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Smartphones and mobile games have never been more popular. Developers, from AAA publishers creating games for consoles, computers, and mobile alike, to singular independent developers, have found mobile gaming one of the biggest opportunities to read new audiences. Undoubtedly, new developments have revolutionized mobile gaming. If you’re a business or brand interested in the mobile game industry, read ahead for the newest mobile game industry trends!
The Beginnings of the Mobile Game Industry
In June 2007, the first iPhone was released to the world by Apple. Its touchscreen mobile gaming industry trends interface and near-limitless Internet connectivity put it far above the competitors, and its existence resulted in a wave that spread across the industry—notably, creating a whole new mobile gaming industry.
Portable gaming existed before the modern smartphone’s creation, and even Nokia phones released in 1997 had a version of the game Snake pre-installed. However, Apple’s iPhone’s release was soon followed by a development kit, allowing developers to create apps for their new product. And with that came games.
The original Angry Birds sold over 6.5 million copies in 2010 alone. It was one of the first great mobile gaming hits, which showed the world that mobile gaming was a force to be reckoned with. Given how the simple, addicting app turned into a multimedia franchise, gaming became even more prominent to mobile designers.
As newer smartphones strengthen and companies focus more on their mobile gaming divisions, there are more opportunities for spectacular gaming experiences.
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What Are the Biggest Mobile Games Right Now?
Singular released data on what mobile games are performing the best in 2023. Here’s a brief rundown:
- Royal Match: Royal Match is a match puzzle game that is known for its colorful aesthetic and addicting gameplay. Royal Match sits comfortably at number two for the highest-grossing game in 2023.
- Roblox: While only released to iOS in 2012 and Android in 2014, the multiplatform game Roblox has stayed a hit with audiences of all ages due to its’ variety of user-generated content. Roblox is currently this year’s top-grossing mobile game.
- Candy Crush Saga: While originally a Facebook game, the free-to-play match puzzle game is a mobile hit among older gamers. Despite its age, Candy Crush is number three among the top-grossing games of the year.
- Coin Master: Coin Master is a multiplayer, chance-based game that allows players to steal to build bases. Coin Master is the fourth highest-grossing mobile game this year.
- Township: Township is exemplary in the “city building” genre of mobile games, which allows players to make their towns and personalize them. Though not in the top five for highest-grossing, Township is among the most popular mobile games.
Notably, these successful mobile games are in entirely different genres. Games like Royal Match and Candy Crush are easy-to-learn, hard-to-master puzzle games. In contrast, games like Coin Master and Township are more idle experiences that give the motivation to come back daily.
Likewise, Roblox being massively successful showcases the opportunities for mobile games. While some games may not be portable, Riot Games released mobile and console versions of their PC games, like League of Legends: Wild Rift. This exemplifies some future mobile game industry trends we will see as we get deeper into 2023.
Mobile Game Industry Trends and Predictions
Knowing the past trends and the current successes of the mobile gaming industry helps paint a stronger picture of what will occur soon. With various sources analyzing current trends, here are some of the conclusions drawn:
More Game Variations
Gone are the days were the biggest games were by small developers making snappy experiences. As 2022 showcased more of a focus by gamers on longer, more complicated experiences, many recent mobile games have opted to fit into that niche.
First-person shooters like Fortnite, Call of Duty Online, and PUBG Online have become popular across mobile platforms. While many associate deeper experiences with expensive AAA titles, many mobile versions come much cheaper or even free-to-play- giving interested gamers opportunities to try. In addition to these mobile game industry trends, RPG, strategy, and puzzle games are the most downloaded.
Casual gaming is still a major part of the mobile gaming industry. However, games that mix both have reported a 14% increase in sales. As more people understand how much more opportunities mobile gaming offers, more people are more willing to try out more complex experiences. However, catering to a “hypercasual” and “hybridcasual” audience saw the most success last year.
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Bigger Investors in the Mobile Game Industry
Big IPs and video games have been tied together since the start of the gaming industry. Still, mobile gaming gives IP owners and brands a new opportunity to deliver interesting new experiences to pre-existing fans. With new competitors entering the mix, understanding mobile game industry trends has never been more important!
Huge multimedia franchises such as the book and movie series Harry Potter, and the television series Stranger Things, have made massive entrances into the mobile gaming industry. Alongside giving fans more of the worlds and characters they like, new fans might be intrigued by the rest of the franchise through engaging with their apps.
Similarly, companies far outside the gaming space have found collaborations with the gaming industry, especially the mobile gaming industry, which can be a great way to spread their reach. Notably, high fashion brand Gucci has collaborated with the Sims franchise of household-living simulators to promote their apparel.
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Social Media and Mobile Game Intersections
Alongside mobile gaming, social media has become a massive phenomenon in no small part due to the advent of modern smartphones. Thus, the ideas to connect the two have been from the outset. Some mobile games utilize connectivity, such as Facebook/Meta, to connect with other players and allow co-op play with friends and family.
Similarly, many of gamings’ biggest successes are related to their spreads on social media. Thus, newer mobile games might integrate streaming and recording optimization to allow content creators to showcase their gaming experiences, allowing them to gain a bigger audience.
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Concluding Thoughts on Mobile Game Industry Trends
The mobile gaming industry has always been strong, and many trends in 2023 showcase a growing industry. This is due to stronger technology, bigger players’ interest in the industry, and playing to what fans want.
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