More People Are Playing Games on Their Mobile Phones
Mobile phones are not just used to send text messages and make phone calls anymore. Mobile technology has gone all the way from a simple means of communication to an easy means of entertainment and recreation. In fact, one of the considerations for consumers when choosing a mobile phone is its gaming features.
Developers started with the simplest and easiest games and are now producing more fun and more creative games that suit the different ages and interests of users. Some of the most played game console and computer games can now be played through mobile phones. This is encouraging more users to play through their phones.
Growth of the Mobile Phone Market and Mobile Gaming
Research shows that 80% of the world population now has a mobile phone. In 2011, out of the 1.08 billion people who were using smart phones from across the world, at least 64% enjoyed playing games from their phones. That means that mobile phones satisfied the needs of a majority of consumers when it came to a gaming experience. One reason for this level of satisfaction is mobility. Getting out and around with a super handy mobile phone, which one can use for playing games anytime and anywhere, is one advantage when playing through a phone as opposed to a desktop or game console.
In fact, research shows that more and more people are using their mobile phones just for the gaming experience and they are using them for a longer period of time per session. NativeX, a marketing firm that focuses on mobile technology, did research on how long mobile gamers use their phones to play mobile game applications. During the third quarter of last year, their findings showed that gamers spent an average of 1 minute 27 seconds per gaming session.
When the company checked again during the first quarter of 2013, there was a significant increase in how long gamers spent playing per session. The time increased from 1 minute 27 seconds to 3 minutes 37 seconds. That is quite significant, because it shows that consumers are now more comfortable spending longer amounts of time on mobile gaming activities. The number of people who play for 10 minutes or longer on their mobile phones also doubled in the last few months.
Why Are Mobile Gaming Sessions Lasting Longer?
The increasing number of minutes spent per mobile gaming session can be credited to the increasing popularity of the mobile gaming market. New and improved games are being developed, catering to different interests and extending to all ages. This is making the gaming market more interesting to mobile users.
The market is getting more mature in terms of the quality of gaming applications being offered. There are more game developers in the market who are committed to providing better games for users. Different variants of games are also offered, with marketing strategies such as promos and discounts, to encourage more buyers. In fact, both free and paid gaming apps are being patronized by mobile gamers all around, so the cost of the app doesn't seem to be a factor.
The increase in time spent per session by mobile game users does not really mean that people prefer playing with their mobile phones more than playing with gaming consoles. Console gaming is still preferred by many, as they feel a more real gaming experience. Bigger screens and larger, clearer pictures may be a reason for this.
For some, it is still more interactive to play with real opponents using a game console, rather than holding a gadget as small as a mobile phone. Mobile phones are small, so therefore they have limitations in terms of picture quality and sound. Mobile phones have limited keys and buttons and that can hinder the gaming experience. Gaming consoles have large controllers with many buttons to facilitate play. These factors explain the limited time users allot for mobile phone gaming.
Mobile Phones as a Substitue for Game Consoles In The Market
It cannot be denied that mobile phones are handy and can be brought anytime and anywhere, which makes them a perfect substitute for real gaming consoles such as the PSP, Xbox, and Kinect. This is good news for mobile game developers because people are starting to appreciate gaming for mobile phones.
Meanwhile, for those who cannot stand the small screen of mobile phones, but still want to play mobile game apps, tablets are a good choice because they have bigger screens compared to smart phones. Tablets are a good substitute for mobile phones when it comes to gaming, as they are touch screen and run on the same operating systems as mobile phones.
The Android and iOS app stores offer game applications compatible with different versions of smart phones and tablets, so gamers have nothing to worry about in terms of compatibility. The problem with tablets is the same as the problem with mobile phones – they are all touch screen. Despite the drawbacks of a touch interface, phones and tablets are are a good choice for mobile gaming.
The Future of Mobile Gaming for Mobile App Developers
It's a challenge for game developers to come up with games that will encourage gamers to spend more time playing with their mobile phones. There will come a time when mobile phones will have everything needed for a perfect gaming experience all in one mobile phone.
It's now up to the game developers as to how they are going to take advantage of the increasing interest in mobile gaming. Because in the end, these game developers will be the ones who will primarily benefit from the revenues that come in from mobile gaming applications. It should be remembered that gaming is one of the most popular mobile phone activities, so more and better games should be coming to the market soon.