The Future of Mobile Games
The time is right for the industry to start rethinking the role of games in our mobile lives.
Mobile games have come a long way in the last few years. The industry has seen explosive growth, with the number of titles and downloads in 2013 being four times higher than that of 2012, according to the Game Developer Conference in San Francisco. The audience for mobile games has also grown, with the majority of players in 2013 coming from developing markets like China, India, and Brazil.
It’s hard to predict what the future will bring, but when it comes to mobile games, the stakes are high. In just the past year, Apple and Google have both released new hardware and software that have reshaped the industry. And while Google’s new Nexus 7 tablet is still getting off the ground, it’s already starting to change the market. The Apple iPad Mini and the Amazon Kindle Fire HD are both new and successful devices that are forcing mobile game developers to rethink the way they create and distribute games.
We’re going to look at the current state of the industry, check over here the trends that are shaping the future, and what companies are doing to stay on top.
The current state of mobile games
In the United States, mobile games are primarily being sold as apps that are downloaded from the App Store or Google Play. To date, the App Store has over 1.2 million apps, including games, and the Google Play store has over 1.5 million. While the industry is still growing, both stores continue to grow at an impressive rate. In 2011, the App Store had less than 300,000 apps, while the Google Play store had about 500,000. By the end of 2012, the App Store had more than 1.2 million apps and the Google Play store had about 1.5 million.
There are a variety of genres within mobile games. We can roughly divide them into two categories: casual games and social games. Casual games are similar to the games you’d find on a gaming console or on a handheld device like the Nintendo DS or the PlayStation Portable. These games are usually meant to be played for a short period of time and are typically targeted towards a younger audience. For example, Angry Birds, Candy Crush Saga, and Cut the Rope are all examples of casual games. Social games, on the other hand, are much different. Social games are designed to be played with other people, either in the same room or on the Internet. They’re often made to be played for longer periods of time and are targeted towards a slightly older audience. For example, Words with Friends, FarmVille, and Candy Crush Saga are all social games.