As bandwidth increases and technology evolves, the possibilities of cloud computing are increasing. Users can stream mobile games stored on a cloud instantly rather than downloading them. This offers users with high-speed data plans easier access to games at reduced costs. Services like OnLive and Gaikai are already pioneering this phenomenon for the console and PC market, but the trend truly shines on mobile platforms.
Mobile and web technology blog MoWeble suggests “In 2013, the cloud will become the heart of gamers for exploring new interactive games.” By 2017, experts predict the streaming games market will have grown nine times larger.
While spending money on console and PC games is the norm, it seems we’re reluctant to part with cash to play mobile games. Just 51 percent of us have paid for a mobile game and most purchases come from users upgrading from free trials once they’re hooked. In fact, 90 percent of American mobile spending comes from free-to-play accounts. Freemium is also an ideal model for indie developers as well. Using tools like Seemple to recommend an e-commerce platform for their products, devs can easily penetrate the market no matter what platform they choose for their game.
Modern game developers know giving their products away will increase their audience and revenue. Game upgrades aren’t the only things driving profits in 2013 either. The average user spends $12.92 each month on virtual goods in “freemium” games.
Inspired by the popularity of apps like Draw Something, Words with Friends and SongPop, programmers are creating more multiplayer mobile games. These apps allow users to challenge their friends and connect with fellow gamers all over the world.
In February, the creators of “endless running” game Temple Run launched Temple Run: Oz modeled on the Disney film Oz: The Great and Powerful. In May, a Fast & Furious 6 racing game became the best-selling free app in 45 countries. In June, gaming apps based on action flicks Man of Steel and World War Z hit the mobile marketplace.
Game developers know tying their product to a movie release helps it move units. Whether it’s a rebranded game, such as the Temple Run spin-off, or an entirely new concept, the film tie-in helps the release reach a greater audience.
The average mobile gamer might be 28.2 years old, but developers are increasingly looking to a much younger demographic. Half of all children under eight and 40 percent of kids aged two to four, use smartphones and tablets. Ten percent of these youngsters use the devices every day for around three-quarters of an hour. So it’s unsurprising that modern mobile developers are creating apps designed for these pint-sized players.
Many have a strong educational component, while others simply look to entertain tech-savvy tots. As the next generation becomes more technologically literature, we can expect the number of kid-friendly apps to increase.
These latest innovations should ensure that mobile gaming continues to be a force in the gaming industry.
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