The increase in smartphone and tablet computer usage is transforming the mobile gaming industry. The new market includes not only die-hard gamers but more casual players, the kind who tap the touchscreens of their iPhones or Android devices even while on the move.
Earlier the gaming industry was dominated by hand held console games. Even companies like Sony and Nintendo are affected with the rise of gaming in smartphones and tablets. Sony and Nintendo are expected to ship more than 38 million handheld gaming devices in 2013, a number significantly lower than the previous peak of 47 million units in 2008.
However, according to some analysts both the gaming segments – gaming on smartphones, tablet computers and console games will continue to grow as the audience for both segments is different. Console gaming will remain a niche market.
A recent report by ABI said that smartphone and tablet use for gaming continues to expand, providing increased competition in the handheld market. Another reason fuelling the growth of mobile gaming is the fact that the mobile games are either free, financed by advertising or cost just a few dollars. On the other hand, classic developers invest millions of dollars in major franchises and sell games for around $60 apiece.
Eiji Araki, head of the social games studio GREE said,”The game should be designed for mobile. The mobile player is different from the console game player. They are always online and they can play games all the time… so the game should be designed for three-minute sessions, for minimum times.”