By far the most significant development in the gaming industry in recent years involves the advances in mobile play. In the present day, the vast majority of games can be played on a smartphone or other mobile device without any loss of enjoyment or functionality.
The advances have been so great that predictions for 2020 claim that mobile play will account for around half of the industry’s revenue across the year. Coming into the new year, the mobile sector is said to have accounted for 40% of the overall £800 million video game market and, with improvements coming on a regular basis, those figures are set to increase.
Why the increase?
There are some clear benefits as to why mobile gaming has risen so much to the point where it looks set to exceed traditional forms of play. Firstly, there is the element of flexibility that allows players to get involved wherever they happen to be. With the appropriate use of headphones to not inconvenience those around them, it’s never been easier to play a game on the train, while waiting in a queue or in the local bar while passing a few hours.
Mobile play incorporates a social element too and that’s why we often see a group of people playing together in a park. The competitive nature of video gaming can still be maintained – just on a slightly smaller scale.
The rise of mobile is seen inside the home too. In some families, the desktop is now associated with work and nobody wants to fire up the PC at the end of a long day in the office. Instead, it’s far more convenient and relaxing to sit in the armchair, switch on the mobile phone and access some favourite gaming apps.
Tricky to transfer
It could be argued that some areas of video gaming won’t always transfer easily to a mobile device. Opinion may be split on the subject but classic adventure games including Counter Strike: Global Offensive and the big sporting titles such as FIFA may be better on a bigger screen.
It’s certainly true that the professional world of eSports has yet to embrace mobile gaming and the large console will always have a loyal following. Elsewhere, however, there are sectors where mobile play will have some definite advantages.
Traditional video games such as Fifa are more likely to stay as a console game rather than a mobile device game.
Sectors to benefit
The online gambling industry is one sector that has enjoyed sustained growth since mobile play came onto the scene. That element of flexibility has been an important factor in the continued development of sports betting, online casino and also mobile bingo play.
Bingo is a prime example of the way in which mobile gaming can have a clear advantage over playing via a laptop or PC and also in the physical world. Prior to the rise of the internet, a trip to the bingo halls may have been something of a social occasion, but it wasn’t always a convenience.
The question of flexibility was initially addressed when the first crop of online bingo operators began to emerge in the late 1990s. The introduction of mobile gaming later came along and has simply added to the benefits.
With mobile bingo, players can now access their favorite games from anywhere in the world. A static PC and even a laptop can dictate that the bingo enthusiast has to stay at home, and they may even be rooted into one specific room of the house.
Playing via a smartphone or other mobile device has changed all of that but there is more to it than this obvious element of flexibility. Developments have meant that online bingo play is safe and all personal information, including financial details, is kept secure by effective technology.
Playing bingo and casino games on a mobile device has another benefit by which players can be kept ‘in the loop’. Signing up for push notifications means that account holders can be kept informed of all the latest bonuses and promotions that are available and that’s a factor that isn’t easy to emulate on a desktop. Those benefits apply to the bingo sector, but they can also appear in other types of video games. Sign up for push notifications and players can keep informed of all the latest developments.
The mobile gaming industry has continued to develop at a rapid pace and the introduction of gaming apps is the latest innovation to have come along and boosted that revenue share. Games from respective providers can now be accessed with just one tap and it’s easier than ever before to get involved.
One challenge for the sector has involved adding a touch of realism. This has been addressed to an extent by the casino industry where live tables, featuring real-life dealers, have conveyed the feeling of actually ‘being there.’
The logical next step would, therefore, seem to involve the march of virtual reality. VR headsets are available, and they continue to be developed but they haven’t quite stormed the market yet. It’s an interesting point because this technology is available and while some gamers are turning on to it, it hasn’t been fully embraced by the gaming community.
Could VR be the future for mobile gaming?
If we compare VR to another factor such as mobile gaming which is set to capture around 50% of the overall video gaming market, virtual reality is falling some way short. Perhaps improvements in tech, cheaper pricing and some exclusive games could be the key to more success in this sector.
In the meantime, we should certainly see more titles come onto what is already a crowded market and we expect that the projections in terms of revenue are likely to be met. There are so many advantages in playing video games on the go that this sector will increase its market share for now. The console will always have a loyal following but for flexibility, along with a host of other benefits, mobile is the only way to go.