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Cozy Games’ Managing Director and Co-Founder, Sreeram Reddy Vanga, looks at the changes in the mobile gaming sector, and prepares us for the changes yet to come.
Our story begins with the arrival of the iPhone… then the App Store opened and thus, a new era of gaming began. What started slowly has now taken the market by storm. There are over 100,000 games in the App Stores, and Android smartphones, Apple’s iPad, iPad 2, and Android tablets have taken over the gaming arena.
An interesting read on Mashable: “How mobile gaming has leapt from Cult to Cultural phenomenon”, discusses the numerous ways by which mobile gaming has grabbed eyeballs of marketers and gamers alike. The primary reason for this growth would be low-cost engagement and ability to play anywhere thus, maneuvering your way easily, taking on players, scores and new games. Smartphones are being used on a daily basis and people consider smartphones to be a substitute for computers. The prices for smartphones and tablets are also beginning to drop, fuelling purchase and interest in mobile gaming.
The companies that provide games have explored every angle to make it more feasible, assuring that graphics are still top notch and that each player gets a chance to win at their favorite game at any location without compromising the speed of play or the integrity of the software. It’s no passing fantasy with the rise in cell phone and PDA technology; experts opine that the mobile gaming revenue should increase by 900%.
The software market for mobiles is improving in leaps and bounds, with over 25 billion apps having been downloaded for smartphones and tablets. The mobile gaming industry is predicted to reach $54 Billion by 2015. A study conducted by Neilson research shows that every month about 93% of people download apps for their phones and are willing to pay for them. The mobile industry forecast announces big gains in the long run, while it also opines on the diminishing effect of Facebook games and the increasing admiration for mobile gaming.
As games get developed, the quality improves and publishers get familiar with mobile hardware, which isn’t exactly standing still; impressive graphics and quad-core chips, processing with HD output… the games have just gotten better. On the other hand, cross-border compatibility games are edging closer to game-streaming, where the power of hardware for mobile is not crucial. Games are stored and executed on a distant server, where the video is sent down to the user’s machine which displays the video whether it’s running on a PC, tablet or a Smartphone.
The future of mobile gaming certainly looks interesting with elite gaming companies giving out their games as ‘Freemium’ by marketing the app free up to certain levels and then suggesting purchase. This technique is a ground-breaking scheme of business models and social games, offering game developers a test bed to see user reactions.
Meanwhile, many gaming companies are also beginning to adapt online web games which can run on tablets, with routines added to support touch screen or accelerometer controls. The gaming industry is currently undergoing a paradigm shift focusing on factors related to the accessibility of publishing to the App Store, low cost of becoming a developer, growth of Freemium games, and the rise of the female gamers.
The graphics capabilities of mobile handsets, earlier iOS and Android tablets severely restricted gaming but great advancements are expected to be seen in this field with the astounding success of smart phones and the range of Android devices like the HTC Thunderbolt. These high powered computers were just waiting for people to turn them into gaming consoles and thus, would begin the mobile gaming revolution.
Another factor that will majorly affect the future of mobile gaming is HTML5 - the new lingua franca for mobile and web apps that allows a game to be written in a format to run on a variety of platforms and devices. Digital Chocolate’s Hawkins believes that the arrival of HTML5-based mobile browsers will set game companies free from the restrictions of app stores. Mobile payments such as screen-based payments and carrier wallets will be utilized more often. Apps and multi-screen technology will move into our living spaces soon enough thus mobilizing another level of gaming. Compartmentalizing ease, precision and comfort is what we are looking at in mobile gaming.
To conclude, it would be safe to say that mobile carriers would mature and allow customers to be more flexible with their data plans thus, offering customers the convenience to fit their lifestyles which will ultimately lead to player satisfaction and increased revenue. That’s not all, there will also be more consolidation between mobile and social gaming which will result in increase of revenues. As the market grows, the publishers will look for more opportunities for a bigger share of the market and well-known brands will continue to expand. Thus, the gaming scenario would continue…