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Why We Play Mobile Games

Mobile gaming is becoming increasingly popular, and almost anyone know can have access to games within seconds by pulling out their phone or tablet and loading up their favourite application. It’s not that crazy to think that the majority of gamers in 10 years or so will be doing it on tiny screens, and for only a few moments at a time.

Whether you are playing the latest match 3 puzzle types, or simply trying to do a review of party casino, there is always something to do on your phone, within seconds, and for only a few minutes. It’s crazy how short our attention spans are, and I’ve noticed the trend in my own life. I spend more time playing Disney Magic Kingdoms and The Simpsons: Tapped Out than I do playing console games. How crazy that a game where all you do is tap could take over my life so much.

So what is the draw to these games? It isn’t the gameplay, because who would – in their right mind – sign up to play a game where all you do is tap. In reality, that is what these community building games are. Think about this game description and tell me if you would play:

After downloading X, load into the game and begin. Once the cut scene has ended, tap the main character and tap to send him to do a task. When the task completes, tap the icon above the characters head to collect the money and resources. Now tap on the building screen, and tap to build your first building.

Think about this – in this fictional game that I have just created, all you do is tap. And yet these games have million upon million of players, and rake in billions of dollars in revenue. Are we simple minded? I don’t think that is it. In fact, I’d chalk it up to two major reasons.

First, we like the themes of the games we play. Disney fans are going to be drawn towards Disney Magic Kingdoms to unlock their favourite characters, build their favourite attractions, and of course, play through a storyline that crosses multiple franchises. Where else can you have Mickey Mouse and Woody interact with each other. This, ultimately, is what drives fans to continue to play. They want to interact with their favourite franchises, build something they’d love to visit, and interact with friends who also play these games.

The Simpsons is very similar. Who doesn’t want to build the Simpson’s House or the Power Plant? If you are longtime fans of the franchise, you relish the opportunity to play these games, build these communities, and unlock more and more stuff.

The second reason these games are so popular is because of events. We all have something inside us that want to have more stuff, and when something is considered temporary or limited, we want it even more. Enter free-to-play events, usually month long game play elements that allow you to earn special characters, buildings, and more. And to top it all off, these items are limited, so if you don’t play, you don’t get. It’s a brilliant marketing move to keep players coming back, and it’s been proven time and time again that this works.

While we may be addicted to our phones, the reason we play these games is not because we are mindless idiots. Rather, we enjoy what the games are based on, and have an internal desire to get more stuff. More characters, more buildings, and ultimately, more of what we love. Mobile gaming isn’t going anywhere, nor should it. The games coming to mobile get better and better every year, and I cannot wait to see what developers have for us in 2018 and 2019!

 

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