Our Thoughts on Mobile Gaming

5 Brief Thoughts on the Mobile Gaming Landscape

Newzoo’s oft-cited 2017 Global Games Report served as confirmation that mobile gaming will play an increasingly large role in the rise of competitive eSports and gaming related revenues. For us at Gizer, the report served to validate our beliefs, and got us thinking about what the future may have in store for mobile gamers. Read on to learn more about our mobile gaming outlook…

  • Augmented Reality

With the relative failures of Google Glass and various AR prototypes early in the AR boon, widespread adoption of the technology was expected to be an uphill battle. However, successes like Pokemon Go have revamped a lost excitement for the potential of AR in mobile games, from both game developers and gamers. Looking forward, expect to see AR functionality baked more organically into gameplay, as developers experiment with the most seamless ways to integrate AR functionality into their titles. We at Gizer are particularly excited for the rise of more AR-centric titles, much like Pokemon GO, to enter the market, offering gamers a new way to compete and simultaneously engage in their surrounding environment.

  • Continued Freemium Rollouts

Game developers and publishers have certainly taken note of the tremendous success enjoyed by Supercell’s two premier titles, Clash of Clans and Clash Royale. While there are a number of reasons both of those titles have sustained such a notable level of engagement from their communities, chief among them is the freemium, or F2P model. The Free-to-play model, which only forces users to pay for certain in-game content, was rolled out to significant backlash. Much of that backlash has since disappeared, with a number of F2P titles showcasing an ability to engage users with valuable in-game content for purchase and a compelling rewards system. Look for game makers who initially shunned F2P to more willingly embrace the freemium model, while those have already embraced it optimize the rollout of content and rewards.

The bracket from Clash Royale’s Youtuber Tournament, which pitted the game’s largest personalities against each other in PvP competition.
  • Growth of Mobile eSports

The rise of eSports until now has been hailed as merely the early stages of development in a multi-billion dollar industry. Well-known media and sports personalities have already shelled out millions in investment dollars to help scale the growth of eSports, in fact, just last week Dot eSports reported that Kenneth Hersh had invested $35 million in Team EnVyUs. The past few years have given rise to high level leagues for many of the world’s most ubiquitous gaming titles, like LoL and Halo. Our (hopeful) outlook is as follows: mobile gamers are ready for the opportunities provided to their PC and Console counterparts, but have yet to be recognized to the same extent. As mobile games grow in popularity, the community will simply grow too large to continue overlooking the need for more competitive mobile gaming leagues.

  • Improved Graphics

With the increased attention being paid to mobile games, expect high fidelity mobile games, those that take full advantage of a phone’s GPU, to skyrocket in ubiquity. ‘High fidelity’ titles currently account for just 5–10% of the top-grossing games in Western markets, while the Chinese top-grossing chart is made up of roughly 40% high-fidelity games. Furthering our belief in a push towards graphical improvements is the recent increase in high-fidelity focus within European markets, where high fidelity titles account for approximately 60 of the 200 top-grossing mobile games as per AndroidAuthority. Competition between developers to optimize the use of GPU’s across all mobile devices will serve to enhance the graphical display of mobile releases to an even greater extent, pushing the standard of mobile gaming graphics to new heights.

A screenshot from NaturalMotion’s CSR Racing 2, highlighting the power of high-fidelity graphics.
  • In-Game Competitive Improvements

Whether economic or competitive in nature, much of the coverage surrounding the rise of competitive eSports has emphasized the new opportunities available to professional gamers. As mobile eSports begin to ascend in prominence, the surrounding leagues and competitive communities will follow suit. PvP games like Clash Royale take advantage of a meta that is constantly shifting, never allowing gamers to definitively form ideal decks or stratagies. As gamers and developers alike continue to emphasize in-game PvP competition, expect more developers to provide content rollouts that shift the competitive gameplay of their titles. For an example of that continued PvP emphasis, look no further than Miniclip’s hugely popular War Wings, which allows gamers to climb global leaderboards and highlights short bursts of engagement, yet has no offline or singleplayer content. At Gizer, we’re excited for this trend to result in a more competitive mobile gaming landscape — one with more leagues, tournaments, LAN’s, and PvP interactions across the board.

But, enough about what we think. To let us know your thoughts, visit our subreddit!