Technology has made incredible advances in recent years. The invention of the internet a couple of decades ago was the start of this revolution which arguably is still ongoing and will keep going for the current century for sure. The computer and world wide web were the two building blocks of the current era, and smartphones were a direct consequence of the two. The constant need to be social has transformed a mobile phone from merely being a texting and calling device to a minicomputer, enabling us to be connected all the time, every day.
Surely enough, gaming has found its way to these small, portable devices too. Starting off with a multitude of small, useless apps which for example made you drink a glass of beer, or light a zippo with a flick of your thumb, mobile gaming has now evolved to fully developed titles of well-known series such as triple a games or anime franchises. Slowly, the mobile gaming community is growing and is also becoming varied, with plenty of categories where you can slot the different players and their styles.
The most avid of the bunch are probably the ones who spend most money on these games. Most of the titles loved by such gamers are the free-to-play games riddled with micro transactions, such as plenty of anime gacha games to name an easy example. Gacha games are known as such because the word literally means toy vending machine, summing up the micro-transaction experience of such games.
These titles are often from very popular franchises to entice people to download the game, and when players become hooked they can start splurging the cash to get better items or characters in the game itself. It becomes a vicious cycle, as the more content you unlock, the more money you are permitted to spend. Some of these micro transactions can also not even show what you are getting, similarly to loot boxes. You spend money for a chance of getting what you want. This type of micro transactions can be compared to gambling as your chances of actually winning something good are very limited.
A subcategory of those mobile gamers who will spend money on games, are gamers who also make money from them at the same time. This could be because they stream the games, and sometimes buying new loot boxes when an event is on can generate interest. Another type of gamer who will purchase stuff are competitive gamers, especially in play to win titles. If there is a competitive esports scene of a mobile title, you can be sure to find gamers spending plenty of cash on it, even if they’re just purchasing shiny cosmetic items. You’ll be able to find out what mobile titles have esports scenes with a quick search, or check your local betting site for their esports picks, as they’ll no doubt indicate which games have a competitive scene too.
Another category of mobile gamers are the casual ones, who are surely not as hardcore as the ones mentioned above but do their fair share of hours. Casual mobile gamers probably are accountable for the biggest share of profit that the companies producing these games make, as although they are on the lower side of the spending, they make up most of the customer base. Being so many that spend a little is more profitable to the game than having a few spending so much, although objectively speaking, both are good for the company.
Casual gamers do not spend a lot of time playing the game, hence being called casuals. The casuals however experiment the most, and are probably the players who browse and try the highest amount of games, as they are not particularly dedicated to a single game and with no significant sums spent into one single game, they are quite free to do so.
The final category of mobile gamers are the ones who are very averse to spending, so basically those who play everything for free, or nothing at all. From a business perspective, these players offer no profit whatsoever, but these can still be significant to their sales by marketing or promoting the game. Free versions of games also carry a bunch of ads, so no revenue from micro transactions can still be bringing in a decent amount of money through in-app advertising.
Needless to say, the mobile gaming landscape is constantly shifting. It went through an incredible shift from simple apps to full-fledged titles with the rising popularity in smartphone user base, and considering that everyone basically has a smartphone these days, there really is no limit as to how detailed or comprehensive mobile games can become. With the increasing number of phones now also supporting Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, one really cannot imagine where the world of mobile gaming can take us within a year or two, but judging from the advancements we have experienced in recent times, one cannot rule out anything.