Rise of the Pocket Gamer, Or How Smartphones Transformed The Way We Play

Rise of the Pocket Gamer, Or How Smartphones Transformed The Way We Play

Almost a decade after computers were transformed to pocket-sized gadgets we can make phone calls with (yes, smartphones), games are apparently catching up. Phones have changed not just how we interact with each other, but also how (and what) we play. We now use phones to access the internet 51% of the time, and they are the go-to device if our goal is to play a quick game.



Mobile games were far from being “mainstream” a decade ago. Of all the game developers, only a handful had dedicated mobile game departments, and the number of “mobile-first” developers was even lower.

But in ten short years, this has changed. Now,a few games are even released on smartphones before hitting traditional (console and PC) gaming devices. While this is not applicable for all games (titles like Call of Duty and Tom Clancy’s The Division are still “confined” to the desktop), players are more likely to download an app than buy a Blu-ray (or even a digital edition) today.

Casual (r)evolution

When it comes to casual games, mobile devices are the undisputed winners of the platform clash. And the change is the most apparent when it comes to real money gaming.

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The Royal Vegas online casino was the first of its kind to launch a mobile slot machine back in 2004. The game had visuals and connectivity limited by under-developed (in today’s standards, of course) hardware the phones had.

But it managed to survive and thrive. In time, with the emergence of “smarter” phones, mobile gaming at Royal Vegas has also expanded.

Today, the Royal Vegas Casino has a collection of over 100 mobile games. And they are popular, too.The Royal Vegas has only dropped support for “old school” Java-based games a couple of years ago. Today, it offers players a cross-platform, accessible web app with an ever-increasing library of games. And other similar gaming destinations are working to catch up.

When it comes to revenues, mobile games are top of the line. According to Statista.com, Game of War: Fire Age had average daily revenues of over $1.5 million this March. On the iPhone only. In the United States only. Wow.

Mobile gaming will continue to grow

Although smartphones are slowly reaching their peak position in developed countries like the U.S., there are still plenty of territories where they can expand. For 2016, analysts expect to see them overtake densely populated markets like China, India, and Brazil. And where there is a smartphone, games are sure to follow. Newzoo expects the mobile gaming market to be worth over $99 billion this year, with 37% of this amount generated by mobile games.

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