Gaming in the 21st century has experienced a huge boom if figures are anything to go by. The last 10 years have been a year of recovery and discovery, a year of upgrade and introduction of new products into the gaming market.
The introduction of smartphones into the digital market has brought an upsurge into the gaming industry mainly due to the affordability of the gadgets. Since their introduction, mobile gaming has surpassed the PC and console to be the top in the gaming category with a value of $36.9 billion compared to the PC which follows at a distant $29 billion. A lot of people are learning to even make money on Twitch, which is wild. Could you imagine playing video games for over a million dollars a year? Pretty wild.
The onset of the evolution of the gaming industry was first witnessed with Nokia’s addictive Snake game which debuted in 1997. The game came as a feature of the phone and it was inbuilt hence accessible to all and affordable as no downloads or internet connectivity was required. Currently, access to any game involves browsing through several game categories, spending money for upgrades and downloading the game to your smart handset.
In 1999 through the NTT DoCoMo`s platform, Japan became the first country to run mobile games at a commercial level. The wave swept through North America, Asia, Europe and the rest of the world as the acquisition of the smart mobile phones increased.
Later in 2008 the app store was launched by Apple and revolutionized the gaming concept as colored screens came to be, and with the increasing purchase of smartphones, customer behavior changed consequently leading to an increase in game downloads.
– Dawn of invention
The smarter the phones the smarter the games became, in 2003 Namco one of the pioneers in the gaming industry used the back cameras for one of its combat games whereby one user could create a character with the cameras and set its speed and power, send the same to other users and start a battle. To counter the invention Panasonic released a similar virtual game of a pet that could be fed by food photos in a user’s handset.
– Health Concerns
As much as the access of games was made easier to access on handsets, some key inconveniences have been experienced namely neck pains as a result of playing some games for too long, sore eyes as a result of constant exposure to the small screens and equally the inconvenience of constantly plugging ones device when it runs on low battery. However, a drastic change in the mobile gaming industry has been experienced in the last few years whereby once mobile restricted games are now accessible on MAC and PC in the same interface as it appears on the phone screens.
– Virtual Advertising space
With over a million users on the mobile interface, advertisers saw an opportunity market. Apps like Appnext have taken advantage of such opportunities to enable app developers to reach out to each other by advertising their games in the midst of other games. This has become a recipe for success for many ad-agencies.
– Gaming Women
Candy crush Saga one of the top five highly downloaded games has women as a majority of its users. In the 1990s, this was however not the case as female gamers were made up of a very negligible minority. However, a 40 % increase of gamers in the United States was experienced in 2010 and a further 48% in 2014.this has created a balanced out if not an unmatched ratio of female to male gamers in today’s modern society.
The Kardashians changed the scope that was predominantly for teenage boys in their late teens by introducing the Hollywood game which created an upward trend for the App store. Furthermore, a recent study has found that men make fewer app purchases compared to women. Women spent 35% longer in gaming apps compared to men. The paradigm shift clearly indicates that the gaming audience is no longer male-dominated.
– Internet Factor
As a mobile gamer, your hobby is of no good to you with poor internet connectivity. The sole purpose is for making app purchases e.g. adding more lives in candy crush saga or simply to unlock other options for a better experience or moving to the next level in a given game. This has made internet dependent games, useless when the phones are on airplane mode.
App developers are further locking users to their gaming screens by creating a competitive sense by showing boards with names of other users and how well they excelled in the specific level.
So much drastic change has been experienced in the gaming industry the last 10 years one is eager to see what another 10 has in store, we only can dream of how extraordinary the evolution will be.