Last year was a great one for gaming in general. We’ve seen several great titles brought back from the dead – think Doom, Tomb Raider and even Hitman (although that one only on the big screen) – and loads of fresh content invade all of our devices, from smartwatches to gaming consoles. And when it comes to mobile devices, we’ve seen a boom in mobile-first content and the diversification of titles in the industry. But wait, there’s more: mobile gambling will go higher in all segments, no matter if said gaming will be social, real money or otherwise. Let’s see in a bit more detail what specialists expect from 2016 on the mobile gaming front.
New markets will emerge
According to Venturebeat’s Dean Takahashi, China took a very short time to move from a “gaming backwater” to one of the biggest gaming markets of the world. And 2016 will be a year that will see even more so-called “emerging markets” be invaded by mobile-first games. Think India, which has a population that almost matches that of China, and where smartphone adoption has been booming in the last year. Brazil has some similar traits, even with its 200 million population. These will be the real growth markets targeted by content providers this year.
Former Zynga head Atul Bagga expects the Indian mobile gaming market to grow from $200 million today to $3 billion by 2019. And that’s a lot of growth in a very short time.
Console sales hampered by mobile
After killing off the portable console, mobile gaming growth will take its toll on traditional gaming consoles, Scientific Revenue CEO William Grosso predicts. Not that today’s consoles would be bad – but they are “eclipsed” by a series of cheaper, more flexible options. Some smart TVs now come with docking stations for smartphones, which turns them into something similar with a console. Pair this with the return of the Play Store with the world’s biggest gaming market (see above), which will further reduce console sales in Asia.
Mobile to become an extension for the VR industry
What VR headset is readily available to most users? Well, Samsung GearVR and Google Cardboard are the first to pop into mind – both of them using Android smartphones as a display. Mobile game developer Juan Mendiola thinks that the harbingers of the VR revolution will be these devices, which “transform simple mobile devices into unique VR experiences”. He expects virtual reality and mobile gaming to be the obvious pairing in 2016, with mobile game developers overcoming the challenges of merging the two. Mendiola calls this period in mobile gaming “the most exciting”, and with a good reason. Just wait and see.