The future of mobile gaming
The mobile gaming scene is likely to get more games in 2022 that were also made for PC and console, TouchArcade editor-in-chief Jared Nelson tells Axios.
Why it matters: Mobile is already the biggest sector in gaming, but what constitutes a mobile game is rapidly changing.
- For decades, most of the big games on mobile were entirely different than the hit games on other platforms.
- The lines are blurring thanks to more powerful mobile devices and because console and PC game makers want a piece of the giant mobile market.
- “It seems silly to ignore the literal billions of potential customers who own smartphones and tablets,” Nelson said.
Between the lines: Mobile’s crossover games can be ports (new versions of old PC/console games) or multiplatform (launching at or close to the same time on console/PC and mobile).
- TouchArcade’s list of top mobile games for 2021 featured standouts in both categories.
- Among the praised ports: Alien Isolation, Divinity Original Sin 2 and Night in the Woods.
- Multiplatform picks included Day Repeat Day, Overboard and SquareEnix’s Final Fantasy Pixel Remasters.
State of play: One of the biggest games in the world, Genshin Impact, runs on mobile and console.
- Ubisoft and Activision both plan to release new installments of big console/PC franchises on mobile this year.
- League of Legends came to mobile in late 2020, and Pokemon Unite thrives on Switch and mobile.
The big picture: The mobile gaming market generated $93.2 billion last year and comprised 52% of the industry, according to industry tracker Newzoo
- Consoles had 28% of the market, PCs 20%, according to Newzoo.
- In the U.S., where consoles are the largest sector, mobile is less than half of the market.
- It also faces more of a stigma among hardcore gamers in the region, though Nelson believes is finally changing thanks to crossover releases like Call of Duty and League of Legends on mobile.
The bottom line: A lot of attention is paid to the growing size of the mobile gaming scene, but Nelson emphasizes that the quality of mobile gaming is also on the rise.
- He tried more than 500 mobile games last year and is impressed with many indies and bigger publisher creations.
- His site, which is supported by a Patreon, remains a go-to for people seeking news about the best new titles in a field flooded with constant releases.
- “It was a good year for mobile games,” he said. “As long as you're willing to put in some effort to find the worthwhile stuff, I don't think mobile has ever had a bad year.”