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9 Trends That Will Define 2018’s Mobile Gaming Outlook

DZone's Guide to

9 Trends That Will Define 2018’s Mobile Gaming Outlook

Get a perspective on how new gaming-focused technologies and focus on social features will shape mobile gaming this year.

· Mobile Zone ·
Free Resource

As time goes by, the number of people smitten by the world of mobile gaming apps goes on increasing exponentially. There is no other technology that can be an alternative to what mobile games can offer to zealous gamers. As demands for innovative games rise, game developers feel inspired to create unique games with incredible storyline, graphics, play environment, characters, and levels.

In 2017, game development experts experienced a great hike in gaming enthusiasts and game-specific technologies. This amplified opportunities to build mobile games with extraordinary graphics. This year, we expect game developers to leverage latest updates in the mobile app market.

On that note, here are the top 9 trends that are likely to define 2018’s mobile gaming outlook.

1. Deep and Interactive Social Features

Social gaming is not new when it comes to web games. Even some mobile games come imbued with social elements for quite a while. But now, implementing deeper and more interactive social features in mobile games seem to take the shape of the wave in 2018. Mobile users are always excited to go social and like to share, invite and engage with other gaming friends while playing their favorite games.

This is why major mobile games are packed with social features, which is likely to be a norm in 2018. Players feel intense fascination towards a social platform that allows them to interact with a community with common interests. Building games around this idea eventually increase a sense of loyalty and commitment towards the gaming app, increasing its usability and ranking.

Game makers who know how to take interactive features to next level will rule the mobile game market in 2018.

2. Mobile eSports Will be Embraced Popularly

The whole new arena, which has so far been seen as comparatively latent, is emerging in the mobile gaming space as eSports, becoming more popular than ever. We can see an explosive rise in the number of fans for eSports and the trend is not going to slow down in 2018 as suggested by Holmes report on eSports trend. According to this research, eSports industry is growing at unbelievable pace with the noticeable boost in revenue from its media advertising, sponsorship and development partnerships and merchandise sales.

eSports games that are making a tremendous mark on the mobile space are Vainglory and Clash Royale with advancements that are highly unstoppable. This surge in eSports mobile games is often attributed to the versatile gaming environment offered by modern mainstream mobile devices. One of the vital factors of mobile eSports games is their exciting gameplay, accessibility, and affordability, which indicates that eSports mobile games could be the future soon.

3. Cloud Games

Cloud-based games are here to redefine the way game development is done and gamers play the game. This unusual concept in the game development world can intrigue the people who have never played cloud games. In this game, players run the live games on cloud server but can stream them on their mobile devices without having to download or install the game app.

Players don’t even need to worry about the storage capacity for the game and they can set the language as per their respective geographical locations. If you have a smartphone and a reliable internet connection, cloud games could rock your world in 2018. A few top cloud game apps are Plagiga, GeForce Now, LiquidSky and LoudPlay.

4. VR Will Be Explosive

With cutting-edge advancements like Google Daydream and Samsung Gear VR, we can say we will sure see new improvements in the in the space of virtual reality experiences. Due to what has happened in the area of VR over past years, adoption of VR in mobile gaming will be on the rise in 2018.

Thanks to the development of new headsets and constant enhancements to mobile VR hardware, VR game lovers will not be disappointed in 2018. In fact, Grand View Research states that by 2025 the global VR will reach about $45 billion when it comes to the gaming market.

Because virtual reality promises to deliver immersive experience and revenue potential, creative game developers can think about opting for VR games development in 2018.

5. More Cross-Platform PC/Mobile Games

Reports confirm that smartphone and tablet games together contribute to almost 42% of total global gaming market revenue, which is obviously higher than what PC games generate. This is why professional game development artists are inspired to create games that work as well on mobile devices as on game consoles and PCs.

One of the popular games Minecraft exemplifies this trend of cross-platform mobile games. The indie sandbox video game allows users to play offline or over Wi-Fi with other participants. Additionally, this incredible game is available on Window 10, mobile and Xbox One.

Inspired by the success such games are receiving, even online gambling sites have embarked upon making virtual casinos available across both desktop and mobile platform in order to cater to gamers who are fond of playing even on the go.

In 2018, story-rich games that are crafted with the idea of cross-platform availability will rock the future mobile games stage.

6. Augmented Reality

Due to its hidden ability to gamify the existing system technology, Augmented Reality was rapidly adopted into the gaming world. Game developers have so far leveraged its power to indulge players into the fusion of physical and virtual worlds. The first ever hit was Pokemon Go that became frenzy in summer of 2016 and reached the massive success of 1.2 billion in revenue by now.

Ever since then, mobile game development companies have been experimenting with this peculiar AR technology. Some of them have actually hit the mark in AR games space. Apple’s ARkit and Google’s ARCore will further encourage developers to unlock even more potential of AR in 2018.

Niantic, the Pokemon Go makers, is currently working on another AR game that they believe is so influential that it will make players addicted to its charm. The game is called Harry Potter: Wizards Unite and it uses both AR and location-based technology. Much success is anticipated for this game because of the worldwide popularity of Harry Potter books, movies, theme parks, and merchandises.

7. Live Activities and Features Will Rise

Games are no longer just games for players and developers alike. Due to frills of live events and activities, today’s mobile games offer much more than just fun and entertainment. Developers nowadays leverage certain live elements of the mobile games to create interest, retention, and loyalty.

With a variety of live features, gamers feel excited and inspired to play more, resulting in habitual addiction for the constant use of mobile games. According to online data, nearly 60% of top 100 grossing games contain unique incentives and rewards that make players take part in live events. This trend is expected to continue with more intensity and impact in 2018.

8. Multi-Player Games

One of the factors that drive multi-player games is the generous availability of high-speed internet and desire to blend with people socially. People are more fascinated by social media and they really want to continue being social while playing games as well in order to remain engaged with the community and enjoy interactive mobile game sessions.

This is why multi-player game development has begun to flourish even more and integration of social activities has become an integral part of modern mobile games. This trend of multi-player gaming is anticipated to drive monetization and engagement on a greater level in 2018.

9. Offline Games

Most of the legendary games need an internet connection to be able to grab the most of its exclusive features and live elements. Without an internet connection, mobile apps have no value. Many of us come across dead zones where network connectivity declines. In such instances, having offline availability of apps comes quite handy.

Offline games allow players to continue their game sessions even when internet connectivity falters especially during traveling. Fruit Ninja has earned the reputation of the most downloaded offline game in Apple store and made $1 million per month. No wonder Google has now added a novel category of offline game apps to its Play Store.

Conclusion

2018 has started and mobile gaming is gaining much wider reach and impact than PC and console games. All the credit goes to affordable prices, creative graphics, technology-enabled improvements and user-friendly themes. These 9 trends further signify how mobile gaming industry is booming globally, inspiring game developers and brands to build and launch unique video games that will capture a great slice of the mobile market.

Topics:
mobile ,mobile games ,game development ,virtual reality

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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