According to Data.ai, people spend an average of more than 5 hours a day on their mobile phones – so is it any wonder that mobile gaming is so big right now? Statista has forecast that the market will be worth a whopping $130.8 billion by 2025.
We often think of gamers as the ones who spend hours playing on PC or console – but in fact, it’s the hyper-casual mobile gamers who are having the biggest impact on the mobile gaming market.
Hyper-casual gamers probably only play a few minutes here and there a day and often choose games like Virgin Games’ Starburst slot, SayGames’ Race Master 3D and Supersonic Studio LTD’s Tall Man Run.
Hyper-casual games have a few characteristics that make them so popular, including:
They are easy to play Minimal user interface High to infinite replay value Wide audience Addictive Can quit mid-game
Hyper-casual is followed by puzzle games and simulation games.
The biggest mobile games of 2022
Some standout titles have been released in recent years, but 2022 was particularly significant for mobile gaming. With access to better build environments and mobile technology getting better every year, mobile games are more immersive than ever.
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The mobile market is not flat, but it slowed down for a short time in 2022. There were a few key trends that shaped the look of 2023:
Hyper-casual gaming rules
Hyper-casual gaming was the prominent trend in 2022. This gaming genre grew by 45% and took over all other game types. Not only that, but it has far surpassed 2020’s 100 billion installs.
Jigsaw puzzles became one of the ways people wanted to spend time. But it was about puzzles that had several levels. The story and interesting characters that come with the puzzle genre made a big impression.
Match 3 games are tough to beat in the puzzle genre, but games like Clockmaker, Project Makeover, and Homescapes have combined the meta levels for success.
Subscription models and games have always been best friends, but a big trend was subscriptions, which offered VIP access, removed ads, battle passes and more and became a big deal.
Almost all released games came with social features so people could communicate. A development called Mobile Social 2.0.
The future of mobile gaming
Some solid trends in 2022 mean that 2023 and beyond will be more demanded of developers than ever. But the trends won’t just relate to gamers – we’ll see some changes in game studios and in the way we’re marketed.
We’ve already started seeing the lite version of massive titles available on mobile, but over time we’ll likely see the full AAA experience. Game developers will increasingly use cloud options for their builds, meaning a subscription can provide access to a full game without downloading.
Streamers have typically focused on PC and console gaming, but there is likely to be more focus on the mobile gaming experience. Roblox, Among Us, and Minecraft content are among the most popular.
But as more visually appealing mobile games are on the way, we will see more mobile game streams.
Growing user base
Younger people are now growing up with access to newer and better technology than people over 30 ever had, and that means they have instant access to the mobile games many gamers have dreamed of. As better mobile phones and games become available, the mobile gaming user base will grow. Statista predicts that by 2027 there will be 2.32 billion mobile gamers.
Players are used to in-game ads or ad bars being shown at the top of the game. This is how small studios make revenue. In the next few years, we may see gamification of advertising.
Turning ads into something fun and playable. It will still be an ad, and it must be stated as such, but it could provide in-game benefits if you complete the ad play.
This is beneficial to the game developer and the company promoting the product. In a way, it’s also a better experience for the player – their gameplay isn’t interrupted by a full-page ad. Instead, they’ll just play something else for a short time.
Mobile gaming is the future and has also drastically changed the way gamers are viewed in modern society. We’re likely to see exciting and impactful changes including Web3, the Metaverse, and AI.