Mobile Devices Constitute the World's Largest Gaming Platform

Mobile gaming has come a long way since the early days. Source: Wikimedia There are all sorts of ways that mobile devices are used as gaming platforms these days. From mobile casino table games to single player puzzle apps, mobile devices are more popular for playing games on today than even the most famous gaming consoles, such as PlayStations and X-Boxes. In fact, industry insiders estimate that this year's gaming market will be worth in the region of £125 billion across the planet. Of this huge sum, mobile games alone will account for about 40 per cent of the market. This means that mobile games have become a huge part of the overall digital gaming market in recent years and their share of it is only likely to grow further. Of course, this does not mean that PC gaming and console gaming is in decline – it is simply that mobile games are now so popular that they now make up the largest single part of the market. How did this come about?

The Power of Mobile Technology

In the past, mobile devices had a very limited capability. From the days of the old Nokia mobile handsets, phone manufacturers always developed their own games or acquired mobile games from preferred developers. These games were a far cry from the sort of playing experience you could get from gaming consoles in the 1990s, of course. With blocky graphics, barely any internet connectivity and few ways to download new software, these games had a certain amount of playability but they were limited in scope. This situation changed when smartphones first started to become widely available to consumers. Once the global market for mobile phone operating systems coalesced into the big three – iOS, Android and Windows – so gaming developers started to develop ever more tempting game apps for consumers. Of course, the larger memories that became available with even very modestly priced smartphones meant game developers could produce ever more sophisticated software. In other words, it was the increasing sophistication of the hardware that meant games were able to improve in accordance with them. Mobile multiplayer games are now possible thanks to smart technology. Source: Wikimedia

Investment Into the Mobile Gaming Market

You don't have to look far back in history to see a mobile gaming market that was fairly puny compared to the number of games that were being bought in a physical format for consoles and PCs. In fact, when Apple first launched its App Store, for example, it only had around 500 apps that you could download, not all of them games. That was only a decade or so ago. Nowadays, there are at least 500 games of every sub-genre that you could download no matter which operating system your mobile device happens to run on. Clearly, the big game developers saw the opportunity to invest in the mobile gaming market when smart devices became widespread. Not only was this a way of providing a higher-quality gaming experience to existing fans of video games when they were out and about but of drawing new customers into the world of games. You only have to look at the plethora of games that were developed to appeal to specific demographics outside of the traditional gaming enthusiast. Another key factor in the way investment into the mobile gaming market worked was that it defied the traditional model that had existed for a long time. Anyone who owned a gaming console at the start of the decade knew that you had to pay for the game you wanted to play. However, mobile games have increasingly shifted away from this model. Few mobile games are priced at anything like the cost of a traditional game. And, of course, large numbers of them are completely free to download. In the United States, more time is spent facing a mobile device today than is spent watching television. Among younger demographics, this shift is even greater. As such, it is from advertising revenue that most games earn their keep. In short, game developers can recoup their development costs without ever needing to sell a single download of their product. Furthermore, the in-app purchases that many games provide, such as offering a means to upgrade your game's character, mean that direct sales can still be made even if the initial product is offered without charge. So, as G5 mobile technology begins to roll out across the globe, more and more sophistication in such games is only likely to follow and that means mobile gaming will continue to enjoy a greater market share in the sector than ever before.

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