Vent of smartphones, tablets and the like, our society has changed dramatically. Constant availability provides unprecedented opportunities for businesses and consumers. We are investigating how this development is affecting mobile gaming.
Smartphones are one of the few things on which almost every German can still agree that is not completely opposed to new technology. The high level of functionality, which goes far beyond calls and messaging services, makes it easy to schedule many activities throughout the day, so that apps automatically play a central role. According to a report by Hootsuite and We Are Social, more than a third of the world’s population – 2.549 billion people – have access to mobile apps. The detailed usage statistics are therefore hardly surprising. Nevertheless, according to the data, users now spend three hours and 40 minutes of their day in the various applications, mostly in the social media (27%). In Germany, these figures are slightly lower. Countless apps of all kinds can be downloaded in the various stores, including in the gaming sector.
With the necessary entertainment just a click of the index finger away, more and more people trust their smartphone, which is already in their pockets, to play various games. The choice of games for this purpose is increasing significantly, not least due to the ever improving hardware of the end devices, and today includes a wide variety of 3D games that could otherwise only be found on consoles. One of the biggest trends of the past year was the breakthrough of Pokémon Go, which is based on the popular Freemium concept, which can be downloaded for free while offering in-game purchases instead. Directly after the release, a worldwide hype broke out. In the USA, Pokémon Go even replaced Candy Crush as number 1 in terms of active players per day (21 million).
Social Gaming as the biggest future strategy
With cases like these and the overall trends seeing mobile gaming as a 40 percent share of the total gaming market by the end of this year, developers are thinking about the future. Which games can bring success? In view of the developments described above, an increasingly social level is emerging. But how does mobile social gaming work away from the exceptional situation of summoners war toah team? The principle of playing with friends is not new. Consoles with their online offerings have been focusing on exactly this for years, but with the latest mobile technology this can be duplicated more and more on smartphones and the like. A successful example of this implementation is the online casino sector, which provides a social experience through live tables and thus creates a mood just like in a real casino. Real people at the table, connected via camera and chat when needed and an actually present dealer at poker and co. reflect the development excellently.
It is clear that further promising projects such as virtual reality and the like can have just as great an influence on mobile gaming – and thus on the lives of all users. The development does not stop and gives with the Social Gaming only a rough orientation for the future. What game developers ultimately produce from it is still in the stars. In any case, the audience is always there.
Mobile daddling is becoming more popular
But even if mobile games are becoming increasingly complex, the limits are obvious: On the one hand, mobile data connections are still far too weak to play online in real time. And although mobile phones are excellent for playing racing and sports simulations, real gamers will continue to use the mouse or gamepad for challenging role-playing games or fast shooters.
Another, all too familiar problem: mobile phones have different operating systems and platforms – Windows Mobile, Android, iOS and Symbian are among the best known. To bring successful games to market, they must run on all systems and devices. “Technical innovations don’t necessarily make it easier for developers. In some cases, they also drive fragmentation of development because they want to exploit the potential and guarantee compatibility at the same time,” says Schade.
In any case, the operating system manufacturers are already courting the favor of the players. In October, Microsoft introduces Windows Phone 7, the successor to Windows Mobile. A new feature will be the integration of Xbox Live, which makes it possible to synchronize the Xbox with the mobile phone. With Game Center on iPhone 4, Apple has also introduced a central game management system for the first time, thus underscoring the importance of mobile games.
Ralf Wirsing, Managing Director of the game publisher Ubisoft Germany, is nevertheless not afraid of the mobile market: “The gaming experience on a PC differs fundamentally from that offered by a mobile game platform like a mobile phone. This provides enough space in the market for both systems”.