We all saw the success of Pokemon Go this summer. People flocked to the streets, phones out, looking for Pokemon to catch on one of Nintendo’s first smartphone games. Now, Nintendo has released Super Mario Run for iPhone; Fire Emblem is coming out February 2nd for iPhone and Android, and an Animal Crossing mobile game will be released this spring. While smartphone gaming used to be mocked as inferior to “real” games on consoles, the times are changing. Now, mobile gaming is surpassing other forms of gaming.
Mobile Gaming in 2016
It was predicted early last year that mobile games would surpass PC and console earnings for the first time. And that came true! Mobile gaming brought in $41 billion, while retail gaming brough in $26 billion. Mobile game developers also began to partner with large gaming companies — for PC and consoles — to create apps. Overall, mobile gaming had a good year in 2016. And we can tell the landscape is changing as games once only for Nintendo consoles — such as Animal Crossing — are making their way to mobile.
Predictions for 2017
We except mobile gaming to keep rising in popularity this year. Creators will incorporate AI more, for a more interactive experience. For example, companies will use AI, “to create deterministic logic to using it to create probabilistic environments (i.e., to learn from the game play and make the play more dynamic and challenging for the user).” We also expect game developers to focus more on more creative ways to advertise in games.
Companies can also begin to use mobile gaming to promote their consoles. For example, Nintendo can try and convert all of the Pokemon Go and Super Mario Run fans into customers for their new console coming out this year — the Nintendo Switch. If they create great smartphone games, it gives consumers more of an incentive to buy their more expensive consoles.