How mobile technology has transformed the gaming industry


While young people on their Xbox may find it hard to believe, gaming isn’t something new. It’s been around for a long time, and those who are a little older will remember everything from skipping ropes to pinball machines. However, perhaps the main way that the gaming industry has evolved in recent years is through the impact of mobile phones.

Phones, both internet-enabled and not, have caused the gaming industry to pivot in a variety of directions.

And with mobile phones offering a new wave of iconic games, some companies have had work to do when it comes to preserving the legacy of their top brands. This article will explore how the gaming industry is ever-changing – and what it means for gamers and companies alike.

New iconic games

In any gaming era, certain games become iconic. For the console generation, the likes of Call of Duty are known as classics. In the arcade generation, almost everyone loved to play games such as pinball. However, with each new wave of gaming technology, new iconic games emerge. When that happens to occur in the mobile era, though, the pace of technological change means that games companies have to work to preserve their games’ statuses.

Perhaps the most obvious example of a mobile game that has achieved iconic status is Snake. This game, which sees a snake made up of pixels chase food around a box while it grows larger and more unmanageable each time, was first released on Nokia phones and was popular before smartphones arrived. However, the constant cycle of new iterations of mobile phone technology led to Nokia rereleasing Snake again and again on models such as the N80, and then providing other companies with the rights to use it. Now that Snake has been sold on to another firm, however, it’s likely that new iconic mobile games will spring up as technology improves and changes in the future – meaning that games firms will need to continue to be dynamic and nimble.

Money and in-app purchases

Mobile phones are used for all kinds of purposes these days, and they can go far beyond the traditional phone call making and SMS messaging jobs of yesteryear. Now, they’re used as security devices, entertainment centers and even payment tools. The sight of someone taking out their smartphone to pay for something in a store, or the rise in mobile-friendly payment sites such as PayPal and Venmo, is evidence of this.

For games developers, this has posed an opportunity. More and more Americans now use their smartphones for some sort of payment-related activity, and this means that credit or debit card details are often stored on a phone. This in turn means that in-app purchases are now more common, and the business model of a free (or cheap) game that is supplemented by purchases later down the line has proliferated. The phenomenon of paid-for loot boxes, which contain benefits such as additional lives or new game skins, has risen. And here are some NJ online gambling sites that are popular choices for those who want to enjoy a bet or two from their phones.

More choice

In every previous gaming generation, the physical requirements for playing a game meant that developers were able to specialize a little. Only people with games consoles were traditionally able to access video games, for example, while you had to live close enough to a town or city to head to an arcade and play those old-school classics.

However, the ubiquity of mobile phones has changed all of that. There are over 220 million smartphone users in America – and with a substantial proportion of them desperate to play games as a way of passing the time, developers have suddenly been presented with the challenge of ensuring that every single one of them has a game that they’ll enjoy. This is one of the main reasons why the mobile phone gaming market is so diverse, and why everything from general knowledge quizzes to competitive, multi-player shootout games are seen in app stores.

Gaming was once something that could only take place in specific locations, but now that there’s a high-definition screen in almost everyone’s pocket, it’s really no surprise that mobile games are so popular. From the range of choice now on offer to the easy access to money that mobile gaming enjoys, it’s easy to see how mobile technology has truly turned around the gaming world.