Mobile games in the modern industry areunrecognizable compared to their forebears on the simpler mobile devices of years past. The evolution of mobile games has been swift and significant, opening up more possibilities for developers and gamers alike. Now, mobile games are more complex and held to higher standards. What’s now possible with mobile game development was previously considered unattainable. The rise of mobile gaming has had some knock-on effects in various areas that have changed the mobile industry irrevocably.
As devices have become more powerful and higher-end games have been released on them, players have come to expect a higher standard of mobile games. Players expect to see more involved gameplay mechanics, aesthetically pleasing visual design and graphics, and responsive controls.
Diablo Immortal is a prime example of a modern mobile game that ticks these boxes. It recreates the traditional main series Diablo experience but on mobile with refined mobile controls and top-tier gameplay. Though not all mobile games are designed to be AAA experiences, Diablo Immortal is a perfect example of what players can expect from high-budget mobile titles.
Monetization has a significant presence in the mobile gaming industry, which would have been unheard of years ago. This presents an opportunity for developers to continually add to its games, extending their natural lifecycles. By using microtransactions, developers have been able to add bonus levels, gameplay additions, cosmetics, and more. This not only adds another revenue stream for games but adds fresh content for players to keep engaged with them.
A successful example of leveraging monetization options and microtransactions is Candy Crush Saga. Originally a web-based game, it found unparalleled success on mobile devices. It’s theoretically endless due to the rate the developer adds new levels and content to it, and its microtransactions take full advantage of this. Using the in-game store, players can purchase extra lives to keep playing for longer than they normally would be able to. It’s a clever intersection of monetization, quick rounds of gameplay, and player engagement.
Multiplayer and Social Features
Among the massive leaps in technology made in the mobile gaming industry, multiplayer and social features are perhaps the most impressive. Mobile gaming is no longer a solitary activity and a large portion of titles offer social interaction.
Leaderboards are a recurring feature in mobile gaming. Mobile hits like Clash of Clans and Temple Run make use of leaderboards as a way of keeping track of progress and instilling a sense of competition between players all over the world. Leaderboards are a relatively straightforward feature to implement using modern gaming technologies, but we’ve seen they can pay dividends for user engagement. In our experience, we’ve seen that players become compelled to compete not only with their friends but also with other players internationally to gain a higher standing on the leaderboard.
One of the best modern examples of social features and multiplayer is Pokémon Go. While it can be played alone, there are in-game benefits to playing cooperatively with other players in large-scale battles and competing against each other to rise through the ranks of the player vs. player leaderboard.
Porting Games to Mobile
20 years ago, titles like Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas were considered top-tier AAA gaming experiences on consoles and PC. Now, they can be played at any time on mobile devices. The ability to port high-end experiences such as these to mobile devices speaks to the staggering development the gaming industry has seen in recent years.
Porting to mobile is a more challenging task than it seems, as controls need to be adapted for use with a touch screen, and visual fidelity needs to be addressed so that mobile devices can run the game well. Additionally, devices have a wide range of operating systems and screen sizes that need to be accounted for. Despite the difficulty in porting to mobile, it was previously thought to be impossible to play hit games on anything other than consoles and PC.
What’s more, is that enduringly popular contemporary titles like Fortnite and Genshin Impact are not just available on mobile, but have been lauded for how well they’ve been adapted for the platform. It’s as feasible to play them on mobile devices as it is on PC or consoles. Mobile ports of modern and classic games have done wonders for the continued success of the games, and the accessibility it affords players is second to none.
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