The mobile gaming industry is one that is in the midst of a boom period right now with operator revenues passing the $1 trillion mark for 2015 and it was reported that more than 2.5 billion individuals across the world use their mobile device to access the internet.
Entering a New Age
2016 has been a definitive year for mobile gaming. Revenues and usage are at a record high for mobile devices and the platform has become more popular than ever with 224.8 billion apps downloaded since January. In 2017, that number is expected to increase to 268.7 billion over the course of the whole year. During 2015, mobile gaming revenues accounted for 85% of total mobile revenues with $34.8 billion being generated through mobile games alone.
That figure alone shows how fast growth in the mobile market is happening. It was recently reported that up to 60,000 new apps are added to the Apple iStore every month. Demand for these apps and follow-on releases from the successful apps is relentless and this suggests that the growth of the mobile industry is showing no signs of slowing down.
Not only are revenues and download figures improving by the day but the level of innovation being used to release new products is also continuing to reach new heights as technology advances and the potential for mobile games expands on a daily basis.
Pioneering Games and Fresh Ideas
This year saw some of the most creative mobile games to ever hit the market leave their mark on the industry. The highlight of the year was the release of Pokemon GO from developer Niantic. The mobile game was based on the hit Nintendo franchise Pokemon and gave players the chance to hunt down Pokemon in real-life environments using their mobile device camera technology. The game was downloaded half a million times in just a few months.
The potential for recently-released and upcoming games on the mobile market is awe-inspiring and enough to get any mobile gamer excited beyond belief. Games such as Football Manager 2017 Mobile, Rush Rally 2, The Elder Scrolls, Legends, and Leap of Fate are taking mobile graphics and gameplay to whole new levels that had seemed impossible even just 12 months ago.
Battle of the Big Guns
The mobile market saw some massive news back at the end of 2015 when software developer Activision purchased mobile developer King for $5.9 billion. King was the name behind the iconic Candy Crush Saga titles and the fact they are now under the ownership of the guys behind the popular Call of Duty games suggests something big is undoubtedly on the horizon.
It is a deal that will be watched closely by the likes of Nintendo, SEGA, and Konami. These are developers that will certainly be looking to make a move in the mobile market in the near future but their approach will depend on the success of Activision’s partnership with King over the coming year.
The Dawn of Mobile VR
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last year you will be fully aware that virtual reality is back and it is better than ever before. The launch of VR headsets such as the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Playstation VR, and Samsung Gear have received warm praise from critics with many suggesting that mobile VR is the natural next step.
Pokemon GO showed that VR, to an extent, is possible on mobile but a future where VR is entirely manageable through mobile devices seems a little further down the line. The prospect of using mobile VR to learn more about the human body and engineering or experience things we never thought we could experience such as swimming with dolphins or playing in a Super Bowl could soon become a reality.
A Bright Future?
Mobile gaming stands on a precipice of greatness. However, it also faces huge challenges that could stop it in its evolutionary tracks before it has even started. Video streaming games appear to soon invade the mobile market as the likes of Spencer FC and Pew Die Pie continue to attract millions of subscribers on YouTube.
It seems an inevitable next step. Mobile is a market that needs developers to show confidence in it and for users to show a desire to use it. If that combination can happen then the sky is the limit and the mobile market is only in its infancy. If that combination does not happen then mobile gaming will die out before it has even had the chance to begin.