Social and mobile gaming has exploded in popularity over the last decade, with the advancement of smartphone technology and social networks - two separate studies in 2013 showed that 55% of cell phone owners said their phone was a smartphone, and over 27% of time spent online was done through social networks. So where does the future of these two industries stand in terms of gaming?
Study: Mobile & Online Gaming Revenues to Account for Majority of Market Share
A recent Global Games Investment Review by investment bank Digi-Capital has predicted that by 2017, the global games (multi-platform) business will be worth more than $100 billion. Of that total, mobile and online games are predicted to account for roughly 60 percent of the global market for game software.
Even more surprising, is that Asian and European markets are expected to account for most of the mobile/online gaming revenue. Why those specific markets? Take a look at GamesIndustry International’s explanation here.
Free-to-Play Game Design: An Ethical Solution
Marketing tactics and monetization solutions have been constantly evolving as mobile and online gaming has increased in popularity. Low video game price-points (compared to console games) have led to innovation such as the Free-to-Play/Freemium business model: offering a free game to players, and charging them for additional features as the game progresses.
The Free-to-Play model has become an increasingly controversial subject among the industry, as experts and players cite unfair advantages/game balance and other issues such as intrusive purchase requests that detract from the overall experience.
Recently, long-time game industry veteran and former Playdom senior game designer Greg Costikyan shared a practical look at how ethics in free-to-play design affects a game's success. You can read the article on GamaSutra here.