Quality of App Gaming on the Rise, Creating Deep and Meaningful Play
In 2018 quality and depth of mobile games has soared significantly since the early days of mobile gaming. Back in the times of the humble beginnings of smartphones, games would cost a couple of pounds and would deliver a full, albeit small game with weak graphics.
Then, as the internet and smartphones reached more and more people, the era of freemium games ushered in, offering free games with very little depth that focused on gaming loops and sometimes online competition. Now, with mobile revenues accounting for over 50 percent of the global games market in 2018, as shown by New Zoo, developers have been able to invest more in creating valued and exciting gaming experiences to set them above the freemium model. Let’s take a closer look at some iconic examples.
In the summer of 2016, Niantic and the Pokémon Company released what would become a game-changer on the mobile scene. After ironing out some kinks from the first month or so, Pokémon Go continued to develop its real-world, augmented reality experience, bringing the Pokémon brand back to the top of pop culture. As shown by Euro Gamer, the game is currently in the midst of releasing fourth-generation Pokémon to the world, adding even more monster-catching AR action for the players to dig into. Not only is the mobile game still going, but another free-to-play Pokémon game, Pokémon Quest, has proven popular, with over 5 million downloads in the Play Store alone. Both are unique in their gameplay, and while fans can make microtransactions to buy items, it is still possible to enjoy the full experience without paying. Pokémon Go continues to be one of the most popular game apps. In fact, it reached $2 billion in revenue from its launch to September 2018, as Forbes notes – and it’s likely set to see another rise in its player base when Pokémon Let’s Go comes out in November.
New Star Manager
While New Star Manager is free to download and play, many opt to pay the £4.99 ad pass as everything runs much smoother. Its predecessor, New Star Soccer, was a huge mobile gaming hit, wherein players would assume the role of a football player with a dream to rise to the very top. New Star Manager offers a new level of depth, with the player controlling the whole club and playing the key moments of each game. As football is the most popular sport in the world, there is a huge number of mobile apps dedicated to it, including optimised mobile betting apps, allowing for instant access. Because many fans like to put their football knowledge to the test while commuting or generally on the go, betting websites have had to create optimised apps that offer the same functions as the web-based platforms. In fact, according to Statista, an average of 1571 fans per game travel to watch their team on average in the UK, so iOS and Android apps are also covering the needs of football lovers on the move, with the Betway Sports App also providing in-play markets for a range of sports. For when there are no games, apps like New Star Manager have been able to step up and fill the void for football fans, offering an immersive, never-ending football experience. Players can dominate the nation that they start in, take the club to the very top, and then move on to create a new dynasty elsewhere.
Available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Steam, iOS and Android, Portal Knights’ almost limitless reach to gamers is reflecting in the sandbox game itself. Coming in at £4.99 on mobile devices and £14.99 on consoles – with a few reduced features on mobile such as online co-op functionality – Portal Knights has players become a warrior, ranger, or mage to then take on the generated worlds of the fracture, engage in exploration, tactical combat, levelling up, building, and moving through the story to defeat epic bosses. Hailed as a successor to Mojang’s Minecraft, Portal Knights offers an almighty mobile gaming experience. Better still, the game continues to evolve, with new updates such as the Villainous update further expanding the gameplay.
Games like Pokemon Go, New Star Manager, and Portal Knights are proving that mobile games can provide a truly immersive world in which players can enjoy many hours of gameplay rather than just a few minutes of tapping and the need to make microtransactions to remain competitive.