Why are mobile games so popular, and what is their impact on our culture?
With the rise in popularity and use of Android, and IOS devices, it’s no wonder that mobile games are becoming much more popular.
On average a smartphone user in 2003-2009 were more professional in nature, using the blackberry, or Motorola for business purposes, never considering the use of mobile games.
Now the average users are teens, twenty year olds, and, mostly women. They use their smartphone to stay in touch with their network of friends, look up facts, or questions on google.
But they also use it to play games from the marketplace when waiting on the bus, on a break at work, or when texting a friend using dual-screen modes.
With this demographic change to younger, more casual users, mobile games are also starting to take a more prominent place in the industry.
This spells great opportunities for small software, and gaming companies, and for students taking gaming development, and gaming design courses.
Universal use and convenience of smartphones
A driving factor behind the growing popularity of mobile games is the smartphone’s increasing popularity among people of the video game era.
The extreme portability, and connectivity capabilities of smartphones, means that gamers can play anywhere, and with anyone else who has a smartphone.
With this freeing them of the physical limitations of a desktop computer, and home consoles the possibilities are endless.
Combine this with the vast and rapid improvements in mobile graphics, and speed, and you have the perfect conditions for playing games on the go.
Since you don’t have to pay for most there’s a variety to choose from, and can delete them anytime without any inconvenience.
Fewer development costs
For start-up game developers, this is outstanding news, because it levels the playing field for small up and coming video game companies.
Mobile games require far fewer overhead, and development costs than their older console brethren, as they can be downloaded directly to the user’s phone, negating the need for packaging, promotion and shipping.
In addition, the scale of mobile games, being limited to a phone’s screen size, resolution and processing power, means that coding for these games is far less complicated and involved.
The developers also make micro transactions a major focus depending on the popularity of the game, which is a bonus if you like the game series and wish to continue playing further.
Ideal for less serious gamers
Not everyone wants fancy games that cost hundreds of dollars, and that require a lot of commitment to play. Since mobile games often cost a dollar or less, and can be downloaded in a blink, especially without wifi handy, even people who aren’t huge gamers can still enjoy a quick game during a break from work, or when they’re sitting on the bus.
Additionally, the less serious gamers will appreciate the chance to try out a variety of simple games as opposed to getting stuck into one long, multi-level, frustrating game.
User-friendly nature of mobile games
In general, mobile phone games create balance between simplicity and creativity. The nature of the playing median dictates that the mobile game must be simple, and with such a large variety of games, each one still needs to be high quality, and creative.
This means that non-regular gamers, or those who simply aren’t very good at playing games, can still enjoy a high quality game without getting frustrated.
Mobile games don’t just reach out to the tech savvy youth, but also to technically challenged adults who simply want a fun, user-friendly game to play once in a while.
Impact upon us
Mobile games are only continuing to build in momentum, and quality. It’s a very smart move for the game developers, both professional, and start up to use them as research and development.
Using this they stand to make 100% profit without having to over-reach the table for coin.
These funds also help to secure equity for the studio they wish to open, and get insightful and free feedback from consumers.
I hope for the day that we can see top companies like Sony, or Nintendo enter the marketplace, and offer throwback games to the mix.
Good handhelds would be a dream especially because we wouldn’t need consoles anymore and could take popular titles such as: Pokémon, or Animal Crossing on the go.
But the future will tell us what is in store, for now we look to the Play Store, and App Store to tell us what we are missing out on, and what we need to start paying attention to.
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