The shift to mobile gaming from other platforms is growing even faster than expected courtesy of higher spec devices and faster internet. More mobile gaming developers from countries such as China and Turkey are making a stab at this platform. Mobile game developers will also have to look for alternative ways of monetization since Apple disrupted the IDFA model. Gamers can also expect to see more social features to make mobile gaming a more collaborative and social activity. Here are some trends mobile gamers can expect to see as 2021 progresses.
Mobile Gamers Continue to Favor Android
Apple changed the way advertisers access mobile users’ private data, by changing Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA). It was a major disruption to monetization strategies for a majority of mobile game developers. Apple does not seem likely to backtrack on this change.
It is likely a majority of aggrieved game developers will shift to the Android platform because Google has announced no changes to its advertising model. Android seems to gain the upper hand anyway because of more frequent updates. It is also an open platform which makes game development faster and cheaper because of wider availability of Android developers.
Android’s domination of the game apps market will continue in 2021. Its thousands of free games continue to attract millions of downloads. Android will continue being the preferred platform for mobile app game developers because of its wider market.
5G Makes Online Gameplay Faster
The 5G rollout is picking up with more mobile carriers and smartphones on 5G in coming months. It is estimated that around 16% of smartphones will be 5G at the end of 2021. That number could grow to over 40% by 2021.
5G will make gaming up to 10x faster than current speeds. This is good news for mobile online gamers who will be lucky to have 5G handsets. True cross-play will be a reality. You will play smoothly with your online opponents on consoles or PCs. This is such a huge advancement and will benefit a lot when playing live games such as monopoly live or maybe PUBG.
5G will further enable cross-play by making cloud gaming easier. Games in the cloud do not have to be installed on the device. A gamer will simply login to their account and start playing from whatever device they prefer.
More Chinese Games in the Market
Chinese game studio MiHoYo made a big splash with Genshin Impact last year. Gamers loved its high-end graphics and exciting plot. More games are expected from the vibrant Chinese game theater as Chinese game developers look outside their domestic market. Chinese social games will make a significant percentage of these games.
Esports Grow Bigger
Esports is the fastest growing segment in the gaming industry. It is estimated there were 495 million Esports fans at the end of 2020. Esports generated a revenue of $1.1 billion. The reason for this massive growth is the participation of most of the fans as spectators. Popular titles such as League of Legends and Fortnite are attracting huge audiences in tournaments and finals.
2021 will see more fans spectating in these popular Esports titles. 5G will help smoother streaming of these games on platforms like Twitch. It is also likely that the games with live streaming integration will come out this year.
More Social Features
Mobile game developers are seeing the importance of having social spaces within the game rather than integrating mainstream social media sites. PC and console games have had this feature, but mobile developers were limited because of game size. Chinese mobile game developers are ahead on this one.
Popular Chinese games like QQ dance and Audition Online allow their fans to chat, recommend and watch videos, hangout and compare fashion outfits. These social features will be seen on more games in 2021 as mobile game developers see it as an avenue for monetization.
2021 holds exciting developments for mobile gaming. The shift to mobile is speeding up and irreversible. Mobile gamers have a lot to look forward to in coming months.