Will Mobile App Gaming Take Over Online Gaming In The Future?

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Gamer – it’s a word associated with spotty, aggravated teenagers who waste away their lives in a dark room playing games 24/7, but ‘gamer’ is a much broader term than that. In fact, technically, you yourself might be a gamer!

Mobile gaming

Mobile gaming has become a booming industry in recent years, and it’s only expected to rise in the future! In fact, by 2019, mobile gaming is expected to rise above all other gaming sectors, including the PC MMO and console gaming, generating an overall estimated revenue of $31 billion.

Whilst these estimated statistics show that mobile gaming will take over the likes of online gaming, is this likely to be true? Let’s explore the factors and whether or not mobile gaming will transform the entire industry for good.

Convenience – The Casual Gamers

You might be scowling at the fact that I’ve called you a gamer, but there’s nothing to be ashamed of – it’s likely that you’ll fit into the ‘casual gamer’ demographic – someone who dibs and dabs in games depending on their mood and schedule.

For example, it’s likely that you’ve decided to catch some Pokémon on Pokémon Go on your dog walk every once in a while, or tried your luck on the best mobile slots whilst waiting for your bus in the morning. Either way, if you’ve ever quickly opened up a gaming app on your phone just to pass the time a little, you’re still classed as a gamer.

For some people, mobile gaming is their only form of escapism – not everyone can afford a giant PS4 console and the games that come with it – did you know that the pro edition of Call of Duty: WWII cost a mammoth £89?

Compared to the price of console games decades ago, they’ve really risen in value, so this isn’t always feasible for casual gamers. Therefore, freemium games provide these people with the gaming escape that they need, without having to put dedication and money (unless they’d like to) into the equation. Besides, almost everyone owns a smartphone these days – 2.1 billion people in 2016 to be exact!

So, with gaming apps literally at the tips of our fingers, it’s hardly surprising that they have the potential to exceed online games in the near future.

More Accessible VR and AR

Sure, Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) is available on our favorite consoles, however, the price of these devices is extortionate compared to those compatible with smartphones. VR gaming is a relatively new concept, as well as a highly praised one as it’s completely revolutionized the way that we can enjoy our gaming experience.

One of the main purposes behind gaming is due to the ability to control an ‘alternative you’, and VR gaming offers just that. Never before have you been able to physically control the protagonist in your game, as well as actually see with your own eyes what they would see.

VR gaming properly kicked off once the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR were officially on supermarket shelves, and they soon weaved their way into the dreams of gamers, old and young alike. However, with the gigantic price tag attached, VR and AR systems seemed less accessible by the second for many gamers, casual or hard core.

However, the mobile gaming industry soon snatched up the trend, and alas VR gaming for mobile was born, at a fraction of the price! A credible example is the Samsung Gear VR, offering gamers a very reasonable VR experience.

Of course, with a smaller budget, the VR experience on mobile isn’t quite at the same high quality of the well-known consoles, however it is still able to provide the all-round VR experience, demonstrating how mobile is still able to provide very similar services to our favourite online and console versions, giving mobile gaming the upper hand.

Online Platforms Are Already Struggling

These statistics are easy to predict simply because, well, it’s true! Sales for our favourite online brands are already declining, with the likes of Blizzard and Nintendo seriously struggling! In fact, Sony and Nintendo themselves have put their lack of sales down to the fact that mobile gaming is beginning to dominate the industry.

Despite this, they have tried to compete with the thriving mobile market, releasing the likes of the Vita Slim and 3DS XL. However, whilst such game publishers are cracking under the huge mobile pressure, mobile game publishers such as Supercell are coming out stronger than ever, growing by the month.

Every day, there are over 430 new games added to the app store, all of which are usually of high quality and well-loved by the gamer. With so much material becoming accessible to mobile gamers on a daily basis, it’s no surprise that the online gaming publishers aren’t able to compete.

Plus, with tablets being released specifically with a gaming purpose, audiences are able to have a higher-quality gaming experience without the need for a gaming console. It takes Activision over a year to compile a new Call of Duty game together, so their players aren’t able to consume their products nowhere near as much as mobile audiences can with gaming apps.

Companion Apps

Whilst the dominance of mobile gaming seems highly likely in the future, the online game publishers are continuing to make a conscious effort to overtake the mobile craze.

Under the impression that mobile gaming apps are soon to overthrow the likes of online games, some well-known game publishers have took it upon themselves to introduce companion apps, all aiming to enhance the gaming experience on the primary platform, whether that be via console or PC. For example, the FIFA 15 app allows FIFA players to modify and build their teams via their mobile phone, allowing them to interact with the game even when they don’t have access to the proper gaming platform.

Or, some game publishers have even gone that extra mile. Card strategy game Hearthstone is available on PC and mobile, so gamers are able to play the game anywhere at any time, which is a great way to stay on top of the gaming industry.

Having said that however, not all console and online games will be able to be modified into a mobile version as well. Imagine trying to play Bloodborne on your mobile phone – it would be complete chaos, and not worth the hours upon hours literally screaming at your mobile phone screen.

Clearly, the mobile gaming industry poses a huge threat to the likes of consoles, and they’re already feeling the wrath of how popular this method of gaming has become with many top Samsung mobile games taking the world by storm.

But, where there’s a group of gamers, there’s a console to facilitate their needs. Sure, casual gamers do create the largest portion of the gamer demographic, however console and PC gamers are still holding up a significant portion of this as well.

Plus, with so many mobile apps being based off of our favourite online games (Hay Day seems a lot like FarmVille, don’t you think?), many of our favourite mobile apps wouldn’t even exist! So, it might be a little too hasty to wave goodbye to online gaming methods just yet.


Vishal Gaikar

Article by Vishal

Meet Vishal Gaikar, the tech wizard hailing from Pune, India, who's on a mission to decode the digital universe one blog post at a time. When he's not tinkering with gadgets or diving deep into the digital realm, you can find him concocting the perfect cup of chai or plotting his next adventure. Follow his tech escapades on Twitter and buckle up for a wild ride through the world of innovation and geekery!

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