The mobile gaming sector has been on a constant rise since the Covid-19 pandemic. People resorted to online mobile games to pass their time and that’s when these games started flourishing. The popularity of these games gave rise to various game development companies who were looking to take advantage of the thriving market and started investing in it.
The popularity of mobile games skyrocketed when the popular AR game Pokemon GO was launched way back in 2016. Every mobile gamer took to the streets to play the AR-based monster-taming game. Fast forward to 2018, the mobile gaming industry boomed with the launch of the mobile variant of the popular PC battle royale- PUBG Mobile.
PUBG-M was a massive game-changer in the mobile game industry. It ran smoothly on low-end devices and everybody flocked towards the popular battle royale. After PUBG-M, people understood the potential of mobile gaming and it quickly became mainstream. Ever since then, various mobile games like Among Us, Clash Royale, Garena: Free Fire, Asphalt, Call of Duty, etc. dominated the online mobile gaming industry.
In this article, we will highlight the growth of the mobile gaming industry and what the future holds for mobile gaming.
The Growth of the Mobile Gaming Industry
There are various factors that are driving the growth of the mobile game industry. There have been technological advancements in the market which are responsible for the growing popularity of the industry. Let us look at the various factors responsible for the rapid growth of the mobile games industry.
Wide Range of Audiences
Mobile gaming has registered more no. of users than console and PC gamers. The sole reason is that almost everyone owns a smartphone but consoles and desktops have to be bought exclusively. Moreover, the prices of consoles and gaming desktops have skyrocketed and not everyone can afford them.
If you reach a wider audience, you will generate more revenue. Although it doesn’t necessarily mean that all mobile games are successful. The PlayStore and AppStore are filled with games that didn’t even catch the user’s eye. Regardless of the risk, many popular console games like Apex Legends, League of Legends, Just Cause, etc. are coming to the mobile platform to capitalize on the large audience of mobile games.
Various Monetization Strategies
Mobile games can make use of multiple monetization strategies to generate revenue. Mobile gamers generally tend to ignore paid games. This is because almost 90% of all mobile games are free. Mobile game developers have to make use of different monetization strategies like microtransactions to earn a steady income. Although microtransactions have got a bad reputation in the gaming industry, they serve as a reliable source of a steady income in the long term. Some other monetization strategies include-
- In-app Advertisements
- Loyalty Programs like Battle Pass, Royale Pass
- Brand Promotions
Smartphones are already built using state-of-the-art hardware and yet mobile phones are getting more powerful with each passing year. Smartphones now come equipped with powerful hardware capable of running AAA titles with ease. Theoretically, flagship variants like iPhone 14, and OnePlus10, are more powerful than the PlayStation4.
With more powerful smartphones entering the market every year, mobile game developers will be able to make use of game development software to build high-end mobile games capable of running smoothly on all devices. Moreover, in a few years, the capability of the flagship phones will be available on budget devices as well.
Integration of Advanced Technologies like AR/VR
The advent of advanced technologies like AR and VR will revolutionalise the mobile gaming industry. Currently, the only AR game that managed to leave its mark was Pokemon GO way back in 2016. Ever since then, various publishers have experimented with the technology but didn’t manage to stand out in the market.
There are many VR apps available on the PlayStore but they aren’t an accurate representation of the potential of VR. This is because 4G lacks the power to bring out the full potential of AR and VR.
However, with the arrival of 5G in the market, AR and VR games could become mainstream. 5G is still new, if we want to exploit the full potential of AR and VR games, we have to make 5G more accessible and affordable. Moreover, VR gear such as headsets should also be made cheaper. Once these issues are resolved, more people will move towards AR/VR gaming.
One of the primary reasons for the rising demand for mobile games is the ability to play games from anywhere in the world. Contrary to consoles, smartphones are almost everyone on the planet. Mobile phones are now more powerful and provide better accessibility than consoles. Many console gamers are now shifting towards smartphone gaming to reap the benefits of on-the-go gaming.
Whether you’re waiting in a line or traveling on a bus, you can just whip out your smartphone and play your desired game without any hassle whereas consoles and desktops require a full-fledged setup to operate efficiently. The accessibility mobile gaming provides is one of the primary reasons why mobile games are slowly surpassing console games.
Mobile games are already massively popular but they are still not close to their maximum potential. Console games have the edge in graphics, visuals, and storytelling. However, it won’t be long before mobile games surpass console games and will be the preferred gaming platform for gamers worldwide. Mobile games have come a long way and various game development companies are investing in the industry to skyrocket it to the next level.