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.

Benefits of Mobile Gaming

So why is mobile gaming so popular? Is it the simplistic yet addictive nature of the games? Or is it the fact that nowadays the games look just as good as console games and are just as in depth and even multiplayer? Is it the ease factor? Or maybe it’s the price. There are a lot of factors that are appealing about mobile gaming.

Price: This may be the obvious answer to lead the pack. Games for your phone or tablet are in many cases free, or 1/10th the cost of a console game. The average Xbox or PlayStation game costs approximately $50. This is a far cry from the.99 cents you just spent to play a game that you can take with you anywhere.

The sting of picking out the wrong game hurts a lot more when you spent $50 on it and can’t return it. Or, if you get the game home and beat it within a matter of an hour or so and you’re left saying, now what? The value is simply much better in the mobile space.

Traction: Another “no kidding” response. There are just many more smart phones and tablets in peoples hands. Smart phones number in the hundreds of millions world wide which grossly dwarfs the number of households with gaming consoles.

A phone is a necessity and as of late, that phone of choice is a smartphone. Whether it be Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry, or iOS, there are a slew of games for each. You will also find most of the games you can get on your Xbox or PlayStation you can now get on your Android or iOS devices. Madden anyone?

Form Factor: Your phone is always with you, in your pocket, in your purse, a game is never farther away than your fingertips. Nothing beats being able to pull out the phone and kill some zombies while waiting to see your doctor.

Smartphones and tablets are portable and easily handled. This makes a winning combination in the gaming space.

What’s next?: Look towards NVidia’s Shield or the Ouya gaming system. Android is taking the lead on revolutionizing the way games are played. The games you already own on your phone or tablet can be played on NVidia’s Shield, which is a 5″inch touch screen attached to a controller. Same goes for the Ouya, which is more in the vein of a console with a controller, but is connected to your Google Play account and you play Android games on your big screen television.

These two items will be big sellers around Christmas time. The games and mobile devices are simply much cheaper and more accessible to the masses.

The beauty of these types of devices lies in the redundancy. The games you purchase on your NVidia Shield or Ouya, are able to be played on your smart phone or tablet as well.

The mobile gaming industry shows no signs of slowing down and it is evolving at an exciting clip!

The Age of Free Online Gaming

The last decade has been reason enough for us to label it as the age of free online gaming and now even though the medium is gradually shifting onto the cellular medium, the drive remains. People are still resorting to playing online free games across various websites including social media platforms. Do you hear of people shop hopping to malls and bazaars in search of games and devices anymore? They only need to plug in to the internet and play flash games in 2D, 3D, 4D or download gaming software directly off the net. Corporate biggies like Microsoft, Sony, etc acknowledge the growing popularity of the online gaming culture and hence inundate the market with advanced gaming consoles and games. No doubt, there’s a lot of market scope for the same but then again there is a larger section of gamers who’d rather not invest so much in branded gaming software. The smarter alternative here is to bank on online free games which also let you compete with friends.

The perks of online free games are just too many. Let alone the fact that they are absolutely free, the other benefits of online games includes the thrill of playing with your pals, colleagues, etc. This takes interactive gaming to another level of excitement. Most online free games are designed simplistically so as to fit into the busy schedules of urban people. So that saves you a lot of time that is otherwise lost when indulging in elaborate software gaming. It could be a brain teasing sudoku or the good old Farmville, variety is a given. You will never be tired or bored of monotony. Another matter of convenience is you can access these online free games from not just your PC, but other devices like mobiles and tablets too. That gives you flexibility of usage. You’re stranded in traffic, seems like an open road is a good half hour away, what do you do? Pull out your mobile and begin!

Along with every perk comes a wave of negativity. Free downloadable games have been criticized for being way too addictive. Owing to the ease and accessibility of these free games, people tend to devote long hours of their days to online gaming thus sabotaging their daily productivity. However many of the names are designed to probe a child’s thinking prowess and consequently sharpen their gray cells. There is an entire separate genre of online free games for kids of all age groups. According to studies conducted such games help develop a child’s concentration level, analytic and logical reasoning abilities.

Through the ages, kids have never really been ardent fan of mathematics as a subject. Online free games involving use of mathematics is an all new way of approaching the subject. Socially too, such games have a lot to offer. Aside from playing these free games with friends you also get to interact with people across the world. By the looks of thing the coming generation has a lot to watch out for.