Mobile games have come a long way since introducing simple and straightforward games such as Snake and Pong that can be used on early Nokia phones. Now mobile processors and graphics were just as powerful as desktop computers a few years ago. The older generation still remembers dragging a Game Boy or Game gear and begging their parents to join a different game. Literally: the new generation can access hundreds of games on its mobile devices.
In short, mobile games have exploded in just a few years. In July 2016, 63.1 million arcade games were downloaded, and games in the “strategy” category generated $ 195 million in revenue. In a recent survey, more than 30% of mobile app users with 30 minutes of the free time chose to play games over other activities. Whether it’s waiting for a date or sitting at the airport, we’ve already looked it over and done it ourselves. We took out our mobile devices and jumped into a fast-paced game to pass the time.
So what does all this mean for the future of Android games? The massive revenue and user interest in Android games have led to constant innovation and fierce competition in the global market, for starters. For example, only 12 months ago, senior managers stated that they did not see any major benefits from augmented reality. With the release of “Pokemon Go” and estimated that revenues would reach $ 500 million in just 60 days, I think we can all agree that augmented reality will remain.
Virtual reality is another area that has developed rapidly in recent months. Now you can buy a virtual reality headset from a local gas station for just $ 30. Or, if you’re on a budget, you can buy Google Cardboard for as little as $ 7.00. There are only a few games that support VR, but this number is increasing every day. Not only that, as more and more people are experiencing VR, sooner or later, we’ll be sure to see a sensational release.
Let’s take a look at some real examples of recently released games. The recent release of “Titan Dawn” on Google Play has been in development for over 2 years. This is similar to the development cycle of mid-level PC game releases on Steam. The game features large-scale controlled troops, world-building elements, and impressive graphics. A few years ago, this was considered the main version of the Android platform. Today this is just another drop of water in a huge pond. Google Play currently has more than 2.4 million applications and games, so it’s getting harder to get noticed. This is actually good news for gamers as developers are working harder and harder to develop new and innovative games to attract users.
I firmly believe that virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) games will receive more attention in 2017. The main developers who can extract triple-A content will not be left in the lurch, while independent developers can extract AR and VR compatible games. They will be forced to transplant existing titles and develop exciting new ways to interact with mobile devices.
Many great games use phone microphones, gyroscopes, cameras, and accelerometers. However, the combination of these sensors with AR and VR can offer gamers a whole new experience. Imagine walking in a 3D world representing your neighbors, immersed in full virtual reality, using your mobile phone as the target device to defend against the zombie wave. The available technology can already do this, package it in a user-friendly way, and people can enjoy it.
The combination of detailed graphics and a well thought out virtual reality experience is awe-inspiring. If you are familiar with PC-based virtual reality presentation programs, you already know how immersive the experience is. It is only a matter of time before the same experiences are widely rolled out to our mobile devices. Think about it. Just 30 years ago. We played Mario on our beloved Nintendo game console. Not to mention, the virtual boy burned your eyes after playing tennis for 2 minutes. Since then, Android games and mobile games, in general, have come a long way, and they will push the barriers further shortly.