The world of gaming has certainly come a long way over the years. Back in the early days, we would visit arcades to get our gaming fix, then came the joy of bringing games into our homes with early consoles, such as the classic Atari 2600 with its wood veneer. Pong, Space Invaders, and Missile Command were suddenly the centre of our lounges as we battled away with our wired controllers. Or perhaps you gamed on a computer? Were you in camp Commodore 64 or ZX Spectrum? Suddenly, a wealth of gaming genres opened up, in all their 8-bit glory. From text adventures and RPGs to racing games and isometric dungeon crawlers, there was certainly a lot of innovation back in those days. It was the era that created a generation of programmers. Those kids who played about with BASIC back in the 80s, are now the game developers of today.
But, enough reminiscing. Let’s fast-forward to today, where we have PCs and games consoles with incredible capabilities, but we also have something else, our cell phones. While once a simple tool of communication, our phones have now advanced far beyond that, used as on-the-go alternatives for our calendar, music players, web browsers, cameras, and games consoles.
Gaming on the go
Mobile gaming brings a casual element, which is missing from PC and console gaming. You can play anywhere, at any time. Plus, everyone already has a cell phone, so there’s no need to splash out on extra tech. It’s no wonder mobile gaming continues to grow in popularity. This has brought gaming to a wider audience, to those who wouldn’t have bought an Xbox but have found they enjoy a quick puzzle game on their commute to work, or the thrill of gaming at an instant withdrawal online casino in the USA on their lunch break.
As we’ve already seen, year on year, mobile technology gets better. Phones get faster, graphics and sound improve, and screens become clearer and larger for a lower price. We’ve come a long way from the days of playing Snake and Minesweeper on our old monochrome Nokia phones, and that’s only going to keep going. It’s hard to imagine what mobile gaming will look like in another decade, but it’s going to be very exciting to find out!
Broadband and mobile networks get faster
Of course, there’s also the increase in internet speed that has opened many doors when it comes to mobile gaming. Faster internet speeds bring about better online, multiplayer gaming opportunities. With faster broadband and superfast 5G in the pipeline, annoying lag and slow download times will be a thing of the past.
Indie developers can get in on the action
Mobile game development is also very accessible, bringing opportunities for indie game developers to easily create and launch their own games. The large games companies have huge teams and massive budgets, but they’ll play it safe. They have big overheads and so, they’ll release games that they know will sell. But ‘back-bedroom’ programmers, perhaps creating games as a hobby in their spare time, can go off-piste, they can take a risk, they’re not necessarily trying to appeal to the masses and so we can find a world of quirky releases that you just wouldn’t find in mainstream gaming.
The big players are bringing their games to mobile platforms
Of course, the big boys have tuned into the fact that mobile gaming is very lucrative. There are plenty of ways to monetise games, some of which just don’t translate so well to console and PC gaming. Larger games companies are keen to cash in on this revenue stream, and so we’re seeing those games creeping over to mobile format in one form or another. In some cases it’s a complementary title, such as Animal Crossing Pocket Camp, with options to make in-game purchases. However, older titles, such as Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, are being ported over to mobile too, in essence, selling you the same game twice if you also played it back in the day.
There’s so much more to come
There’s so much investment in mobile technology. The cell phone companies are in constant competition to have the fastest phone with the longest lasting battery, the best graphics, and the clearest screens. Mobile phone tech increases so quickly, faster than home video games consoles’ tech. There’s no doubt that mobile gaming will continue to be a fast moving and highly profitable business.