The mobile gaming sector is one of the most important markets in the world, and is evolving with incredible speed. As the very definition of what it means to be a gamer changes, so the technology that underpins the gaming experience and the types of games on offer are also altering.
The fact that smartphones are so ubiquitous makes this an enormously dynamic market, and one in which the potential is only starting to be explored. Here, we take a look at some of the hottest mobile gaming trends that have started to take hold in 2018.
Virtual casino gaming
It’s well-known that the online casino market is a constantly growing one, with new entrants trying to outdo one another in their bonus offers every step of the way. But while providing a hatful of free spins or a no deposit bonus will get new punters in through the door, it takes a unique gaming experience to keep them there in the long term. Virtual Reality might still be at a developmental stage, but a roulette wheel or card game is the perfect format to take full advantage of VR technology.
If there is one downside to playing a casino game online, it is that you do not get the same atmosphere as when you play in a real world casino. Anything the game developers can do to make the games more realistic and engaging is guaranteed to bring them more traffic and greater success. It is little surprise, then, that casino games are seen as something of a proving ground for VR and AR gaming. Get your goggles at the ready and expect plenty more to come over the rest of 2018.
Mobile eSport gaining momentum
eSport has been one of the surprise packages over the past few years. When people first started streaming games on Twitch and YouTube, it was seen as something that would only have very limited appeal. How wrong we were. A global network has grown up around eSports, both in the traditional games like League of Legends or Counter Strike: Global Offensive and in whole new directions including FIFA and the latest NBA 2K eSports basketball league.
But it is the rise of mobile eSports that has really taken hold this year. Vainglory is to mobile eSports what League of Legends is to the desktop variety. The most recent Vainglory World Championship was played out in front of an audience of more than 55,000. That represents an increase of 150 percent on the previous year.
Vainglory is just one example, and other mobile eSports games such as Clash Royale and Arena of Valor are seeing similar levels of uptake. As a result, mobile developers are placing accessibility via Twitch at the forefront of their minds as they construct new games for this new mobile gaming environment. Suddenly, it’s not just about the gameplay, but about creating an entertainment experience that people will want to watch.
The growth of tokenization
Whatever you think about its long term viability, cryptocurrency is big business. Tokenization is about both creating virtual coins and giving them value that draws people to the games. This is a concept that is only beginning to be explored in mobile gaming, but the potential it holds is immense.
The idea of a player being able to purchase resources in one game and transfer them to another from the same development house is an attractive one, but tokenization could go much further, perhaps allowing for cross-transfer across multiple games from any developer, and even providing an elegant way to raise finance for new games.