If 2019’s stats are anything to go by, mobile gaming is no longer PC or console gaming’s poor cousin. On the contrary, the incredible growth of mobile gaming has proven that gamers want their games on the go. By the end of 2019, the global revenue for mobile gaming was in excess of $60bn. Early estimates for the end of 2020 had put that number over and above $70bn, but that was before a global pandemic that put a huge chunk of the global population under lockdown. The $70bn estimate clearly fell short of the mark, global mobile gaming revenue by the end of 2020 now looks likely to surpass $160bn. Mobile gaming accounts for approximately 50% of all gaming revenue, with console gaming and PC gaming splitting the rest of the pie fairly equally. So, what games are the approximately 2.5bn mobile gamers playing? And what does the future hold for mobile gaming in general?
Mobile Casino Games
The rise of mobile casinos is a major factor when it comes to the huge increase global mobile gaming revenue. The online casino industry has taken full advantage of the HTML5 technology that allows software providers to create games that are compatible with the full range of mobile devices. Modern, innovative and exciting mobile casino games have flooded the market in recent years and players have taken to mobile casino gameplay like ducks to water. Why go through the stress of travelling long distances in order to get to a brick and mortar casino when you can enjoy an immersive and highly entertaining casino experience simply by logging into your mobile casino?
All the new mobile casinos on the market are fully equipped with the all the casino games that you’d expect to find at a land-based casino. In fact, UK mobile casinos actually offer a much bigger range of games than their land-based counterparts because they’re not limited by floorspace. Playing mobile casino games saves players both time and money (no travel expenses, for example), and mobile casinos offer a level of convenience that can’t be beaten.
Top 10 Mobile Games
Moving on from mobile casinos, let’s take a look at 2019’s most popular mobile games. In 2019, App Annie’s list of top 10 mobile games (worldwide) looked like this:
- Free Fire
- PUBG Mobile
- Subway Surfers
- Color Bump 3D
- Fun Race 3D
- Run Race 3D
- My Talking Tom 2
- Stack Ball
- Call of Duty: Mobile
With the imminent arrival of 5G, however, there is likely to be a surge in mobile multiplayer games. The success of a battleground game like Call of Duty: Mobile has proven that multiplayer games can and do work well on the mobile format and that gamers are itching to get their hands on them. 5G will undoubtedly encourage other software developers to launch multiplayer games onto the mobile market because 5G will improve the way these games function. The problem of latency will be fixed, which means gamers can say goodbye to annoying lag.
The 5G Factor
5G is likely to help the growth of mobile gaming tremendously. In fact, the gaming sector is likely be the first sector that will immediately notice the effects of 5G on daily life. Not only will mobile gaming become a smoother, less glitchy experience, but it will also benefit from being able to utilise cloud gaming on a much larger scale that we’ve seen to date. By using the cloud, gamers can access games that wouldn’t ordinarily work on their mobile, or that they wouldn’t be able to store on their mobile device due to the size of the game. This opens up a whole new arena of gaming possibilities for software developers and gamers. Not only are we likely to see a new generation of games, but the cloud will also allow gamers to access older titles that have so far been non-mobile friendly.
In connection with cloud gaming and mobile multiplayer games, the idea of a gaming subscription service is also gaining ground. Hardcore gamers undoubtedly benefit from a subscription service because it should lead to long-term savings. Casual gamers, on the other hand, are unlikely to go for it due to the nature of their sporadic gaming habits. A subscription service allows gamers access to a number of game titles for a monthly fee – with no annoying in-app purchases and advertising getting in the way of gameplay. However, it’s still early days to see whether or not gamers will really go for a subscription service – this could be the one area where mobile gaming actually fails to grow.
Hyper Casual Gaming
One area that has made huge leaps and bounds within the mobile gaming sector over the last few years is the genre of games know as hyper-casual. Hyper-casual games, such as Wordscapes by PeopleFun, and Piano Magic Tiles have swamped the mobile gaming market because not all players wish to immerse themselves in a whole new world and battle it out to the death. Hyper-casual games usually feature simple game mechanics that are easy to get the hang of, and the premise of the game is usually fairly simple. That’s not to say that a player’s skills are not put to the test. The beauty of these games is that there are levels within each game that get harder and harder. Other appealing factors of hyper-casual games is that they do not require a massive time commitment or a huge amount of energy or even concentration in order to play.
Convenience is King
The advancements in mobile technology tend to come thick and fast, and software developers utilise new technology at lightning speed. Our mobile devices are ever more powerful and ever more fit to serve as a gaming console. Graphics look amazing on modern mobile devices, and touch screen controls are better than ever. The only real downside is the size of the screen, and yet that doesn’t seem to put mobile gamers off. It seems that the convenience of being able to use a mobile device to fulfil our every technological need is powerfully appealing.