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November 23, 2015

What the Future Holds for Mobile Gaming

What the Future Holds for Mobile Gaming

While the chatter about Mobilegeddon may have died down somewhat, the reality hasn’t:

  • 61% of American adults own a smartphone.
  • Over half of all mobile searches lead to a purchase.
  • 50% of Millennials use their smartphones to conduct research prior to making a purchase, and 41% have made purchases via their phones.

According to the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), 35% of gamers play games on their mobile devices. And, with 430 new games added to Apple’s App Store every day, that trend shows no sign of slowing down. While some are waiting for the next console game to be published, let’s take our mobiles and throw some ducks, frogs or even old radios in Ball King meanwhile checking some developments in mobile gaming below.

The merger of gaming and exercising

Making exercise fun is the holy grail of mobile technology. Everybody wants to be the first to banish forever the idea that exercise is something to be dreaded. The answer may lie in incorporating gaming into exercise apps, and vice versa. Imagine a Sims-like game where, instead of directing characters to bake birthday cakes, missions included things like real-life runs where the character has to meet a specified time/distance goal.

Killing aliens with push-ups? With exercise gaming apps you engage in missions and save the planet while doing crunches and squatting. Picture by Superhero Workout

Linking gaming to the real world

Mobile gaming will also be used to augment real-world experiences, such as an app that produces randomly-generated lists for a scavenger hunt and then gives players a chance to check off their own items as well to keep tabs on other players, monitoring where they are and how they’re progressing. There are already many non-gaming apps that do this – like digital coupon trackers – but the potential for gaming is huge.

There are services assisting in building your your own mobile gaming app, inviting players and engaging them into hunt tasks combining real world and mobile experience. Picture by scavify.com

Higher prices

Traditionally, games played on PCs or consoles have come with a much higher price tag than mobile games, which are often free or priced at only a few dollars. Developers of mobile games are gambling on the fact that, as mobile gaming becomes something more than just a way to kill time in the doctor’s waiting room, there will be a sizeable market that’s willing to pay more for premium content.

Fully taking advantage of the platform’s capabilities

A category that has yet to be optimized includes games that can only be played on smartphones or tablets. In Simogo’s Device 6, for example, players navigate not just by swiping, but by tilting the device.

DEVICE 6 is a spin on the text adventure template, with the words becoming the path along which the player travels, rotating their device and scrolling along the text to both advance the story and explore the world it inhabits. Picture by pocketgamer.co.uk

There are things mobile devices can do that desktops and laptops can’t, and we’ll soon be seeing more games that take advantage of those functionalities.

Once the province of casual players looking to kill time, mobile devices are now catching the interest of serious gamers. When you combine that trend with the ease of augmenting real-life gaming through the use of mobile devices, expect to see the mobile gaming market take off, but in terms of quantity and quality.

Gif image is provided by Ball King.

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