Mobile games are developing rapidly and becoming increasingly popular and profitable. In short, the mobile games industry has surpassed every technical or commercial benchmark.
With over 3 billion online gamers worldwide, it's safe to say that mobile gaming will only continue to grow in popularity. So, we can expect the future of mobile gaming to be even more innovative and exciting than it is today.
Almost everybody play mobile games, so to get as many customers as possible, you should know what they need and what they use most. The knowledge of trends and news can help expand your audience. Several years ago, mobile gaming had a boom. According to the most recent data, the number of active mobile gamers worldwide is over 2.2 billion and climbing.
Additionally, 66% of App Store revenue share is from mobile games, which is estimated to rise further by 2022.
How to Spot a Mobile Game Trend?
There is no recipe for finding a trend that will conquer the market. It would be too easy, wouldn't it? But after observing the market for a few years, you can find patterns that repeat themselves.
By observing social media, technological innovations, and the current situation in the world, you can create a need to perform certain activities. It is how applications for ordering food or applications with mobile banking have gained popularity.
It is a bit different from mobile games. Since mobile games expanding into other ecosystems such as PC, consoles, and even VR - they create their own trends unrelated to even what we observe in ordinary applications.
Most depend on the current fashion and what is popular on the Internet. Relying on elements of pop culture often makes a niche game extremely successful. Then the competition wants to try their hand at this success. This is how mobile gaming trends are born.
Best Mobile Game Development Trends For 2022
If you're thinking about investing in mobile game development, it's crucial to stay up-to-date on the latest trends. Mobile game publishers tend to follow the same pattern and try to break out by doing something else. Here's a look at some of the most popular mobile game market trends for 2022:
eSports have been around for a while now in the mobile gaming world. They're simply games that professional players and amateurs alike can compete in.
Many people in the world view and follow such mobile games by watching them on television or via live events, as well as using online resources. Live streaming services allow you to watch your favorite sports in real-time and play them.
The worldwide eSports market is expected to reach $1 billion in value by the end of 2021, according to reports, a nearly 50 percent increase from 2020. Furthermore, you can anticipate it to rise by over $2 billion in 2022. As a result, we may also expect eSports as a popular and continuous game development theme in the years ahead.
Another development that will have an impact on the gaming environment in 2022 is cross-platform gaming. You may play cross-platform games on consoles as well as several systems. The main reasons players were unable to play across platforms were a result of a lack of money and technological issues. Conversely, gamers were able to engage in real-life cross-platform gaming using game codes in 2021.
Developers want to build games that are available on multiple platforms, including but not limited to desktops, laptops, mobile phones, and tablets. In addition, these applications use cross-platform technology so that users can discover them easily and without much effort.
Wearables are electronic gadgets with sensors that assess, identify, and share data with users in real-time. Fitness rings, wristbands, and smartwatches are some standard wearable gadgets that use this type of technology.
While wearables are commonly linked to health and wellness, they are also beginning to take off in the gaming industry. You can use a data-tracking wearable device to track the mobile gaming sessions attended by players. This information can then be used to help improve the gamers' experience.
Not only can wearables be used for keeping track of data and performance in real-time, but they can also be used to improve the quality of streaming content for gamers worldwide. Using different microphones and other enhancements makes gaming a more immersive and enjoyable experience for everyone involved.
Gaming with AR
AR (enhanced reality) gaming is a type of game that mixes computer graphics and audio content to create an immersive experience for players. Unlike VR gaming, AR gaming takes place in the actual environment rather than a virtual one. AR gaming lets users view and explore the game and its visuals in real-time.
Specialized headsets aren't required in AR systems. Augmented reality games may be viewed, accessed, and played on mobile devices like tablets, smartphones, and other mobile gaming consoles.
Pokémon Go is one of the most advanced examples of AR gaming applications, which includes GPS, a smartphone camera, a clock, and a gyroscope. It creates a location-based AR setting.
Virtual Reality Gaming
VR (Virtual Reality) offers a highly captivating experience to gamers, immersing them in the game. VR headsets allow life-like interactions with objects in an artificial environment by using sensors and tracking your movement. Although currently costly, technology will eventually reduce prices significantly. At that point, they'll become more affordable for causal and dedicated game lovers alike.
The future of virtual reality gaming appears bright, with giants like Intel, Google, Sony, Microsoft, IBM, Amazon, Samsung, Nokia, Siemens & Qualcomm already getting involved. Global revenue from selling VR accessories, headsets, and content in the coming weeks indicates that VR will significantly influence mobile games. With time, graphics and VR games' overall quality will also improve.
The Metaverse is one of the newest trends, but its full effects are still not transparent to the mobile gaming industry. This year, we will see more robust in-game experiences through mobile gaming's attachment to the Metaverse - for instance, a Fortnite concert.
In 2022, more gaming platforms will be available, and new competitors will enter the market. Nikeland in Roblox is one of many similar firms developing their online game worlds.
Startups intend to provide users with the tools they need to construct a Metaverse, such as life-like personas. In other words, the Metaverse will become even more accessible in 2022, and the ideal place to watch it will be.
