Throughout the 21st century, mobile gaming has become more popular than ever before. While there are many factors behind this remote emergence, the importance of both hardware and software developments within modern-day smartphones can’t be overlooked. This advanced approach to the phone market has undoubtedly modified the pre-existing gaming habits of mobile players. So, let’s take a look at why technological advancements have altered the outlook of smartphone gaming.
A Future of Console-Like Releases
The 2010s were a breakthrough era for the rise of mobile gaming. Advancements in game development and mobile creation became intertwined to form a console-like experience that had never before been possible on phones. According to a report by Ranker, as of October 13th, PUBG Mobile and Call of Duty: Mobile rank second and third respectively regarding the market’s most popular mobile titles. The two open-world shooters are behind Among Us, which first made a name for itself on PC following its release in June 2018.
In years gone by, effectively optimizing high-spec titles onto the mobile market was a troubling task for developers. While the likes of Call of Duty: World at War: Zombies and Minecraft became available during the late 2000s and early 2010s, neither elevated the phone market to competitive heights. This contrasts the games listed above.
Following the release of the aforementioned battle royale shooters in 2019, the smartphone sector accounted for almost 60 per cent of the global gaming revenue in the same year, as per Mobile Marketer.
Due to smartphones now possessing long-lasting batteries and greater RAM than many laptops, their scope for further console-like releases continues to grow. Valorant, for example, could the latest to hit the mobile market, with the game’s developers previously showing interest in diversifying their content. It’s a testament to the title’s popularity that Valorant eSports has reached new heights following its release, with fans of the Riot development able to get the latest Valorant news at platforms such as Win.gg. This includes competition results, upcoming schedules, and in-game guides for those seeking to better their performances.
Is It a Case of Out with the Old and In with the New?
When mobile gaming first came to the forefront during the mid-2000s, the sector’s appeal revolved around its accessibility. While, of course, that remains an integral part of the market’s attraction, the style of the games that prospective players are now immersing themselves in has changed significantly.
Throughout the last decade, first-person shooters and open-world battle royales weren’t always the go-to genre. As per Business Insider, the most popular mobile titles during the 2010s were typically casual arcade games that required no long-term strategy. Subway Surfers, for example, topped the charts between 2010 and 2019 with around 1.5 billion downloads.
Although there’s nothing to suggest that hyper-casual games are on the way out due to the rise of console-like titles, there’s an undeniable correlation between smartphone advancements and evolving gaming trends. In fact, it appears that both genres can coexist successfully. SLA state that the total number of hyper-casual game downloads in 2019 sat at approximately 630 million. Moreover, it also generated £40.6 million in in-game sales.
A Varied Market Can Only Be a Positive
At the time of writing, the smartphone gaming sector has never been more lucrative. Although modern-day developers have enabled the market to reach new audiences, the sustained popularity of hyper-casual titles has continued on high-spec phones. With both new and old able to work together, the coming years could see the mobile gaming industry reach unprecedented levels of success, especially if hardware and software improvements continue to be made.