Mobile games have made huge leaps in their development in recent years. It feels like a lifetime ago that the closest thing to a game people could play on a mobile phone was a title like Snake.
Today, mobile games are big business with around 2.5 billion people around the world playing games on a mobile device such as a smartphone or a tablet computer.
But what is on the cards for the next generation of mobile games? Let’s take a look.
Big-name titles released for mobile devices
One of the trends that continues to be popular in the mobile gaming world is the porting of titles that are popular on consoles to make them suitable for playing on a smaller screen.
An example from last year was the release of Call of Duty: Mobile, which became a smash hit when it came out in October 2019. Call of Duty is one of the most popular video game series around right now, so it is not a surprise to see the mobile version was another big success.
Another example is The Elder Scrolls: Blades, which capitalized on the popularity of The Elder Scrolls series, which has long been very popular among console players.
What seems certain is games developers will continue digging into their archives in order to come up with ideas for future mobile titles.
Cloud streaming games services on the rise
The gaming world is moving forward with cloud streaming games services and this looks likely to be one of the top trends in the industry for many years to come. Stadia – from Google – is one of the cloud streaming options leading the way for the sector, with Microsoft’s xCloud an alternative option along with GeForce Cloud Gaming, which is a similar idea.
Cloud gaming is linked to 5G, the latest mobile technology which makes playing high-quality games while on the move via a mobile device possible. Without widespread adoption of 5G, it is hard to see how cloud-based gaming is going to take off in the near future.
But the industry has bet on cloud gaming in a big way. It is not just in traditional gaming where cloud-based services are being used either. Server-based slots are a growing trend too, with online casinos increasingly looking to make developments in this area. Benefits of server-based slots include the possibility to interact with other players – this is something to keep an eye on.
Technology will have to develop at an even faster rate if mobile games are ever going to be able to truly compete with traditional games consoles on areas like graphics, however.
More devices developed with gaming in mind
It is a long time since the primary consideration for a mobile phone was how well the device made calls. After all, smartphones are now mini computers that fit in the palm of your hand. There is little that smartphones cannot handle these days and they keep getting more powerful.
Increasingly, though, companies are making smartphones that are designed for gaming. The Razer Phone 2 and OnePlus 7 Pro are two such smartphones where the manufacturers have worked hard to make sure they deliver a high-quality gaming experience to their users. It is likely that other smartphone makers will be looking to follow up these devices with their own.
Naturally, there are some issues that gaming smartphones still have to overcome. One of them is the need to use the touchscreen for controls. This is never likely to be as intuitive as using a control pad for a console like the PlayStation 4, or the combination of mouse and keyboard on PC. The experience of playing a game like The Sims on PC or smartphone is very different, even if it does not matter for a casual title such as the megahit Candy Crush Saga from King.
Changes have been made to make mobile gaming more comfortable, though. Controllers from consoles like the PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch Pro can now be connected up to a smartphone, while it is possible to buy mounts that bring the device up to eye-level as well. Struggles with touchscreen controls are often cited as a big barrier to mobile gaming taking off in an even bigger way, but the addition of these controllers might make all the difference here.
The next few years will be a very exciting time, with mobile games the future of the industry.