. Online provider Slingo has a slew of games that use live dealers including Lightning Roulette, No Commission Baccarat, and Ultimate Texas Hold’em – Live Lobby. All of these games replicate the conditions of sitting at a casino table for a mobile device. The next step for this technology is fully integrated VR casino experiences, where players can interact in a fully realised digital environment using just their phones and a VR headset. VRFocus has already reported that there are a number of VR titles dedicated to hosting poker tournaments.
Unique Touchscreen Controls
While touchscreen controls have proven to be a challenge for mobile developers, the unique gaming possibilities of touchscreens have opened mobile gaming up to many interesting opportunities. Action-RPG Horn allows players to intuitively and easily guess the next swipe or tap without spoon-feeding instructions to players. Tactical action game ENYO offers unique touchscreen gameplay that provides a new twist to a familiar top-down puzzle format. The same can be said about Eternium and its gesture-based skill/spell-casting system. Where once touchscreens were a hindrance for game developers, now they are the future, and we can expect companies to take advantage of the unique gaming opportunities they provide.
Augmented Reality Optimisation
Cnet reports that game makers and developers are confident that augmented reality (AR) will be bigger than virtual reality (VR) in terms of providing immersive, new gameplay experiences. And indeed, while today’s mobile VR games continue to wallow in the shadows, today’s AR games have flourished, with titles such as Pokemon Go taking the lead. Right alongside it are AR games based on other popular franchises, like The Walking Dead Our World, the upcoming Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, and Jurassic World Alive. This is another example of the real and virtual becoming increasingly blurred, which is proving popular with gamers across the world.
A couple years ago, here on My Tech Partner we took a closer look at how the then-fledgling mobile gaming industry was growing at an unprecedented rate. Today, we’re seeing the fruits of this industry’s labour, a wave of innovative trends that will no doubt dominate the next couple of years of global video gaming.