2022 was supposed to be the year of tremendous growth for mobile gaming. Instead, the industry declined for the first time in history. Experts blame recession fears, post-pandemic challenges and changing consumer behaviours for the sector’s woes.
Last year might have been a tough year for mobile gaming. But the future looks bright. New trends that could shape the future are emerging. Below are some of these trends.
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Cloud-based gaming is no longer the future of mobile gaming. It’s the present. Nearly every major developer has embraced the cloud, meaning you no longer have to download a game on your smartphone.
In the past couple of years, developers avoided the cloud because they felt it would alienate players with slow Internet connections. Then 5G was launched. Now, almost everyone with a mobile device can stream advanced mobile gaming with little to no latency.
Online gaming means you can save your mobile storage for more important files. This is a huge boon to people who play lots of games. Think of casino players. If you like online slots, you probably have multiple casino accounts. Thanks to mobile web apps, you can join all the best online casinos that payout USA players. And you don’t need to download any software. All you need is an email address to help you log into your accounts.
Improved Gaming Experiences
If there’s one constant thing about mobile gaming, it’s its will to progress. Back in the days of Solitaire and Snake game, the graphics were terrible. The mechanics were horrible while latency was extremely high. Over time, things have become better. And they keep getting better. With the advent of AI and 4K graphics, mobile games of the future will have incredibly advanced graphics.
Imagine playing mobile CS: GO on 8K graphics. No lagging and processing power that rivals next-generation consoles. This could be the future of mobile gaming given how quickly the industry is growing.
Considering mobile gaming is already more popular than PC and console gaming, it will dominate the market overwhelmingly in the future. The majority of gamers prioritize convenience and affordability over everything else. And if mobile gaming becomes powerful enough to run console-quality games, it will become incredibly dominant.
More than 90% of mobile gamers are free to play. You can play an entire game without linking your credit card to purchase anything. However, this mostly applies to low-quality games.
Think about it. When was the last time you completed a really good game without paying for anything? You see, great developers create games to make a lot of money in the process.
In the past, publishers would demand an upfront fee for every download. When the freemium model took over, some developers quit creating games for mobile players. Fortunately, freemium monetization proved to be a success and it’s the norm now.
In the future, publishers will continue to offer mobile games free of charge. But they will introduce even more in-game transactions. Subscriptions seem to be the monetization method of choice for many developers, according to Grand View Research.
GVR reports that mobile gaming companies generated $8.25 billion through subscriptions in 2021. The organization expects this model to continue growing at a 12.8% rate until 2030.
Big Publishers to Invest More in Mobile Games
Gone are the days when mobile gaming belonged to indie developers. Once the market overtook PC and console gaming, big-name developers shifted their focus to mobile gaming.
Tencent is the biggest player in mobile gaming after generating $33 billion in 2021. Apple ranked second after accumulating $15 billion in the same year. Google made $12 billion while Netease—the company behind Harry Potter: Magic Awakens, made $10 billion.
Other well-known publishers reaping big profits from mobile gaming include Activision Blizzard, Zynga, Supercell, miHoYo, and Electronic Arts. That being said, mobile gaming has room for everyone.
Statista reports that mobile gaming will be a $170 billion industry by 2026. Asia will be the biggest moneymaker for publishers, with China dominating 60% of the continent’s revenues.
In the meantime, PUBG is the highest-grossing mobile game in the world. It has an annual average income of $237 million, most of which comes from Asian players.
AR and VR
Many people wonder why AR/VR is yet to capture the mobile gaming sector. Truth be told, modern smartphones can’t render the true power of AR/VR.
Just take a look at the most popular VR-powered games on Google and Apple Play Stores. Google Cardboard is a simple VR app designed to help create awareness about the technology.
Titans of Space is another cool VR game for people who are curious about our universe. It gives you a tour of the eight planets in our solar system, a few popular moons and stars.
Another great VR mobile game worth checking out is VR Thrills: Roller Coaster 360. Basically, this game gives you the thrills of a real roller coaster without you ever leaving your house.
Although eSports is a billion-dollar industry, it’s primarily controlled by PC and console games. League of Legends, CS: GO, Warcraft and Hearthstone have tens of millions of fans. In turn, these games make hundreds of millions of dollars in annual profits through eSports.
Mobile game publishers are trying to get a share of the eSports business. But so far, only a handful of mobile games have a significant audience. PUBG and Fortnite are doing tremendously.
However, it will take a few years before mobile games gain the sort of audience PC eSports games have. When you think about it, the limitation lies in computing power. Mobile games are not yet as powerful as console games despite their popularity. This may change with time and it could revolutionize the eSports sector.
Crypto gaming exploded in 2021 thanks in part to the introduction of play-to-earn games. After Bitcoin crashed in 2022, however, the hype around play to earn Metaverse games declined.
That doesn’t mean everyone forgot about crypto games. Bitcoin is gaining value once more. With time, people will get back to crypto games thanks to their lucrative rewards.