When people think of mobile gaming, the normal association made is with reference to some of the biggest names to have hit the gaming headlines, with Pokemon Go, Clash of Clans, and, of course, the never-ending obsession of Candy Crush.
However, while this sort of game certainly has its place, on the whole, they have the tendency to take gamers’ time and money for limited reward. On the flipside, there are other games on the market that can actually pay gamers for the trouble of playing them.
In the world of console gaming, this has happened through the use of Twitch and other streaming platforms, but in mobile gaming, the trend belongs to the likes of poker, slot games, and other casino games like roulette, all of which have the potential to pay back gamers who choose to mix skill with a touch of Lady Luck.
This trend has been growing in recent years, along with the suggestion that mobile gaming is killing off traditional console games, but what is fascinating is to try to understand why mobile gaming rules the roost over PCs when it comes to online casino games, despite gaming on PC being so prevalent for such a long time. The question to be asked is why those who want a quick hand of Texas hold ’em poker or five-card stud poker now choose to hop onto a mobile platform to play with brands like 888poker (who draw consumers in on iOS and Android), rather than choose desktop gaming?
Access to more tournaments and games
Companies like 888poker have made sure that social elements are put at the forefront of their mobile offering, which has helped to make this the primary platform of choice for many gaming fans. You can play in online tournaments, have private games, and easily communicate with others on the same platform, all by using the little screen in the palm of your hand.
By doing this, you could find that you end up playing against seriously top players after your amateur introduction to the game – perhaps even a future Chris Moneymaker of WSOP main event fame, or someone who will follow the trend of breakout stars who make their name in huge events like the WSOP main event after honing their skills in online games. This is now reflected by the fact that many satellite entry tournaments for big poker tournaments are based online, and there is no reason why these can’t be entered on a mobile device.
Caption: A winning blackjack hand
While poker is clearly a good example of this in terms of tournaments and gameplay being both sociable and competitive, the niche of massively multiplayer role-playing games that do so much to encourage co-operative as well as competitive gameplay are also helping to fuel the boom in mobile gaming.
The proliferation of this type of game, including titles like Vikings: War of Clans from companies like Plarium, highlight how vast this market is, with such games and titles helping to bring new audiences into the gaming fold all the time.
Games are available across all devices/platforms
The increase in people enjoying online games, as well as the diverse demographic interested in gaming, helped the mobile gaming market share reach over 108 billion dollars, or more importantly 42% of gaming revenue in 2017.
While, of course, a good range of games is going to help to fuel this boom, it is undeniable that the fact that games work on pretty much any smartphone has helped to fuel the rapid progress of this market. Indeed, in contrast to this, console gaming is still very much stuck in the dark ages when it comes to co-operative online multiplayer gaming. The continued delay to Red Dead Redemption 2 has actually been rumored to be based entirely on the fact that they want to make it cross-compatible for online gameplay but are facing resistance from console makers for trying to do so.
Smartphones are offering a range of different features to stand out in a crowded market, but the truth of the matter is that you can play a game of Omaha poker on an iPhone or Android and you will pretty much get the same experience, and more importantly you can play against people using different devices in a seamless way.
As well as cross-compatibility, the roll-out of 4G as well as the promising future 5G developments, and the ease of getting a good wi-fi signal all mean that regardless of whether you are on a bus, an airplane, or just want to stay at home, you can make sure that you’re able to take part in your favorite game, whether that happens to be a strategy game, casino game, or just a repetitive social game for passing the time!
Payment methods are more secure than ever
Perhaps the biggest barrier to initial gaming popularity on mobile devices came in the form of players not knowing whether to trust the idea of freemium payments through companies they might not have been fully aware of. Despite these initial reservations, the ease of online payments, as well as the continued increase in payment security for those wishing to make in-game payments, has shattered the initial barriers.
Indeed, mobile devices can now be used as a way of paying for everyday items on your credit card at physical checkouts through the likes of Apple Pay, so previous fears over making an in-game payment have been well and truly eased. Of course, this has been helped by the range of ways that people can make online deposits for playing these kinds of games, meaning that payment options as broad as American Express to Bitcoin can be used to pay for the next hand of poker or the next in-app purchase to help your invading army get that extra edge.
Minecraft Bedrock edition hits Nintendo Switch on June 21st! Available both digitally and physically at retail, it includes the Mario mash-up pack AND the Better Together update. Already own Minecraft on Switch? You'll be able to update to the new version for free! pic.twitter.com/HCsfhT2Uhk
— Minecraft (@Minecraft) May 10, 2018
Caption: Marketing from the Nintendo Switch
With all of these factors helping to make mobile gaming easy to enjoy and very accessible, perhaps the most exciting point is that we haven’t seen mobile gaming reach its zenith yet. It is clear through innovations like the Nintendo Switch that big brands are now simply unable to ignore the appeal of mobile gaming, with companies having to try to copy or emulate the factors that make it such a popular way of enjoying playing a huge range of different games.
Indeed, with the future of console and PC gaming starting to look two-tiered between amateur and professional players due to the increasingly professional nature of eSports, mobile gaming may well continue to be the domain of the booming amount of amateur players who like to dip in or out of games while they are on the go or just looking for a few minutes of relaxation.