Mobile Gaming Trends

Mobile gaming has exploded. Although the gaming landscape is changing, it’s certain that mobile will continue to dominate in 2015. At the end of last year, mobile games comprised 84.9% of the top 700 grossing apps on the App Store and Google Play. And by 2017, the mobile gaming industry is projected to top $40 billion.

With so much growth expected between now and then, here are some predictions for what to expect:
  1. Social platforms will become increasingly important. We’re already seeing most of the top grossing games tying social media integration to the gaming experience, whether for signups or unlocks. What’s coming is much deeper social platform partnership. Developers still find huge success advertising their products on Facebook, games like Best Fiends  are trading Twitter follows for unlocks, Pinterest is partnering with the App Store (a first for Apple) to allow gamers to pin their favorite games, and more and more users are tuning in on Twitch to watch videos about gaming. Undoubtedly, Snapchat Discover will soon feature mobile gaming content as well.
  2. The Apple Watch will prove to be a game changer. While it’s still early, more than a few mobile developers have shipped products designed for Apple’s new wearable. Letterhead and Hatchi both show how flexible and powerful the Apple Watch will be for mobile developers. The platform is ripe for innovation, though, as both the new screen size and the Watch’s “wearable” nature continue to restrict the imaginations of developers and users alike. The jury won’t remain out for long.
  3. Video Advertising will dominate. In 2014, 34% of advertisers indicated they planned to move money from TV ads to mobile. Despite the debate over freemium in mobile gaming still raging, advertisers will continue to use video ads as a gateway to in-app purchases, no matter how many complaints emanate from kids in South Park. Just look at the outcomes one Hong Kong company has experienced.
  4. Speaking of South Park, games will be bigger, longer and uncut. Apple just quietly announced a change in its terms, allowing app packages to max out at 4GB (as opposed to the earlier max, 2GB).
Forget about mobile gaming’s momentum. Take into account its potential, and mobile gaming remains a nascent industry.
Looking back on 2017 ten years from now, $40 billion might seem like small potatoes. Our money’s on the developers. Trust us: mobile gaming has only scratched the surface.
- Ben Jones