How Did Smartphones Become the Most Popular Gaming Platform?

When we consider the ‘average’ gamer, we could be forgiven for not instantly calling to mind the casual, smartphone gamer. Rather, we consider the industry-leading consoles, gaming computers and high-tech set-ups indicative of an industry fuelled by professional gaming.

But, according to recent analysis conducted by App Annie, the smartphone has long posed developers the most lucrative market for the gaming industry in 2020. Consumer spending is more than two times higher on mobile gaming than it is on PC gaming, and even more so for console gaming, offering clear evidence of the popularity of mobile gaming.

How Did Smartphones Become the Most Popular Gaming Platform

Read more below about some of the reasons why mobile gaming continues to hold such significance within the gaming market, and why players are investing so much into the smartphone experience.

Portability and Convenience

Last year, it was revealed that smartphone users were spending more time looking at their phones than watching TV each day. They provide entertainment on the morning commute, in waiting rooms and long lines; they offer an unbroken line of communication with the rest of the world; they are where we store our diaries, emails, messages, social media, photographs and, of course, games.

We do not worry about leaving the house with them – rather, we worry about the opposite – but many of us would turn a hair at leaving the home with an expensive games console or laptop.

Essentially, our phones are constant companions. Whether we have an hour to kill, or just five minutes, their convenience and ease-of-access give them a significant edge over other gaming platforms.

Optimised Experiences

In the very early days of smartphones, sites were not optimised for the small screen. Nowadays, in response to such high demand for mobile gaming, more sites are investing into optimising the user experience for smartphones. The casino games at offer a prime example of a site’s ability to create a versatile gaming experience for players, ensuring a fluidity between PC and mobile gaming that does lose value in translation.

The ever changing technology behind smartphones is one of the driving forces behind the transformations of the gaming industry; by perfecting gameplay on mobile devices, developers gain access to a market that extends far beyond the serious or professional gamer.

More Manageable Costs

The vast majority of mobile gaming experiences are either free to download, or involve microtransactions in lieu of the large, upfront costs of games produced for consoles. In June of this year, it was revealed that the average cost of a game on Apple’s App store was just 51 cents, which offers a wealth of insight into the motivations of mobile gamers.

Players are more likely to spend $0-$5 on downloading an app – and with greater frequency – than they are to spend somewhere in the region of $60 on all the newest releases. In general, console and PC gamers need to be more discerning about the games they choose to buy; on mobile, the need for economical choices is not nearly so pressing.

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Mobile gamers have a wealth of choice at their fingertips, and these games can be downloaded, deleted and rediscovered with only the bare minimum of effort. From digitised puzzles like Sudoku and crosswords, to popular games translated into free-to-download apps like Mario Kart and League of Legends, the ability to house an entire industry’s worth of genres is quicker and easier on mobile than it is on any other platform.

The variety of games on the market today is, of course, shared across the breadth of the gaming industry. As a platform, however, mobiles bring gaming into the hands of one of the most diverse markets in the world; those who may never consider investing in a dedicated gaming console have access to innumerable gaming apps designed for a more casual approach to gaming.

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