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The past years have seen the world of mobile games face incredible changes in terms of the types of products offered. Specifically, in the late 2000s and early 2010s, mobile games came to the fore, with more and more players choosing to access this kind of entertainment by means of their newly available smartphones and tablets.
In terms of numbers, mobile gaming has gone from an almost non-existent market to one worth billions of dollars, and the rise is expected to continue for the foreseeable future. Changes in technology have been partially responsible for this enormous growth, but factors within the broader game industry have contributed as well, with these including markets which have been redefined, cost changes, and shifting funding sources, as well as a level of stagnation among larger developers.
The First Mobile Games
The Entertainment Software Association, or ESA, a video game industry governing body, references Snake as the first mobile game. It was introduced in the early 1990s, and required players to make use of their device’s arrow keys to steer a small snake across the screen and to avoid walls, obstacles, and running into itself at the same time. The player’s aim was to have the snake eat numbers that appeared arbitrarily on the screen, with it growing larger every time it managed to do so. Although simplistic, Snake proved incredibly popular and has an almost cult following to this day.
Portable games, however, were held back by the limits of technology, and, when this tech did begin to improve, the entertainment remained limited to particular portable systems like Nintendo’s Gameboy, or the Playstation Portable. it was not until late in the 2000s that both the technology and the entertainment and money-making potential thereof begun to be leveraged for purposes of game development, and players were able to start enjoying a much bigger variety of entertainment options, including real pokies games and other real-money entertainment.
Changing Face of Technology
The 1990s saw huge improvements in mobile phone technology, with devices being created and released that were more than capable of handling a variety of different kinds of games. The first models, however, were generally seen more as business tools than entertainment hubs, and this limited the potential for the development of games.
The introduction of the Apple iPhone in 2007 managed to change this perception, as this company’s focus was on the device’s usefulness as an everyday-tool for anyone, and it’s entertainment capabilities were highlighted. This resulted in a redefinition of tech in broad terms, and, although exclusive to the AT&T network originally, the iPhone managed to move more than 6 million units within just one year.
Mobile Gaming Here to Stay
Mobile gaming is most certainly here to stay thanks to the fact that it remains incredibly accessible, low cost, and innovative. Its also easy to access, can be enjoyed by a far greater audience and is incredibly versatile. Mobile games of all genres appeal to a wide variety of potential players, and are an incredible source of revenue for developers. Software companies will continue to create new games as long as there is a demand for them, and the way the market is moving it seems as though this will continue for years to come.