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What are your thoughts on the future of mobile gaming?

05-22-2015, 10:05 AM
#1
Senior Member [Original Poster]
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 163
What are your thoughts on the future of mobile gaming?

With Square Enix and Konami both claiming that mobile will play a major role for them ongoing along with Nintendo finally entering the mobile arena, mobile gaming and it's future has been a huge topic all over the internet. Between a number of front page articles here at TA and over on various mainstream PC/console sites/forums, mobile seems to be the hot topic.

My question for the TA community is what your thoughts are regarding the future of mobile. Do you see the major Japanese devs making a huge impact and changing the game with all the additional resources they bring, or will they just join the fray and release more generic f2p games like seemingly everybody is doing right now? How will Nintendo's entrance into the market change things up? Do you see mobile being the dominant platform in 5 years or will the bubble burst and the mobile market crash like many gamers predict (and hope for as well)?

For my predictions, first, I think the whale centered revenue model isn't going to be sustainable long term, at least in the West. Apparently conversion rates for f2p games are much higher in Japan, but in the West, you are looking at maybe 1-2% of total players who spend any money. Then, a small fraction of them spend huge amounts of money and account for the majority of the money companies like King/Supercell make.

Therefore, to make money f2p devs/publishers are forced to use a variety of user acquisition tools (especially ads or those offers you get to download a game and get premium currency in another) to build their userbase hoping to rope in some whales. They essentially have to pay huge money just to get people to download the game. The cost per user of these services is continuing to go up, requiring devs to have more downloads, more whales who are willing to spend more money. It just isn't sustainable to me in the long term, and I think devs will be forced to evolve the f2p market. If not, we are going to see so major crashes ala Zynga style (you are already starting to see cracks in the King empire).

The other major issue for me is game discovery. Until Apple and/or Google make discovery a major initiative in their respective stores, nobody will be willing to throw big dollars at a mobile game with success is so random. Personally I don't see Apple doing it, but until it does mobile will continue to be a platform of random hits with no conistansy or brand loyalty.

Finally, I think mobile in some form or fashion will be around for the long haul. Do I think it will replace console/PC gaming? No. Do I think mobile/PC/console gaming will eventually merge into one? Yes, eventually, especially with streaming technologies like what Sony is doing with Gaikai tech with PS Now.

Long rant from me, but to sum up
1.) I think the bubble for whale-base f2p will eventually burst
2.) App Discovery is key to opening the door for big devs being willing to throw more money at games since it would make it much easier to find good games among all the garbage on the App Store
3.) Mobile is here to stay
4.) Console gaming is not going away, but it will evolve
05-22-2015, 10:20 AM
#2
Joined: Jan 2011
Location: England
Posts: 10,656
I'm looking forward to the future of it. Of course it wont disappear, over the years theres been mobile gaming in lots of different forms.

With phones getting more powerful (and finally !) more memory then i can see more 'meatier' games coming to mobile rather than the type of 'lite' rubbish you probably saw 5 years ago.

F2P 'might' burst its bubble at some point, hope it does. Great games which are paid seem to do very well, just no amount of fake reviews/marketing sometimes saves the poor games.

Old classics like Baldurs Gate sell well which is good to see and that was a premier priced game. I dont see console gaming collapsing, i dont know why some people are so anti mobile gaming either.

For me its the best thing, have a game here and there (as i have kids), play a bit now and then (when i'm travelling or waiting somewhere) and theres so much more i can do on my phone.

Even if somehow the app store shut down tomorrow i still have 1000+ games i could go back to and play and never get bored for quite some time. Then of course theres emulation as well !

Very interested to see what Nintendo and the others can do, to be honest i'm not expecting much, Clash of Clan clones i reckon and lots of freemium games but you never know
05-22-2015, 10:26 AM
#3
Joined: Jan 2010
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 4,355
Obviously the future is bright. But over the last 5 years I have heard companies say "Video games are the next big thing". Ok sure that they are. But the issue still remains that there are too many games, too many clones, too many to look through. I like the current environment when anyone can become a developer or release an app, the problem is is there are way too many clones out there, and too many really really bad games. For gaming to move as a majority over to mobile it needs to rid of these issues.

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05-22-2015, 11:16 AM
#4
Joined: Jan 2011
Location: England
Posts: 10,656
I do think Apple needs to up their quality control. I remember a few years back a dev here had a platformer (and to be honest it looked terrible, not even decent retro graphics) and Apple rejected it when he tried to submit it for review !

On one hand i love the 'dev' scene which reminds me of the 80's when 'bedroom coders' could just make money by creating games at home instead of a large company.

And you still get that quite a lot here with some quality indie titles. But theres also a lot of junk, a lot of bad clones which i cant believe get through the filters etc and a lot of apps which look like they should be back in 2009 they're that simple.

Now i love retro games, like good retro looking games so i know its not all about graphics. But now with faster processors, more memory i can see us getting a lot more bigger games coming out way. Prices will be higher which i think is a good thing (even at 99c people cry and moan to get promo codes or wait for a free sale !).

It reminds me back in the 90's when PC's were popular and it seemed every few months the speed changed from 66 mhz to 166 mhz to 300 mhz and so on and games were becoming more powerful. Its exciting to see what comes out in the future

Again as an older gamer myself just having Doom/Duke Nukem/Baldurs Gate/Grim Fandango and many others on this ONE device where i can play these classics anywhere is brilliant
05-22-2015, 11:48 AM
#5
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by psj3809 View Post
I do think Apple needs to up their quality control. I remember a few years back a dev here had a platformer (and to be honest it looked terrible, not even decent retro graphics) and Apple rejected it when he tried to submit it for review !

On one hand i love the 'dev' scene which reminds me of the 80's when 'bedroom coders' could just make money by creating games at home instead of a large company.

And you still get that quite a lot here with some quality indie titles. But theres also a lot of junk, a lot of bad clones which i cant believe get through the filters etc and a lot of apps which look like they should be back in 2009 they're that simple.

Now i love retro games, like good retro looking games so i know its not all about graphics. But now with faster processors, more memory i can see us getting a lot more bigger games coming out way. Prices will be higher which i think is a good thing (even at 99c people cry and moan to get promo codes or wait for a free sale !).

It reminds me back in the 90's when PC's were popular and it seemed every few months the speed changed from 66 mhz to 166 mhz to 300 mhz and so on and games were becoming more powerful. Its exciting to see what comes out in the future

Again as an older gamer myself just having Doom/Duke Nukem/Baldurs Gate/Grim Fandango and many others on this ONE device where i can play these classics anywhere is brilliant
I agree with the brilliance of mobile gaming, in fact my console days are a thing of the past. This is amazing considering at one point I simultaneously owned a PS3, Xbox 360, and a Nintendo Wii as well a PS4. The only console that remains from that collection is the 360, although, it just collects dust in my game room.

The fact is, as a university professor, husband, father, martial arts instructor, and an owner of a private practice specializing in psychotherapy I have no time for consoles as I am too busy these days.

In essence mobile gaming is perfect for me now at the age of 36....now if only Square Enix would port FF7 sometime in the next few months then my gaming needs would be complete.