With everybody holding a smartphone and tablet device in their hands, mobile gaming has become an industry onto itself. Commuters need to pass time, kids need to be entertained, and employees need something to do during boring meetings, and the mobile gaming industry is there to keep fingers moving, brains active and wallets open. The popularity - and more importantly, the money - has brought a lot of attention to the mobile gaming juggernaut, and where it’s going to go in 2013.
The market share of mobile gaming is such that the reach of traditional games - video games and related hardware and software - has been declining. Digital games, those which can be played on social media networks, smartphones and tablets, has gone through the roof, aided in no small part by the sheer proliferation of smartphones themselves. By the year 2015, it is estimated there will be 2 billion smartphone users.
Better Games and Gardens
Now that the novelty of playing games on a phone has worn off, the focus has shifted to the quality of games. Better displays, faster processors and increased demand from customers that have become more discerning with the glut of games already available will lead developers to think beyond simply adding new levels and modes to pre-existing games.
This increased quality will take on the form of more sequels. That may be one lingering effect of traditional gaming, notes Forbes Magazine: citing examples of games like Halo and Call of Duty, both of which have spawned sequels so numerous that the respective series have now become franchises, mobile game developers will also look to expand on established names. Angry Birds is astronomically popular, so why not simply release yet another spin-off? It’s win-win.
The Decline of the Independent Gaming Studio
But with some game developers being in the right place at the right time to cash in on the mobile gaming trend, other developers will be forced out of the race. Independent gaming studios will likely close their doors as the established corporations start bankrolling game development. There will always be a market for indie games, but as the money rolls in, that market will become increasingly marginalized and niche. When mobile gamers of the future look back on 2013, not too many of them will remember the great indie games that came out that year - more likely than not, they will think about all the great games released by big-name (and big budget) studios.