Mobile Game Development Is Here to Stay

Mobile game development is currently experiencing a phenomenal rise, especially with the increasing popularity of smartphones and tablets. Among these devices, Apple iOS and Android devices are particularly well known. Several such apps can be downloaded both from the Apple Store and the Google Play store. However, it is easier to play on Tablets due to larger screens.

Looking at the ever-increasing sales of smart devices and rapid enhancements, mobile game development is clearly in an evolutionary phase. In 2009, smartphone game sales with only iOS and Android platforms comprised 19% of the market. Two years ahead it rose to 58% and it is at the top of the apps market at present, created expected revenues of more than $8 million for 2013 and possibly twice the previous year in 2014. Each day witnesses the addition of several new mobile game developers into playing communities.

As an SDK, Unity is a common platform that is used for preparing phone play systems. It can be defined both for iOS and Android Operating Systems. The latest one commonly used by developers is Unity 4, which helps in creating high quality contests with less time and cost. New features such as real-time shadows, multi-screen Airplay and dynamic fonts have been incorporated in Unity 4. In short, an entire mobile gaming ecosystem has been created by Unity.

In general, the mobile game development industry has slowly blossomed into a multimillion dollar industry, as a part of the IT sector. By the end of year 2010, it generated a total revenue of US$ 800 million. Many different companies have their gaming smart devices in the market- Sony has released the Xperia Play (PlayStation phone) on which PlayStation games can be played with similar controls. Recently Microsoft also made its entry by releasing Windows Phone 7, which can connect to the XBOX 360 console.

Surprisingly, the international community has a larger engaging audience among middle-aged individuals compared youngsters. Mobile gaming is most popular among adults from 50-59 years in the US, closely followed by 30-49. These days, there is also a mobile game development company which promotes gaming for a socially beneficial cause. Modern lifestyle ensures one can easily engage in the fun through a smart device while being on the move.

Smart devices travel everywhere that people do. They are used for almost every function, such as surfing the Net, checking email, social networking and chatting. In addition, a significant percentage of users devote time to recreation. With the gaming fever catching on, an increasing number of mobile game developers are creating engaging games that can be downloaded either for free or paid. The advantage of smart devices against computer recreation is that the former can be carried around.

The Rising Mobile Gaming Fever

When you have a lot of time to kill or you are waiting in a long queue or you need a break from the work, the best option is to play a nice entertaining game on your mobile. These days, you’ll find more adults than teens interacting with mobile games. Consumers between the ages of 25 and 34 not only download more games than any other age group, but also play and purchase them more. Female gamers are also starting to become a part of the mobile gaming community.

Mobile gaming is so popular that people have actually become addicted to them. One of the primary reasons why mobile games are in high demand is the casual, comfortable and interactive gaming engagement they provide. The gaming industry is constantly working on creating innovative games with intricate and enhanced gaming features. They are constantly struggling to make this addiction a complete burning passion for people.

There are variety of mobile games found in different categories of racing games, puzzle/logic/skill games, action games, arcade games, role playing games, card and casino games, adventure games, strategy games and lifestyle games. To match different people’s needs, developers design single player or multi player games based on various technologies that include (eg. Embedded games, SMS/MMS games, browsing games, J2ME games, BREW games and native OS games.

One major problem faced by the publishers and developers of mobile game is describing a game in such a way that it attracts the customer to make the purchasing decision. They are mainly sold through network carriers / operator’s portal/ distributors by attracting user by their text descriptions and appealing screenshots. There are some well known and established play patterns that decrease the perceived level of risk for the buyer which includes (game play mechanics that are instantly recognizable) such as Tetris, Space Invaders or Poker.

On the other hand, platforms and technologies for mobile gaming have significantly improved. The available memory size, processor capacity, display size and resolution on mobile phones have all improved with time thus enhancing the overall gaming experience for the user. Nowadays users find latest interesting java games already fitted in mobile phones at the time of manufacturing. Many websites provide mobile games along with their free/trial options, allowing end users to play it for some time and if they like it they easily can purchase it. Apart from these mobile games can be also downloaded by using infrared and Bluetooth.

Juniper Research indicates that end user generated revenues for both one-time downloads and subscription/rentals of mobile games give a substantial market of $5bn in 2007 and it is expected to grow nearly to $16bn by the end of 2012 . Mobile gaming industry is not only creating numerous opportunities for game publishers and game developers but also opening new doors of great entertainment for users.

iPhone Games – The Meteoric Rise of the Mobile Game

The video games industry has been well established now for well over 30 years. In all it’s history, there has never been such a seismic shift in the industry as has been seen in the recent past. Whole new niches within the market have opened up wide, and as a result more people are enjoying video games. Moreover, the types of game selling well have changed dramatically, and even their method of distribution has shifted. Make no mistake, an awful lot of this change has to do with a device we call the iPhone.

The iPhone first caused a stir back in 2007, when it was first released. Many people don’t recall, however the iPhone did not launch with the ability to install 3rd party software. There was no App Store, and no games. Apple saw the primary appeal of their new device as a way to surf the web whilst away from home, indeed their marketing revolved around the ‘desktop’ web surfing experience that the iPhone could offer.

It was over a year until Apple launched the iPhone App Store, a place where anybody could sell their software to any one of the millions of iPhone owners worldwide. It was introduced along with the iPhone 3G, and marked a significant shift in the way software was distributed to mobile devices. Never before had anyone attempted to centralise the process, providing a one-stop-shop where anybody could extend the functionality of their phone. Digital distribution in video gaming was pretty much unheard of, but the power of this model soon became clear when combined with a device with an always-on data connection. What business wouldn’t want to be accessible for sales 24-7, whilst being carried around in their customer’s pockets everywhere they went!

On it’s launch the App Store contained just 500 applications, and nobody saw the gaming potential of Apple’s iPhone one bit. Fast forward to the end of 2008, and by this time games were the number one use for smart phones outside of actually using it as a phone, email, and texts. Mobile games had suddenly got bigger than any business application – the intended audience of smartphone devices!

Sure enough, the iPhone rags to riches stories that we are so used to hearing these days, were beginning to break.

The first person to make a living from the App Store was a man called Steve Demeter. His initial investment in developing his first game, Trism, was just $5000. After his game released, he quickly made a quarter of a million dollars in profit in just 2 months!

Ethan Nicholas was struggling with mortgage payments and medical bills when he read about Steve Demeter’s success. He decided that even a small slice of such success could help him turn things around, and worked flat-out for 6 weeks to develop his game, iShoot. Amateurish though this title may seem by today’s standards, he eventually sold over 2 million copies of this game at $2.99 a game!

More recently, the success of the best-selling iPhone game of all time has shown that these kinds of success stories are continuing. Back in 2009 a struggling Finnish games company short of funds was in the throes of a make-or-break business plan, when one of their designers came up with the idea for some bird-like characters which they eventually built a game around. That game become Angry Birds, a sales phenomenon which has been downloaded over 40 million times! Angry Birds accounts for 200 million minutes of play worldwide, every single day!

Recently the 10 billionth app was downloaded from Apple’s App Store, and guess what- it was a game! Her download of Paper Glider netted Gail Davis of the UK a $10,000 iTunes Gift card as a prize. Not bad considering it was a free game!

Growth in mobile gaming doesn’t look set to stagnate any time soon. Google are shaping up to be a thorn in Apple’s side, with their Android platform, and Microsoft have now entered to market with their Windows 7 Phone. One thing is for certain, it’s a great time to be a mobile gamer.