Continuous advancements of mobile technology have shaped the lives of millions in ways that could not have been comprehended a decade ago. No longer a simple device for convenient communication, it has grown to become an absolute necessity in everyday lives.
In a way, mobile phones have become a sort of lifeline that links its users to the rest of the world. The development of the modern smartphone and its many features along with the ability to personalize it further through the use of apps have allowed for its use in the place of other technologies such as computers, portable music players and navigation devices to a certain extent. The price of such phones also plays a role in its popularity as it is significantly cheaper to buy a phone than a PC and its cost is a defining feature for less wealthy individuals.
Recent years have seen the mobile phone expand to take an increasingly influential role in the gaming market. In fact, by the end of 2019, mobile games are expected to make up 45% of the $152.1 billion dollars spent in the global games market. With billions of mobile and smartphone users today, mobile gaming likely to become one of the fastest-growing sectors in the gaming industry. And while games have long been a part of mobile phones with titles such as Snake, Tetris and Space Invaders, advancing technology allows developers to create more creative and enjoyable games that can appeal to a variety of people.
Perhaps the biggest appeal of mobile gaming is convenience. Players are able to enjoy their games anytime and anywhere. Games can easily be downloaded for a cheap price or free over the app store and played within a short time. Besides that, mobile games are said to be easier to develop than console games. They take up less space, require less code and graphics isn’t much of a concern. With these features, developer companies do not have to spend a lot of money, time or contribute plenty of personnel to the development of a game. It also means that a variety of games can be produced to cater to different demographics and allow developers to experiment with different genres, designs, and play styles. Meanwhile, advancements in internet technology and networking services gave faster internet speeds and more accessibility may have given people an incentive to try out mobile gaming.
The popularity of mobile games also led to its subsequent entry into the esports scene and it has been predicted to be the fastest-growing segment of the industry. Easier accessibility to a phone may have been a factor in its growth. As mentioned before, mobile phones are pretty much a necessity in modern life and more people having access to such devices and games would likely result in a higher number of individuals willing to participate in competitions and many more who are likely to be enthusiasts. Because of the growing interest, new lines of products and services are being developed to cater to the new demand. Gaming phones are one such example and is steadily gaining popularity as the industry continues to evolve. Console-like controllers for mobile gaming are also available for players who find using their hands to be problematic. Much like its console and PC counterparts, streaming services are also looking to capitalize on the mobile gaming industry. Hatch is one such service. Created by Rovio, the company best known for the Angry Birds franchise, the cloud-gaming service is optimized for 5G and gives players access to over 100+ games to play games without the need to download anything.
The growth of the mobile gaming industry also invites opportunities for partnerships and collaborations. Some of the examples are shown below;
Microsoft x SK Telecom
Microsoft and South Korean telecommunications company SK Telecom partnered on an exclusivity deal to provide 5G services in the country. In return for obtaining the rights to be the only partner of Microsoft’s cloud gaming service in South Korea, SK Telecom will strengthen Microsoft’s mobile presence in the territory. Microsoft’s Project xCloud game streaming service lets people stream Xbox titles to their smartphones.
Asus x Capcom, Madfinger Games, Blazing Games Inc., and Gameloft
Asus announced it has partnered with 4 other companies – Capcom, Madfinger Games, Blazing Games Inc., and Gameloft – on content for its new Republic of Gamers (ROG) phone series. Owners of both the ASUS ROG Phone and ROG Phone II are able to obtain early game access, content and optimized experiences. However, the features are different for each developer and game.
Tencent x Super League Gaming
Tencent and Super League Gaming collaborated to create local esports competitions for the popular PUBG Mobile game across the United States alongside other content. Local and digital PUBG Mobile communities will also be built for gamers and fans to come together and to help drive the growth of the game.
Vodafone x ESL
Vodafone and ESL jointly launched the world’s first international 5G mobile esports competition, the Vodafone 5G ESL Mobile Open with 2 games available – Asphalt 9: Legends and PUBG Mobile. The competition will begin on 31 May 2019 until 29 September 2019 and will be open to players from 17 countries where Vodafone has a presence.
Razer x Tencent
Razer is collaborating with Tencent to build its own mobile gaming strategy. Both companies will work together on hardware, software and service solutions including the optimization of Tencent games for Razer products. There is also a possibility that the partnership will also explore additional opportunities for mobile gaming.
AT&T x ESL
AT&T became a founding sponsor for ESL’s mobile esports league, the ESL Mobile Open. The competition is open to anyone legally residing in the US, Canada, Mexico, or Puerto Rico with a smartphone and wants to compete for a chance to win $330,000. Participating games include PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Clash of Clans and Asphalt 9: Legends.