Gaming on mobile phones dates back nearly to the dawn of the phones themselves, though it was little more than an afterthought at the time.
Few could have imagined the heights to which mobile gaming would climb, reaching $70 billion in annual revenue by 2018.
In just six short years from 2012 when mobile gaming really started taking off, to 2018, the industry has gone from pulling in less than half the revenue of console gaming, to earning more than twice as much.
In fact, mobile gaming revenue now eclipses both console and PC gaming combined, and that gap is expected to continue widening in the years to come.
GameMine Inc. a US based mobile game publisher provides a brief overview of the rise of mobile gaming.
How mobile gaming became a hit
Given the extremely limited processing power of mobile phones in the 1990’s, games of the era weren’t overly impressive.
Simple puzzles like Tetris and Snake were the standard of that time and they couldn’t hold a candle graphically to what the rest of the industry was doing.
Even the Nintendo Gameboy, which was released in 1989, was far superior to mobile games released a decade later.
Even as mobile phones have become increasingly powerful over the years, that trend hasn’t changed.
The mobile games of 2018 can’t compete graphically with PlayStation Portable or Nintendo DS games from a decade earlier.
It makes sense of course, as mobile phones aren’t dedicated gaming devices like those systems.
What mobile gaming has done, according to GameMine, is to compensate is tailor digital experiences for its on-the-go audience.
Hugely popular games like Clash of Clans and Angry Birds can be played in short bursts whenever the player has a few minutes, whether on the train or while waiting in the doctor’s office.
How mobile developers make money
It’s not just the gameplay that has convinced over 2 billion individuals to engage in mobile activities.
Rather, a huge paradigm shift in how games are put in consumers’ hands and how developers make money took place which spurred the industry to record highs.
Instead of the traditional method of selling games for a fixed price, mobile developers began giving their games away for free.
In place of fixed sales, they instead sold items or services that could improve the experience for the hordes of free gamers downloading their product.
Many developers started making more money in this way than if they had sold their product up front and there was now an incentive for developers to continue working on and expanding their games so they could sell more items.
Whereas games used to have limited lifespans, they’re now expected to last for years, which in turn convinces individuals to invest in them.
In recent years, ads have also become a popular way for mobile developers to make money from free players, with many even providing bonuses for ad-watching.
Subscription services the next frontier for mobile gaming
With a huge library of games available, several services have been launched or are in the planning stages that will bundle mobile games together with added bonuses.
GameMine, which launched in 2017, has a collection of over 1,000 games that are completely ad and in-app purchase free.
The product offers subscribers a vast catalogue of casual, action, and learning games.
GameMine has sprung up which already boasts 3 million active users.
The impressive growth of GameMine’s mobile-game library in 2019 allowed them to secure several new international distribution partnerships as well as significantly expand their existing partnerships with a range of European and African mobile carriers.
The diversity of their game library plus these partnerships’ expansion of territories where GameMine is available effectively skyrocketed their subscriber base.
GameMine operates a multinational mobile-game publishing company that develops, licenses, and acquires mobile games, then provides them to consumers in multiple countries.