Mobile Gaming On The Rise?
Mobile gaming isn’t new, in fact for the last ten years there have been many that have tried and failed to succeed in the industry. The statistics, however, have been astonishing. A few myths have been busted and some unexpected results have surfaced. Whether you are a casual gamer of play to win, mobile gaming has somehow entered your life in a big way. Myths about mobile gaming are a time-tested activity in mobile gaming, from the idea that mobile carriers actually understand the gaming community to how many people play and where they play. This year’s DICE shed some light on a couple of interesting myths.
First, mobile gamers play on the go, this myth dispelled by EA Senior Vice President Travis Boatman, who said that up to 47% of mobile gamers play at home. This is a paradigm shift to what was previously spouted by the industry. Most people play where it is convenient. I play at home and on the go. Its an odd statistic, but interesting. With the mobile games I am not certain what it says if I play at home or on the go. I guess we all assumed that because of the nature of the device it made sense that people would play on the go. But as I recall I played my DS wherever I could—home, work, bars, etc. So it stands to reason that I will play my mobile games anywhere I have time to play.
Second, Mobile gaming has peaked. Boatman isn’t the first to claim this, in fact, there have been many in social gaming that see mobile as a platform for their games not device specific games. Also, in 2006, M:Metrics published a report that suggested mobile gaming has peaked. With more than 100,000 games in the mobile market it is easy for one to think that the market is completely flooded and the segment has reached an apex. Contrary to the analysts, I think we are just getting started. I have been in mobile gaming for the last 10 years and have seen many changes, but what is more telling than the analysts numbers is the demographic differences of the mobile gamer and the “traditional” gamer. Mobile gaming reaches millions of more players, not always because the games are casual in nature, but the ability to play anywhere. And some games make mundane tasks fun. And something that I feel has a great influence on
I was at Benihanna’s last night sitting at a table with a few friends, when the stranger sitting next to me started up a conversation, we were discussing games, I showed him one I was playing and immediately he downloaded it as the chef was preparing our fried rice.
No other gaming segment has offered this quick sale. One has to trek into the local Gamestop or Best Buy usually.
What has been amazing to watch is how the statistics have changed, how technology has changed the industry, and how some smart developers have led us to new directions. Mobile is an enigma to analysts because they apparently don’t play mobile games. They don’t see the differences in the last three years, and quite frankly, probably don’t own a device that is capable.