If you’re passionate about mobile games and looking to develop your own, then this article is for you!
As of 2020, mobile games have evolved and transformed from simple, pixelated images to high-performance, powerful, premium-quality sights to behold. Some of the more popular ones have even gone on to integrate enticing storylines, user communications, along with intricate level design and robust AI.
Presently, millions of games are available on various app stores. In 2019, the mobile gaming industry was worth $151.9 billion and surpassed $165.9 billion in 2020. Mobile games like Among Us, Fortnite, Call of Duty, and many others have successfully bagged tons of revenue.
According to Newzoo, the revenue generated by mobile games will rise at a rate of 26.8% in the coming years, easily outpacing the growth of their PC and console counterparts by a significant margin (see the graph below). Clearly, this rising trend of mobile gaming popularity is here to stay.
Speaking of trends, here are 9 mobile gaming trends you need to be mindful of in 2020.
Top 9 Mobile Gaming Trends in 2020
1. Augmented Reality:
Augmented Reality or AR is the incorporation of audio content with visuals of gaming in real-time. Remember people chasing Pokémon all around town in 2016? Well, that’s just one example of AR.
Over the years, tech giants like Apple and Google have been investing in AR technologies, attracting many developers and giving way to new applications in the process.
Despite being surrounded by all this buzz and hype and for the past few years, AR was able to reach new levels of popularity in 2020 as everyone was stuck at home.
The AR game category is the most popular in app stores. Some of the famous AR titles you can catch are Jurrasic World Live, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, Pokémon GO, and Ingress.
2. Virtual Reality:
VR or Virtual reality is a simulated experience that can be different or similar to the real world. According to Statista, VR gaming worldwide revenue is expected to peak at 22.9 billion US dollars in 2020. The bar chart below compares the VR revenue from 2015 till 2020.
Just like AR, VR is quickly taking over the mobile gaming scene. This is in large part due to the rapid strides VR tech and gear have made with regards to their capabilities, availability, and price.
Gear VR and Google Cardboard are inexpensive mobile VR headsets. Oculus Quest 2, Sony PlayStation VR, Valve Index are some of the more popular options available today.
Incorporating VR into your mobile game could be beneficial for you. Minecraft, Smash Hit, Hunters Gate, VR Noir, etc. are some of the popular VR mobile games.
3. Game Monetization:
Due to intense game development and launch process, every developer aims to maximize revenue. Mobile ad mediation, in-game purchases, paid games, offer walls and rewarded videos are some of the gaming monetization methods.
However, offer walls and rewarded video ads are trending. Offer Walls includes pages that ask users to complete an action like fill out a survey, completing quizzes, etc. in exchange for receiving rewards in their game. Either this page may appear in-app or on the web.
Next, rewarded video ads are ones that appear in-game. According to research, rewarded videos have a high user retention rate peaking at about 92%. Similarly, they also have a high opt-in rate of 79% which is the highest out of other ad formats.
4. Cloud-based Gaming:
Cloud gaming involves users playing a game on servers without having to download it on their devices. While this idea wasn’t very desirable a few years back, the widespread availability of fast, low-latency and stable internet has changed everything.
Not only does cloud gaming allow users to access the game from any gadget but also for real-time updates. Additionally, cloud-based gaming has revolutionized the mobile industry as gamers do not need to purchase expensive, high-performance mobile devices.
Furthermore, players who do not wish to invest in a pricey gaming console can easily play these games on their mobile devices. Gaming services like GeForce and PlayKey continue to take cloud gaming to the next level.
With 5G, latency will be even lower and cloud gaming experiences more robust. Not only will it help unlock the true potential of cloud-based VR and AR gaming but also open up new possibilities.
5. Multiplayer Gaming:
The multiplayer gaming feature is in high demand in the gaming industry. Players like to connect with users worldwide. This is due to the widespread use of social media and broadband internet.
While developing a multiplayer game, the developers must keep the game’s functionality in mind. Multiplayer games create an enticing gaming experience by connecting players from all over the world. Besides, these games facilitate user conversation through text, video, audio during the gaming sessions.
Some of the trending multiplayer games that generated high revenues include FIFA, Fortnite, Among Us, Call of Duty, Minecraft, PUBG, among many others.
PUBG, also known as Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds garnered 400 million users in 2019. Next, Among Us gained 41.9 million users in September 2020 as shown in the bar chart below.
6. Cross-Platform Gaming:
This allows users to play games on various devices like tablets, laptops, PC, cellphones. Gaming on PC and consoles may be suitable for at home while mobile phone gaming is extremely convenient regardless of where you are.
Cross-platform gaming is not going away anytime soon since it allows people with different systems to play with each other, so they don’t have to worry about being on the same system (i.e. someone with a PS5 can play with someone with a PC). Additionally, it also retains game progress for various devices.
7. Gaming for every age group:
Long gone are the days when games were developed exclusively for kids. Nowadays, mobile games are developed to cater to users from every age group including minors, the elderly, teenagers, and also grown-ups.
This trend is continually growing and is expected to expand in the forthcoming years. Among Us, Charades, Subway Surf, Lumosity are some games that can be played by people of every age group.
8. Hyper-casual Gaming:
These games are user-friendly with a minimalistic interface and can often be enjoyed for absolutely free. They became a separate genre, as seen in 2019 when the hyper-casual market peaked at $2 billion. Similarly, hyper-casual gamers downloaded 10 times more games than regular gamers due to these games being free to download and easy to use. Angry Birds Legends, Tiles Hop, Build Roads are some of the in-demand hyper-casual games.
9. Arcade and Puzzle Games Are Making A Comeback:
Most developers opt for action and adventure-based games. However, it is important to note that according to research, arcade, and puzzle-based mobiles are gaining popularity since they cater to practically everyone. Puzzle games are played by 57.29% of users while Arcade games have 55.60% of users.
All the trends mentioned above should be kept in mind while developing your next mobile game. Nonetheless, it is more important to hire the right people who can bring your unique mobile game idea to life.
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