Smartphones have changed many markets in the IT industry. Is the mobile gaming industry a threat to the console industry? Find out more.
According to this research by Nielsen, a game quality assurance and analytics group, an iPhone user spends about 15 hours on average each month playing games. Android users are not far behind by capping a monthly average of 9.3 hours while other smartphone users are at 7.8 hours. Overall around 64% of people who downloaded apps have installed games in the last 30 days period making gaming apps the most popular app genre.
The success of games like Angry Birds confirms the resurgence of mobile games and other popular apps to praise this finding quite well. Even Zynga recently submitted a 1 billion Initial Public Offering (IPO) giving a clear warning to the gaming industry, especially console-based publishers and gamers that ‘mobile gaming is the next big thing’. But the question that many game developers ask themselves is: is this really true?
Despite the clear message that many publishers are not too worried given the market is still dominated by console games. According to Nintendo the production costs for many mobile and social games are very low compared to console games, this is due to the low expenditure on Game Programming, Development, Production and Programming Costs. This means that when the time comes to jump ship or expand to mobile and social platforms it won’t be difficult, especially for a video game development company that already has the assets, technology and manpower needed to develop games for the console and PC market.
The rise of cheap mobile games, even as low as 99 cents apps compared to the iTunes music revolution and the takeover of the traditional book market by indie self publishers via eBooks. Does this mean that the internet will change the gaming industry once again? Many Game Testers report that companies and developers have started integrating their games into social and mobile platforms. Some publishers, such as Blizzards, already have a large social following and are quite dominant online due to the success of their popular MMORPG. EA and other big studios and platforms such as Sony, Microsoft, etc., have also started experimenting with social media platforms, as well as game development for mobile devices. For the near future, gaming companies are very unlikely to have serious problems due to the increasing popularity of mobile games. There will always be demand for console and PC games, apart from mobile games. To give another example, although many people watch online videos on websites such as YouTube, that does not mean that they no longer go to the movies or watch television. Mobile gaming is just another platform and is meant to praise not replace traditional PC and console games.