What a year 2010 was! It can rightly be commemorated as the year that witnessed a tectonic shift from the landscape of video gaming to social mobile gaming. The rapid and continued growth of iOS, Android, GPS and 3G-enabled mobile devices has not only enticed huge multitudes of existing game players active on varied social networking platforms, but also seeded a new set of audiences, which is a potential mass market of casual mobile game players.
Live & interactive social mobile gaming has received an over whelming response from the consumers, and surfaced as a new revenue model that is being leveraged by some of the key players in the market today. This new revenue model entailing offerings of domestic and foreign players and giving them the ease of playing against each other, communicating, viewing and saving the scores has a direct impact on the ongoing developments in the industry and future expansion plans.
Even Big Daddies like Google and Yahoo have already taken a plunge into this field. Google has even bought the mobile social game developer SocialDeck. Its games like Shake & Spell, Color Connect and Pet Hero were downloaded close to a million times in 2009.
Two of the key reasons that account for the boom of live & interactive social mobile gaming is that it has smaller entry barriers and that the advanced mobile devices launched in the market have faster processors that trigger quicker response time, three-dimensional graphics and sophisticated sound capabilities. One of the surveys conducted by The Multimedia Research Consultancy’s (TMRC) on mobile social gaming unravels the fact that iPhone is a leader in the league of players in the mobile games industry, being followed by Android mobile devices.
The geographic footprint of iPhones and Android mobile devices unleashes the fact that the largest segment of users that plays mobile social games hails from developed economies like North America and Europe. The percentage of users from Asia is gaining momentum steadily.
Having talked about the current boom of live & interactive social mobile gaming, it’s time to contemplate about its future prospects. Cross-platform play is most probably there in the future, where interactive and compatible social mobile games would be devised for multiple mobile devices. For example, Zynga has already developed games like Mafia Wars using HTML 5 for varied mobile devices. Many more such examples are likely to pop up in the future.
From nothing to becoming one of the most prominent market segments, social mobile gaming has offered the users with a plethora of gaming options; however, it’s on the verge of facing a potential threat in the form of downloading the pirated content. One of the surveys conducted by a reputed magazine has brought forth some shocking information such as number of users playing interactive social mobile games in last one year getting quadrupled with number of downloads of new games staying constant. And that around 40% of the mobile games played are the ones that are pre-loaded in the mobile devices at the time of purchase.
Though some prime players have come up with some solutions to combat this threat; one of them being putting into action a
subscription system. However, the limitation to deploy such a solution is that the mobile games need to be evolved to a greater degree for capturing more and more audiences implying more development needs and more developers and hence, augmented development costs.
The whole league of social mobile game producers is busy hunting for ways to put a halt to these illegitimate downloading practices. Let’s see when they find success in accomplishing this objective.
Having spoken about the threat, we cannot evade from our prediction that interactive social mobile gaming is here to stay as there is not even the slightest of doubts that number of mobile users would rise with time worldwide and so there would be seen a proportionate increase in the number of mobile game players. This in turn would lure the mobile game developers for huge revenues on their investments thereby give rise to the number of social mobile game developing companies, globally.
So, it’s time to watch out for some more interactive social mobile games coming our way!