Mobile gaming is the biggest thing to hit the video gaming industry in years. Free mobile games like Fortnite and PUBG are proving to be endlessly popular, and the quality of mobile games is breathtaking.
Although many hardcore gamers continue to rely on PCs and consoles for their entertainment, the rise of casual gamers has meant that mobile gaming is in the ascendancy. As of 2019, mobile games make up 45% of the global gaming market, and there are thought to be over two billion mobile gamers worldwide.
From sports simulators like FIFA to first-person shooters like Call of Duty, there are a growing number of gaming franchises that are making the switch to mobile games. With smartphones now featuring astonishing technological complexity, it seems that there’s no limit to what kinds of games we can enjoy on our mobiles.
It’s something that can even be seen in the world of esports. While esports betting sites commonly focus on PC games like League of Legends and Counter Strike Global Offensive, the fact that 2018 saw the first ever Clash of Clans esports tournament shows that things are definitely changing. So what’s behind the rise of the mobile gaming revolution, and where will it go from here?
The best of mobile games
Above all, it’s the sheer convenience and quality of mobile gaming that’s behind its success. Rather than requiring any specialist gaming software, anybody with a smartphone now has a gaming rig in their pocket. With three billion smartphone users in the world, it’s easy to see why mobile gaming is now the preferred option.
Mobile gaming started off with fairly basic puzzle games like Snake. But now there’s a massive range of mobile titles that feature immersive gameplay and surprisingly detailed graphics. Mobile strategy games like Clash of Clans used to be king, but now there’s a real crossover between the mobile and console gaming world.
Whether it’s playing a breakthrough hit like Fortnite on a tablet, or trying some PUBG mobile gaming on your smartphone, it seems that there’s little stopping the mobile gaming revolution.
Some critics may state that tapping and swiping on a smartphone is never going to beat a console. But with millions of people happily playing anything from Hearthstone to Call of Duty on a mobile, it’s hard to argue with the sheer convenience of gaming on the go.
Why free mobile games are here to stay
Gone are the days of having to actually buy a game, as many of the best of mobile games can now be downloaded for free. It’s a concept that’s powered the success of mobile hits like Fortnite, Pokemon Go and Clash of Clans, and it offers the user a quick and easy way to see whether they like the game or not.
This business model will often use in-game advertising or micro-transactions to generate revenues for the publisher. But free mobile games are proving to be the way forward for the most successful gaming franchises of the modern era.
This is because most mobile gamers have been categorised as ‘time-fillers’. This is the kind of person who isn’t a serious gaming fan, but will enjoy free mobile games as a distraction. Such an individual is behind the growth of mobile puzzle games such as Candy Crush Saga as they are quick and easy to play.
Will mobile gaming kill off PC and console gaming?
The best of mobile games showcase just how far smartphones and tablets have come in a decade. While these might be some way off recreating the graphical prowess or open-world complexity of a next-gen console, they can still provide immersive gaming entertainment.
From massive sensations like Minecraft to recent hits like Fortnite, the best of mobile games are optimised towards use on the smaller screen. So does this mean that we will eventually see the end of people spending large amounts of money on high-powered gaming PCs and consoles?
In the short-term it seems that there will be a hardcore section of gamers who stay with their specialist gaming hardware. With more processing power and tactile controllers, it is unlikely that the serious gamer of today would be willing to sacrifice the complexity of their entertainment for the convenience of mobile gaming.
But as new generations come to enjoy video games, we might gradually see console gaming being unconsciously phased out. With smartphones and tablets getting evermore powerful, the best of mobile games in the future could make the concept of console gaming entirely redundant.
The future of mobile gaming
If you want to see where mobile gaming will head next, then it could be worthwhile checking the schedule of the upcoming Mobile Gaming Asia Summit 2020. This outlines some of the key changes that will be affecting how we enjoy playing games on a smartphone or tablet.
Cloud gaming is set to be one of the biggest changes. This looks to remove the need for buying either gaming software or hardware. Instead the user would simply stream their gaming entertainment and all of the processing would be done remotely.
Such a phenomenon could help to break down divisions between different gaming platforms, and it could encourage more casual gamers to play some of the more data-intensive video games. Subscription based gaming services have already been introduced and they look set to be a big part of our gaming futures.
But in order to implement such changes, it’s clear that connectivity is going to play a massive issue. Mobile gaming has often been stricken with low data speeds that can introduce the much-feared latency to ruin a good gaming session.
However, all of this is set to change once 5G gets rolled out. Although it could be a full decade until 5G is fully implemented, this will supercharge the mobile gaming revolution and help cloud gaming become a reality.
So while mobile gaming is already accelerating at a phenomenal rate, it seems that the mobile gaming revolution is only just getting started.