A recent report revealed some startling facts about mobile gaming and the rise of smart phone gamers. According to this study by Nielsen, a game quality assurance and analytic group, an iPhone user spends around 15 hours on average every month playing games. Android users weren’t far behind by cloaking 9.3 hours monthly average while other smart phone users were at 7.8 hours. Overall around 64% of people who download applications have installed a game in the past 30 day period making gaming apps the most popular genre of apps.
The success of games like Angry Birds confirm the rise of mobile gaming and other popular apps are complimenting these findings quite nicely. In fact Zynga recently filed a 1 billion Initial Public Offering (IPO) giving a clear warning to the gaming industry, especially the console based publishers and gamers that ‘mobile gaming is the next big thing’. However the question that many gaming developers are asking themselves is: is this really true?
Although the message is clear many publishers are not very worried considering that the market is still dominated by console games. According to Nintendo the cost of production for many mobile and social games is extremely low in comparison with console games, this is due to low expenditure on Game Programming, development, production and programming costs. This means that when the time comes for jumping ships or expanding over to mobile and social platforms it will not be difficult, especially for a video game development company that already has the assets, technology and manpower necessary to develop games for consoles and the PC market.
The rise of cheap mobile games, even as low as 99 cent apps are compared to that of the iTunes music revolution and that of the takeover of the traditional books market by indie self–publishers via eBooks. Does this mean that internet is about to change the gaming industry once again? Lots of Game Testersreported that companies and developers have already started integrating their games into social and mobile platforms. Some publishers, like Blizzards, already have a huge social following and are quite dominant online due to success of their popular MMORPG’s. EA and other major studios and platforms such as Sony, Microsoft, etc., have also started experimenting with social media platforms, as well as the development of games for mobile devices. For the near future, gaming companies are quite unlikely to have any serious issues due to the rising popularity of mobile games. There will always be a demand for console and PC games, in addition to mobile games. To give another example, even though many people watch videos online on websites such as YouTube, it doesn’t mean that they no longer go to the movies or watch television. Mobile gaming is simply another platform and is meant to compliment not replace traditional PC and console games.
Gina Kraft is a video and mobile game enthusiast. Gina is very interested in the process of Game Programming. She thinks that game quality assurance are very important in the mobile industry and that all video game publishers should invest in Game Testers.
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