It’s hard to ignore the impact of mobile gaming on modern platforms, it has been reported that over 50% of all gamers do so exclusively on their mobile devices and it’s not difficult to see why – the accessibility and ease of use are some of the more defining features but mobile gaming hasn’t always been this way and the early days and many largely attribute Apple to the growth in the market.
July 10th 2008 will be a date stuck in the memories for many – the date marked the launch of Apple’s App Store and what really kick started the movement for mobile gaming, and it has come a long way from the initial launch with roughly 500 apps to the now estimated 2.5 million apps in the library that account for over 130 billion downloads – the first half of 202 saw the app store revenue top $32.8 billion showing just how far the market has come, but how has this had an impact on mobile gaming and even moved to different trading platforms?
The first big change has also been what changed mobile gaming as a whole for the more casual audience – accessibility. A centralized platform, easily accessible with a growing library of titles meant that everyday users could easily download and try these games without the need to register or sign up for a different service, user ratings and reviews gave newer users a quick look at what to expect. Nathan Vella, co-founder and president of Capybara Games stated in 2018 “For us, it provided a platform to create a game we never would have made elsewhere. ‘Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP’ was a game conceived and created because of the App Store” when commenting that prior to the iPhone and app store, games were primarily developed for consoles, handhelds and PC.
Although not something present on many app stores this has also led the huge surge in online gambling for many of the same reasons – faster internet speeds have led to much greater ease of use and accessibility in different online platforms providing users with a very simple way to access what had previously not been easily available on smartphones. It has also been a similar approach to online trading such as forex. These have seen continued growth, with easy access due to mobile devices. Popularity has been further added since the emergence of robots helping with auto trading. These continue to prove hugely popular, due to the fact they enable people within limited knowledge to start trading. That is trend set to continue and alongside gaming, will continue to see an upward curve for years to come.
The hardware in devices themselves is also an important consideration here for the growth of mobile gaming and something Apple had certainly paved the way for – the competition between Apple and Samsung had fuelled the hardware race in smartphones for the decade with bigger screens and better fidelity. Apple had led the way in a clean, unibody design which allowed them to push the limits of the hardware by striving for a more compact and sleek design with a bigger display being a huge part of that movement.
Then of course there is the factor of modern gaming that can be attributed to the app store, but more to the games themselves – microtransactions. Apple as the more premium platform already had a user base that had been more willing to spend a little extra and that was certainly true for gaming too, paying for premium features or spending a little extra to unlock additional levels has become an extremely common occurrence and extremely profitable too and is what has allowed mobile gaming to move from the early free offerings into the huge powerhouse they are today – mobile gaming certainly shows no signs of slowing down, and it’ll be very interesting to see what happens in the coming years as gaming tech improves.