For the past few years in a row, mobile games dominated the app stores regarding revenue, download number and engagement. No other app niche has shown such huge level of activities and soaring numbers as the mobile games. Naturally, mobile games also have been the most happening niche in respect of new technologies and innovations. From Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality games to wearable gaming, new technologies are continuing to shape gaming experience.
Mobile game marketing has also come of age and now has become more mature than ever before. The era of so-called ‘freemium’ games, gated features and in-app monetisation tactics look common, and every game marketer is on the lookout for a new way to market and generate revenue.
Considering all these evolving attributes, 2018 has really been a happening year for mobile games. Let us introduce here some of the key trends that will shape mobile game development in 2018.
1. VR and AR Gaming
When Pokémon GO was released and literally took the world by storm with its never-before gaming experience in 2016, many experts just didn't think twice to mark that year with the rise of VR and AR games. But that was just the beginning of the kind of mobile games which will continue to dominate the gaming scene for the mobile and wearable users in the years to come.
The success of Pokemon Go actually became a motivating factor for game developers worldwide, and such reality defining games continued to come making the scene even more competitive. Though 2017 has not seen any new era defining AR or VR games like Pokemon Go, both the technologies have been consolidated and became mainstream as the gaming technologies of the future.
2. Mobile games for the elderly
Certainly, we no longer consider mobile games to be the child's plaything. It is equally for the elderly people, grownup youths, matured ladies and people of all ages. For the past several years we have seen hordes of game apps to come up targeted for elderly population or people outside of common game-playing demographics. In 2017, there have been hundreds of games for elderly, working men and women and all other age groups. With many games enjoying the favour of an addicted game playing audience, this trend is going to stay dormant in the time to come.
3. Wearable gaming
If we are not terribly wrong, wearable devices can easily be predicted as the next mass mobilising device platform after the smartphones. Naturally, mobile gaming is also supposed to shift its load to the wearable gaming apps. Even if the mobile games are to remain popular because of their large screen gaming experience, the quick to play gaming experience of the smartwatches will continue to remain popular. Moreover, offering an extended gaming experience from the mobile device to the smart wearables, they will help people stay engaged with a game irrespective of the device.
4. Social gaming
Social gaming is already a hot trend as most of the mobile games are keen to promote the gaming experience by allowing players to invite their players onboard for a gameplay. From a game of pool to most complex and strategy games, most games these days allow players inviting their friends on social media. Moreover, quick social registration for mobile games is already helping games garner access to more people through the social contacts of the player. By incentivising social gaming in many ways, a game app can further push players to engage their friends on social media.
5. Game consoles getting outdated
Game consoles like the PlayStation and Xbox are still there, and it is not a coincidence that they are actually getting better with the rise of mobile gaming. In spite of getting better and richer to compete the mobile games, gaming consoles because of their expensive price tag and difficulty of handling will only attract less and less people like the game playing audience.
Mobile gaming with high-end sophisticated experience and extreme ease of use will continue to hold the charm that no other gaming devices really can. With the unprecedented rise of mobile gaming in recent times, game consoles are only becoming less competitive options for the gaming audience.
6. Custom game features
We are already aware of the power of customisation for the engaging audience. Custom features make a player feel important, and it is something everyone likes almost invariably. It is no different when it comes to mobile games. Mobile games allowing players to choose features that they find enjoyable for their game playing experience, will obviously give them more reasons to stick to a particular game. The custom game features allowing players shaping their own gaming experience have been very popular with mobile games this year.
7. Multichannel access
Average smartphone users have access to several gaming devices simultaneously, and this is why allowing unperturbed game play across multiple devices and platforms became very important. Game developers also find it helpful to build a cross-platform game to boost the chances of getting discovered easily across app stores. While engaging game players continuously irrespective of the device in use is one of the most important considerations for the marketing success of a game, allowing unperturbed streaming of the game across devices is crucial.
8. A renewed interest in retro games
There has been a renewed interest in the old style mobile games, at least for their look and feel. Dubbed as retro games the new breed of games are introducing the look and feel of older mobile games. This new approach allowing young players having gaming experience of a different generation became quite popular throughout this year.
To conclude, in 2017 we have seen several definitive game trends to unfurl allowing new scopes for marketers and developers. Among these trends, the above-mentioned ones seem to have a far-reaching echo than the rest.