If one thing has proven true about the mobile gaming market, it’s that it supports unceasing growth. A mix of big and small developers, a trajectory of better and better devices, and an ever-expanding population of iOS device users has amounted to both constant demand and constant supply. There are always bigger, better, and newer games being uploaded to the app store, and subsequently downloaded by millions.
This growth shows no signs of slowing down in the near future. And within the growth, there are always going to be some noteworthy trends. These are the ones we’re watching out for in the next year or so.
More Attention For Known Commodities
As mobile gaming has become progressively more popular, it seems to have become a more attractive area of focus for the people involved in creative content and licensing for major properties. In just the last few years, Pokémon, Harry Potter, and Game Of Thrones have had major app-based gaming activity. Marvel and DC properties have been more active as well. These franchises haven’t exclusively found success. Game Of Thrones leaves something to be desired on the gaming front, for instance, and Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery has spawned some negative reviews. But the downloads are still there, and if anything people just seem to want more and better products. In all likelihood that means known commodities and big-name franchises like these will produce more games soon.
Horror In The House
There has long been affection for horror games, or at least creepy ones, for mobile devices. Titles such as Limbo, Year Walk, The Room, and others have succeeded largely by way of being mildly unsettling. Not all such games translate naturally to augmented reality, but the idea of these games – vague storylines, limited characters, creepy atmospheric elements, etc. – will likely lead to some of the most profoundly immersive augmented reality gaming experiences. Imagine looking through a pair of AR glasses fitted with your phone and finding the room you’re in suddenly darker, dimmer, with creeping ivy, moving shadows, and characters darting about. This is a little advanced for current mobile AR, but we probably aren’t too far off.
Realistic Casino Gaming
Casino gaming has actually gotten startlingly realistic already. Slots are fitted with 3D graphics, blackjack and poker are held in live, interactive environments, and for those who play with real money there are innumerable specific bonuses and betting options. In some respects it’s hard to imagine the genre growing much more. However, there are two things to consider that suggest otherwise. The first is U.S. expansion. With sports betting being widely legalized in the U.S., and a few states already hosting sites with dozens if not hundreds of games, there’s some potential for legal mobile casinos to flourish throughout the enormous American market. The second is that casinos are only beginning to experiment with AR and VR, which could make them feel even more realistic.
When we say 3D here we don’t simply mean puzzles rendered in 3D on screens. However, we do mean to suggest that the popularity of these games should lead to similar titles – if not direct adaptations – becoming huge in augmented reality over time. When Apple’s ARKit first launched, one of the first popular games became Stack AR, a sort of tower-building puzzle that was in fact a version of an earlier game. This isn’t exactly a traditional puzzle, but it speaks to the appeal of building or manipulating material in AR rather than just observing. The possibilities in this space seem virtually endless when you begin to think about it, from an augmented reality Rubik’s cube to new versions of Monument Valley.
This is an idea that’s been threaded through some of the ones above, but should be mentioned on its own as well. Even as the mobile gaming market continues to expand in all directions, there are inevitably some series that have begun to establish themselves as popular favorites. We just mentioned Monument Valley, which certainly belongs on this list. The Room was mentioned above as well and is equally worth of consideration here, particularly given its new release earlier this year, which continued to amaze by just about all accounts. In time, it could be that titles like these generate nearly as much excitement for forthcoming sequels as high-end console video gaming series.