Over the last decade, mobile games have become incredibly popular, dominating the video game market. One of the major reasons for their success is their variety, there’s something for everyone, and their simplicity — you don’t need hours of tutorials or walkthroughs to figure out how to play.
While console and PC gaming remain popular, mobile games are one of the fastest growing markets. According to recent reports, mobile gaming is set to remain the dominant sector in the global video game market. This explains why major video game studios that have traditionally focused on console games or PC games, such as Electronic Arts (EA), Activision Blizzard and Ubisoft have either acquired the rights to popular mobile games or have begun to develop their own mobile games based on their existing properties.
One of the main reasons that mobile games have been able to take over such a large percentage of the video game market is that there are no stereotypes surrounding mobile gaming. Console and PC video games are often seen as the world of teenage boys and young men. Even if this isn’t entirely true, some video game communities are marked by misogyny and racism, as seen in events like Gamergate. As mobile games become free from these associations, people from across all demographics feel like they are welcome to play.
This lack of an expected player means that mobile game developers are more open to creating a wide variety of games. This leads to there being something for everyone. Of course, there are mobile games that resemble more traditional first person shooter games but there is also a wide variety of puzzle games and role-play games. Some of these are social games that allow you to play with or against friends or people nearby, while others are single player games where you are racing against the clock or playing against the AI. There are even colouring games and garden simulators for people who just want to relax.
Another one of the reasons for the rise in popularity of mobile games is the presence of online casinos. Online casinos offer a range of mobile games, with the most popular among these being slot games. These slot games have all variety of other mobile puzzle games with the added excitement of the potential to win real money. As gambling is a massive industry in the United Kingdom, reaching revenues of £14.4bn in 2018, it’s no surprise that mobile slot games have found a wide audience.
Types of Gameplay
Many popular mobile games are puzzle games. These appeal to a wide range of audiences. Among the most popular style of puzzle game is the match-three game. In match three puzzles, the player must link as many objects of the same shape/colour as they can, receiving more points or greater benefits the more objects are matched at once. Besides being a very enjoyable type of puzzle, one of the reasons that match-three games are so popular is because they can be made to appeal to any audience. Some match-three games involve RPG elements while others feature cute characters or relaxing music.
Other popular puzzle games are word puzzles. Some of these are collaborative while others are for solo players. These games are partly popular because they have the added benefit of improving spelling and vocabulary while still being an enjoyable game. Puzzles that test your spatial awareness are becoming increasingly popular. These feature either two- or three-dimensional shapes that need to be fit together to create a single shape or fit within a designated area.
Many mobile games operate on the freemium model. The freemium model – where games are free to play but users can either watch ads or spend money to access content or get upgrades – is a relatively new model that has turned out to be incredibly lucrative. One of the reasons that it works so well is that a free game attracts a wider audience and then once people know that they enjoy playing a game they are more willing to spend money on it.
Mobile games continue to grow in popularity and drive gaming innovation. With the success of augmented reality games, virtual reality games and the constant technological developments being made, it will be exciting to see what the next big thing in mobile gaming will be.