With the recent launch of Apple Arcade, app-based gaming is poised to reach even greater heights of popularity. Mobile gaming, however, is already an extremely lucrative business. Investors are continuing to take note, and are sinking a substantial amount of cash into the industry on a regular basis. As a result, we expect to continue to see greater quality and quantity of games within the coming months and years.
This will likely lead to all kinds of new experiences – in some cases, entire new genres and formats for gaming. However, it’s also going to help further some existing trends, including some of the ones below.
1 – Narrative Games
Narrative games have been a huge trend for quite some time now. Generally speaking, gamers have an appreciation for strong writing and unique gameplay, and enjoy the ability to make choices that affect a game’s outcome. In the mobile category though, the embrace of narrative gaming is a little bit newer – and perhaps even more sensible. As impressive as this category is, it’s inherently limited when it comes to gameplay, which can make narrative elements all the more impactful. This is why we’ve seen so much success for some adapted console games like The Wolf Among Us and Silent Age – as well as the emergence of original mobile titles with their own stories.
2 – Slot Games
Even non-gamblers can attest that slot games can be a lot of fun. The games are a great way to unwind, as they somehow manage to be relaxing and stimulating at the same time. Once upon a time, these games were available largely through in-person casino venues. Now, however, a broad selection of new slots sites based in the UK is setting the tone for what’s effectively a global gaming genre. Many of the best slots from popular sites – featuring interactive graphics, fun mini-games, and often free and real-money gaming options – have become available on mobile devices. With the category still expanding though, we expect it will only grow more popular.
3 – AR Games
AR, aka augmented reality, has suddenly become a fairly major category, thanks in part to the release of Pokémon GO in 2016. Since then other major franchises have developed immersive AR games for mobile devices as well. For example, Harry Potter: Wizard Unite, allows us Muggles to be transported into the “Wizarding World,” and to have the chance to cast some spells via our mobile devices. This kind of immersion, while by no means perfected yet, shows immense potential. It’s highly likely that as developers and new devices alike help graphics and experiences to improve, AR will begin to play an even more important role.
4 – Blasts From The Past
Speaking of Harry Potter and Pokémon GO, it has become increasingly popular for companies to release games that have a nostalgia factor. Recently, for instance, Nintendo launched Mario Kart Tour for Android and iOS devices. Within the first week, the game was downloaded 90 million times and raked in $12.7 million. Mario Kart Tour’s massive success ensures that more games like it will soon be coming to the app store.
5 – MMORPGs
Since World of Warcraft made its debut in 2004, MMORPs have been consistently well received by gamers. For years, however, these types of games existed largely on PCs. As our smartphones have gotten more and more capable, however, and mobile game developers have focused more on multiplayer experiences, mobile MMORPGs have become increasingly available. It’s not a new genre by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s one that we expect to see continuing to expand in the mobile category specifically.