Mobile Gaming Industry – Generating Big Business From Small Devices

In the year 2007, Apple Inc. gave a whole new meaning to mobile technology by launching its flagship device – the first-generation iPhone. The device acted as a boon for a mobile game development sector, which was otherwise growing with a “snail’s speed“. Later, in the year 2008, the Internet giant Google also released “Android OS” and this eventually started a war of apps, and both became fierce competitors. However, this proved fruitful for the smartphone users, as the competition resulted in the development of better mobile gaming apps with excellent graphics, fascinating game play and superb sound systems.

The Statistics and Predictions

With the pace of time, companies brought advance tools and technologies to develop more sophisticated gaming apps, to allure a bigger chunk of mobile enthusiastic population. As per recent statistics, in the year 2010, the smartphone and tablet gaming app sales reached $898 million, and it is expected to generate a revenue figure of $1.6 billion by the year 2015.

The overwhelming response experienced by the mobile gaming apps can be seen by the following facts –

  • 53% of smartphone owners play mobile games on daily basis
  • Smartphone users spend 14.7 hrs per month, playing mobile games
  • 93% people pay for gaming apps
  • 100 million mobile gamers in U.S. alone
  • 700 million download of Angry Birds app
  • Tiny tower generated $3 million from in-app purchase
  • Major revenue generation is via advertisements

It is worth mentioning that the above figures show only a small insight of the entire mobile gaming industry. However, with the technology evolving with each passing day, the popularity of mobile games is expected to break all the previous records.

Freemium Model or Paid Model – The Game Changers

The task of selecting the right medium for revenue generation has always been a game changer. There are three main revenue models in the mobile application development industry:

  • Free Apps – The apps were supported with advertisements, to support revenue generation.
  • Freemium (Free + Premium) Apps – Free to download apps, but with in-app purchase options.
  • Paid Apps – One-time payment for all the features.

No doubt, the freemium model has proven fruitful many times, but the major revenue generation is still carried by paid game apps. In addition, the predictions by experts state that, the revenue from free, ad-supported games is expected to grow by 12.3%, by the year 2014. Therefore, with free applications missing the “Spark“, and freemium apps showing better potential, the prospects of being innovative and effective are higher in the latter. As a result, one can sense a balance in revenue generation between paid and freemium apps in coming years.

Word of Mouth – The Main Reason Of Downloads

No matter whatever the medium is, physical or virtual, the “word of mouth” always serves as an efficient way of promotion. Even as the companies are spending heavy to promote their gaming apps, the statistics suggest that “word of mouth” medium of publicity still holds the number-one position in effectiveness. As per a recent survey:

  • Around 50% of adults learn about new gaming apps from friends and family.
  • About 40% of adults learn from app stores, after reading the user reviews and hot list.
  • About 25% of adults learn from social media sites.

However, there is also a long list of mobile gaming websites with a heavy influx of web traffic, present over the Internet that provides game reviews, upcoming apps, cheats and tips. So, companies should concentrate on utilizing all types of efficient media channels to acquire maximum coverage and ensure 100% promotion of their apps.

With mobile gaming apps available for free to play, it is easy to fall-in and get absorbed in them. Furthermore, from above statistics one can easily sense the increasing popularity, the higher growth rate and the potential in Mobile Game Development Industry.

Benefits of Mobile Gaming

So why is mobile gaming so popular? Is it the simplistic yet addictive nature of the games? Or is it the fact that nowadays the games look just as good as console games and are just as in depth and even multiplayer? Is it the ease factor? Or maybe it’s the price. There are a lot of factors that are appealing about mobile gaming.

Price: This may be the obvious answer to lead the pack. Games for your phone or tablet are in many cases free, or 1/10th the cost of a console game. The average Xbox or PlayStation game costs approximately $50. This is a far cry from the.99 cents you just spent to play a game that you can take with you anywhere.

The sting of picking out the wrong game hurts a lot more when you spent $50 on it and can’t return it. Or, if you get the game home and beat it within a matter of an hour or so and you’re left saying, now what? The value is simply much better in the mobile space.

Traction: Another “no kidding” response. There are just many more smart phones and tablets in peoples hands. Smart phones number in the hundreds of millions world wide which grossly dwarfs the number of households with gaming consoles.

A phone is a necessity and as of late, that phone of choice is a smartphone. Whether it be Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry, or iOS, there are a slew of games for each. You will also find most of the games you can get on your Xbox or PlayStation you can now get on your Android or iOS devices. Madden anyone?

Form Factor: Your phone is always with you, in your pocket, in your purse, a game is never farther away than your fingertips. Nothing beats being able to pull out the phone and kill some zombies while waiting to see your doctor.

Smartphones and tablets are portable and easily handled. This makes a winning combination in the gaming space.

What’s next?: Look towards NVidia’s Shield or the Ouya gaming system. Android is taking the lead on revolutionizing the way games are played. The games you already own on your phone or tablet can be played on NVidia’s Shield, which is a 5″inch touch screen attached to a controller. Same goes for the Ouya, which is more in the vein of a console with a controller, but is connected to your Google Play account and you play Android games on your big screen television.

These two items will be big sellers around Christmas time. The games and mobile devices are simply much cheaper and more accessible to the masses.

The beauty of these types of devices lies in the redundancy. The games you purchase on your NVidia Shield or Ouya, are able to be played on your smart phone or tablet as well.

The mobile gaming industry shows no signs of slowing down and it is evolving at an exciting clip!

Use of Java in the Development of Mobile Games

One of the most commonly used platforms for the development of Java games for cell phones is the Java 2 Micro Edition (J2ME). Most cell phones from well-known brands are Java enabled. Leading handset manufacturers depend on Java platform; it has become more of an industry standard in the design and development of mobile games. It has been found to be appropriate for the development of interesting mobile Java games. And there are a number of reasons for this trend.

A free and open platform, the Java 2 Micro Edition (J2ME) is a low-cost option for game development. There are several other reasons which make the Java platform ideal for the development of mobile games. The Java platform incorporates the Mobile Information Device Profile (MIDP). This means that the constraints and limitations of developing Java games for small devices such as are taken care of. Consequently, the development of games for mobile phones becomes quicker as well as easier.

The security features of the Java platform are also commendable. Applications running on a particular mobile phone handset are not adversely affected by mobile Java games that are running on the same device.

Mobile written for a specific type of handset is capable of running on all other types of Java enabled handsets. This inherent portability of the makes it ideal for the development of mobile games.

Because of all these reasons, the Java platform is being used to design and develop a host of interesting and innovative mobile Java games for different models of mobile phone handsets.