Smaller Screens, Bigger Business
Mobile gaming has become a game-changer in the digital entertainment world. In 2018, games on mobile accounted for practically 50% of gaming’s global revenue worldwide. Until relatively recently, games for smartphones were regarded as separate products to the full-scale console and PC favourites – more a slimmed-down, ‘lite’ version of the real thing. In fact, they often carry the same functionalities and elements as their big-screen counterparts, with them once being seen as less desirable.
One of the first ‘big’ games to really make a splash on mobile was Fortnite, and since then the big gaming providers have been scrambling to get mobile-friendly versions of their games onto the market, as the roll-out of 5G promises a greatly enhanced gaming experience.
Small screens, big action
The most notable new title for mobile gaming was unveiled at E3 2019 – Call of Duty: Mobile. This record-breaking hit franchise was ‘re-dimensioned’ for smartphone-sized screens, creating an experience which replicated the PC/TV version with accuracy and surprisingly tight graphics. The mechanics and controls of the gameplay reside as similar to others on the mobile platform, with thumbs tapping on screens replacing often-complicated console control options.
The only problem with replicating a PC and console-capacity gaming experience on a smartphone screen is the amount of information needed on the interface – any game which relies on onscreen controls and not an external gamepad will need to squeeze all those controls onto a screen less than a tenth of the size. The ingenuity of these new adapted titles comes with their innovative and seamless design, which is why mobile gaming continues to make its name as a platform that is to be taken seriously.
Specialist and flagship gaming handsets
The best-equipped smartphones for gaming remain as those whose high-end specs make them the flagship models suited to speedy, seamless on-the-go gaming. Additionally, there are devices on the market which sell as specialist products for gaming only – these come equipped with specialised features like liquid cooling systems to keep temperatures manageable during marathon sessions. Certain gaming brands like Razer have upped the ante by producing their own specialised gaming phone, while recent launches from Huawei, Samsung and Honor easily boast sufficient power to provide a seamless gaming experience.
Another current direction for development is towards foldable phones, where the screen provides more physical surface area for positioning information, therefore, keeping the display from looking too cluttered and allowing room for more advanced mobile gameplay.
An increasing number of gamers are starting to gravitate towards resized versions of classic big-name games, with the popularity of iGaming having had a major impact on the online gambling sector as well, where classic casino-based activities are readily available with a tap.
The growth of this industry is down to the improvement in the way such platforms can deliver across mobile devices. Casino slot games provide a range of virtual worlds where the potential for more powerful processing makes it possible to add advanced elements like improved graphics and even augmented and virtual reality. iGaming sites are becoming the go-to gambling experience, as the range of interactive virtual environments they offer invites multiple return visits. As a result of the leaps in technological capacity that we are constantly experiencing, technology is converting activities like video poker, scratch cards, games with live dealers and table-top games into a much more immersive, attractive and engaging experience.
Statistics from multiple sources suggest that the mobile gaming industry is predicted to grow by up to 50% in the coming years. This growth is almost entirely due to the widespread adoption of smartphones as the favoured devices for gaming and entertainment in general. Combined with advances in hardware and software technology, the formats and functionalities of gaming are set to improve user experiences radically over the next decade.