AI in Gaming
AI models provide gamers with better experiences. In fact, AI in game development could mean the success or failure of your game. And as we've mentioned before, popular technologies like AR and VR are only increasing in popularity. But the real potential lies in the integrated strength of AR, VR, and AI – a triple threat that will change the gaming industry forever.
In 2022, we expect an even more significant impact of AI in gaming. AI assists game developers in producing more exciting games. Now, AI includes NPCs with the ability to learn. NPCs can also utilize this AI-powered learning to modify their responses, making mobile video games more challenging. According To market study studies, we may anticipate a constant growth in the use of AI in the mobile gaming industry.
NFTs and Blockchain-based Games
In the mobile gaming industry, blockchain and NFTs are becoming increasingly important. NFTs are similar to cryptocurrencies such as Ether and Bitcoin because they are non-fungible tokens. Real estate, music, artworks, and other items may be tokenized using these non-fungible tokens. Blockchain, on the other hand, provides security through its consensus algorithms.
Because NFTs are fungible, they can be tokenized and used to represent game characters. They may also be used in card games to represent trading cards. Many Metaverse video games are NFT games, as well. The market for NFTs and blockchain gaming is developing rapidly.
Increased Gaming Socialization
With social media on the rise, mobile games have become more interactive. Consequently, during these times of isolation caused by the pandemic, people are craving interactivity and turn to mobile gaming as a form of socialization.
According to Facebook, 38% of new gamers in the United States enjoy chatting while playing games. Many are growing to prefer online modes or multiplayer over single-player gameplay.
Mobile game developers are experiencing a rise in popularity and profit by adding features that include guilds, social media connectivity, chat rooms, etc. The recent surge in social media use and gamers is the primary reason for the socialization of gaming. In addition, marketers can take advantage of this trend by offering rewards through newly developed social features.
GaaS, or gaming as a service, can teach us things about life we never knew before. Also, by subscribing to this type of model, developers can stay motivated and uncover new possibilities for their games based on gamer feedback.
Suppose users want to build strength by involving a player or players with weapons, like Fortnight, Candy Crush, PUBG, etc. In that case, the players can perform more quickly and smartly.
Mobile gaming companies profit handsomely when users or clients turn on their PCs, laptops, mobile devices, and so forth to access remote servers to play cloud games without needing hardware assistance.
More Social Features
Gaming has always had a presence in the world of online gaming. Mobile games, on the other hand, have been one step behind PC and console games in terms of providing players a means to interact or link with each other.
Furthermore, because of the coronavirus pandemic, people have begun to desire human interaction and social activities, even if they are virtual. That is another incentive for the mobile gaming market and game developers to include social capabilities in their games.
Currently, two-thirds of the top 50 mobile games feature at least one social component (App Annie). The following are some standard social features found in mobile games:
- in-game chat
- social media connection
- co-op modes
- PvP modes
We are now witnessing a lot of mobile games improving and adding to their social features, particularly in Asian games. However, some excellent western instances exist, such as Call of Duty: Mobile, where hangout rooms exist, and Roblox, where users may watch shows.
In 2020, according to Sensor Tower's Industry Trend Report, hyper-casual games dominated the video game industry. Gamers may relax and enjoy themselves without straining their brains with these simple yet enjoyable hyper-casual games.
BusinessWire predicts that the worldwide online gaming market will grow by 11.9% annually until 2026. It means that the hyper-casual video game sector will likely experience significant growth in the next few years.
The games available on PCs and consoles may be more challenging to compete with than those played on mobile phones. As a result, these simple games don't need any particular talents; therefore, you can anticipate them to grow in popularity by 2022.
The Puzzle Games
Over the last several years, the puzzle genre has seen a lot of changes. The most recent mobile game market trend, which all major match-3 puzzle games have embraced, is to include numerous meta-layers to the basic gameplay.
We see this in games like Homescapes, Gardenscapes, and Clockmaker, as well as many other new popular puzzle games that include fashion, décor, and narrative meta-layers.
With so many games on the market, getting your noticed is challenging. To stand out from Candy Crush and other major titles in the match-3 genre, developers continuously develop new ideas for their games.
By utilizing this strategy, game developers can attract a more diverse audience. Games targeting only match-3 players limit their potential reach; however, puzzle games with meta layers can engage gamers interested in design, fashion, or storytelling.
Technology is always changing how games are produced and played. The mobile gaming market is especially dynamic, with no foreseeable end in sight.
Gaming provided entertainment and a way for people to connect with friends virtually. With people spending more time at home, mobile gaming surged in popularity. In fact, by 2022, global mobile gaming is expected to be 3.1x bigger than console gaming.
During a pandemic, being able to connect with others has raised the social aspects of gaming across all platforms, especially mobile. And this pattern is continuing well beyond lockdown.
About the author
Peter Koffer - Chief Technology Officer
With 13 years of experience in the IT industry and in-depth technical training, Peter could not be anything but our CTO. He had contact with every possible architecture and helped create many solutions for large and small companies. His daily duties include managing clients' projects, consulting on technical issues, and managing a team of highly qualified developers.