Video games are old. The first one was presented in the late 1950s, using an oscilloscope as a display. The cathode ray tubes and solid state computers built later helped them offer better graphics and sounds, and this evolution ultimately led to the completely lifelike and totally immersive games of today. But a few years ago a new “player” emerged on the gaming market, a new device that threatens the already frail handheld gaming industry, and bites into the sales of dedicated consoles. This new device is the smartphone, the gaming platform of choice for the new generation.
Players have been demanding to play on the go ever since Snake, the first successful mobile game, was built into an ancient Nokia handset. The pressure to build better games has only grown ever since the iPhone was launched in 2007. Those who felt the pressure the most were real money game operators – their players were happy to play their favorite games at home, but would have liked to take them with them even when they left their computers behind. And the industry delivered.
The Royal Vegas online casino was among the first to launch its mobile gaming platform back in the mid-2000s, even before the iPhone was released. Their software was backward compared to the sophisticated browser interface used today – no wonder, even the smarter handsets of the time were limited by the capabilities of Java and their smaller screens. But phones have evolved, and so did the Royal Vegas mobile casino. Today it is one of the richest offering of the industry, with over 100 games – all built in HTML5, to run on any mobile platform from iOS to Windows 10. And the Royal Vegas mobile casino game library grows with new titles added every month.
But real money gaming is not the only branch of the industry where mobile is taking over. When it comes to casual games, there’s no platform more popular than smartphones and tablets. The growth of mobile games has carved into the sales of handheld consoles, forcing even companies like Nintendo to turn to the most popular smartphone platforms of today. And Sony, the company best known for its high performance gaming devices, has blamed mobile gaming for the cancellation of the PS Vita 2. Apparently the platform of choice for handheld gaming is not the PSP anymore – it’s the smartphone.
According to a 2014 study by IDC, mobile gaming is the branch of the industry with the biggest growth in revenue. This means that people are either buying mobile games, or spending on in-app items, more than on any other platform today. And developers are businesses with the goal of going where their audience – and money – is. This means that mobile gaming will continue to grow, possibly outgrowing the desktop and console in the near future.