The Rise Of Mobile Gaming as the 3rd Gaming Platform
Image Source: Pixabay
With the release of Nintendo’s Fire Emblem Heroes, mobile gaming are now in full view of the Big Three Gaming Companies(Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo). While Sony and Microsoft release devices, Nintendo went to create a game instead. No doubt that these three will try to enter mobile gaming business more from now on. Already it has become such a lucrative business over the years that you have to wonder why are they just starting now when a lot of companies, like Zynga and Cygames have been profiting off mobile gamers for years.
History of Mobile Gaming
Mobile gaming started out humbly, just like console and PC gaming before it. Arguably, mobile games started off with “Snake” on Nokia’s phones in 1997. Since then, a lot of games came out for mobile phones over the years. They’re all started off as 16-bit pixelated games at first. But as the phones’ specs gets better and better the looks of games rapidly changed. The games found in Nokia 6600, released in 2003, are worlds apart from the Snake of 1997. Six years apart and the rapid development in mobile phone technology changed the looks of its games drastically. But it wasn’t until the Android OS came into the scene four years later to challenge Symbian when mobile games starts taking on their modern look.
Image Source: Pixabay
It was in this gold-rush era that companies that develop browser games, like Zynga and King, saw how lucrative the mobile market is and finally made apps of their browser games. Today you can play your saved game on your mobile phone, then switch to your PC’s browser if you have to charge or turn-off your phone.
It’s not only the Android OS platform that helped the rise of mobile gaming: Apple’s iOS competed with Android, which soon got their own huge number of users. Developers saw that developing apps and games for the iOS platform would be profitable and hence they raced to create ports of their games in that platform as well. For Rovio though, Angry Birds started in the iOS then spread out to Android and other platforms, not the other way around.
Why is Mobile Gaming so Profitable?
Nowadays smartphones running Android OS and iOS has replaced the old, dominating Nokia running on Symbian OS. The games on Android devices look drastically different from the ones that were on Symbian OS. But it isn’t just the OS that changed: touchscreen, gyro, better processor, and Wi-Fi capabilities are just a few new additions to this new generation of mobile phones and these capabilities also added more features to the games being played on it. Games can now connect through the internet and employ gyro and touch controls. The possibilities of games that can be played on them are limited only by the technology and your imagination. This made the mobile gaming industry very lucrative. People started liking mobile games for these many reasons. In Japan, mobile gaming is such a huge hit that the industry once made $5.1 Billion USD in 2013.
Another reason why the market for mobile gaming is so lucrative is that it gives the user the ability to make in-game purchases using real world money. These in-game purchases gives its users an edge compared to people who doesn’t make in-game purchases. These purchases usually are power-ups, special weapons and limited-time items. Zynga has done this with their browser games, like Farmville and Cityville, and it was such a success.
So right now-
And this is the scene right now, the one where Nintendo decides to enter. There can be no doubt about it now that Nintendo has finally realized how profitable it is: We can place mobile gaming beside PC and console gaming as a new platform for videogames.