05 Jan Mobile gaming: new industry trends you should know
With the advent of smartphones and tablets, the already successful gaming industry has undergone further expansion, achieving record revenues from mobile gaming in recent years. To always stay one step ahead, learn about the latest trends and anticipated developments of the coming years.
At one time or another, every one of us will have played one of the countless games available on smartphones and tablets: just think of the famous Pokemon Go, which became a cultural phenomenon in 2016 with more than 100 million users.
In the past decade, in fact, handheld devices have led to a real revolution in the gaming market: what was once a pastime reserved only for consoles and PCs has over the years become entertainment accessible anywhere and anytime. In short, mobile gaming has proven to be anything but a mere momentary trend.
Like any technological development, mobile gaming evolves year after year. Whether you work in the industry or are simply an enthusiast, in today’s new article we want to show you the new trends in the industry that you should be aware of so that you can stay one step ahead of the competition.
If you’d like more information about video game localisation, download our free case study to discover all the opportunities and challenges of this complex and fascinating world.
An intergenerational phenomenon
An interesting study conducted by Newzoo in 2022 revealed surprising information about the latest trends in mobile gaming: perhaps the most telling figure concerns the percentage of users who, regardless of age, have played mobile games at least once: as many as 79% of all those with Internet access.
Generation Z and Alpha (i.e., users born from the late 1990s onward) reach the most overwhelming percentage: in fact, 90% of them have come into contact with mobile gaming at least once in their lives.
However, mobile gaming doesn’t only attract youth: in addition to the 0-24 age group, the largest concentration of enthusiasts is also at the 45-64 age group. So if you think video games are just a kid’s pastime, think again: indeed, it’s an extremely diverse market.
The smartphone wins, for men and women
As we anticipated at the beginning of our article, over the past few years smartphones have definitely supplanted PCs as the ‘console of choice’ for gamers. While users who prefer computers number just under 7 million, the figure for gamers on smartphones exceeds 9 million in Italy alone, with a slightly higher percentage of men than women. Again, therefore, the data disprove a rather popular cliché that mobile gaming is primarily a male activity.
New gaming smartphones
Although mobile gaming has experienced unprecedented popularity since the advent of smartphones (and especially the iPhone), most devices are actually also designed for gaming, while prioritising other features (such as smooth Internet browsing or professional photography abilities).
However, the situation seems to be changing: true gaming smartphones have appeared on the market in recent years. These devices are optimised and primarily designed to provide a smooth and quality mobile gaming experience.
Between smaller batteries (thus faster charging), more RAM and internal memory, larger screens (up to 7 inches), full HD resolution with a greater colour spectrum, better touch responsiveness, and most importantly, a better fan system for optimal heat dissipation, gaming smartphones prove to be the ideal devices for enthusiasts, providing superior performance and better video quality.
Some popular gaming smartphones are Nubia’s Red Magic Pro 8, the Razer Phone and Asus’s ROG Phone, sometimes sold with additional external cooling fans.
Using smartphones as controllers
Another very interesting development in mobile gaming is undoubtedly the use of smartphones as controllers/gamepads for PC and console games.
This brings gamers two main advantages: on the one hand, it allows them to play multiplayer games even without needing additional controllers, potentially even with a very large number of players (up to eight or ten for games that allow it), simply by having each person use his or her own smartphone.
On the other hand, smartphones allow users to use a simulated “gamepad” even for PC games – which, while playable with a keyboard and mouse, might offer a better experience with a dedicated gamepad.
The future is in the cloud
In addition to mobile gaming, cloud gaming is also becoming the preferred choice for many gamers.
In general, cloud gaming lets gamers use multiple platforms to play (downloading the offline version to their computer, playing via smartphone – for optimised games – or connecting online), regularly synchronising progress and achievements so they can be accessed at any time and from any device.
This allows gamers greater freedom and security: in addition to not being forced to purchase expensive devices to play a specific game, users won’t have to worry about losing their saves or data, or that they could be stolen by malicious parties (thanks to the security provided by the cloud).
On the other hand, however, in order to enjoy the gaming experience to the fullest, a fast and stable Internet connection is fundamental, so that data can be automatically and regularly saved. Many players also complain of delays and latencies in data synchronisation — problems that could harm the overall gaming experience in the long run.
Eye on localisation
Surveys and market research in the field of mobile gaming have clearly shown that for most gamers, the language factor plays a key role: in fact, many of them greatly prefer games available in their native language, especially users who are not very proficient in English.
Localising a video game is a complex process requiring linguistic, cultural and technological expertise and the support of a team of professionals capable of translating every linguistic and paralinguistic element so as to ensure the same success in the target market as in the original market.
If you work in the video game industry and are thinking of localising your video game, contact us obligation free: we will be happy to identify the most suitable solution for your needs together with you.