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The State of Mobile Gaming at E3
by Josh Conway on 07/18/13 02:20:00 pm

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

Mobile gaming weighed in as a welterweight at E3 this year as console developers considered their overall impact on the industry and their revenues. Even if the mobile platform's presence was a bit compartmentalized, console makers Sony and Microsoft still paid attention to the rising interest in "casual" or mobile games.

Though not viewed as a big competitor to consoles, gaming for tablets and smartphones is growing fast. Here's how mobile played at the year's biggest gaming event.

Mobile Impacts Big Name Games

The biggest names in games were ever-present at E3. Call of Duty: Ghosts, Destiny and Titanfall, a new game for PC, Xbox 360, and XBox One, drew lots of interest. Mobile devices have similar games including Modern Combat 4.

In addition, mobile concepts are changing to allow players on mobile devices to sync with console games. This could lead to more people playing on their mobile devices, and it's also likely to draw more people to larger-screen console gaming as well.

Taking Gaming to Non-Gaming Mobile Devices

BlackBerry's phones, which boast above-grade features for your work-life, like time-saving apps, some very impressive enterprise mobility management benefits, also produced a stunning line-up of games at E3 for the right side of your brain.

Big titles for BlackBerry include Angry Birds Star Wars, Riptide GP, The Bard's Tale role-playing game, and sci-fi shooter N.O.V.A. More impressive is the tantalizing possibilities of better games when Jelly Bean arrives, which will bring more big titles to the phone.

Accepting and Denying a Bigger Mobile Impact

Executives from huge companies, along with other important figure-heads in the industry, agreed that mobile won't surpass console gaming. Instead, they agreed that mobile will only draw more people to console games as they get introduced to gaming on their phones.

They suggested players will get hooked on RPGs and first-person shooters as a way to whittle away down time. Afterwards, they'll move on to console games. It's hard to say either is taking away from the other when most people have a cell phone and console and play both.

Develop It and They Will Play

Another theme at E3 centered around app development. Developers like an easy way to get their games on mobile devices. BlackBerry offers a native SDK, and one for Adobe Air, along with a plug-in for Microsoft Visual Studio. It also gives developers incentives, such as a 10K commitment.  

This contrasts the financial hurdles and complexities independent developers face with the XBox 360 and XBox One platform. Sony is taking mobile's cue, opening the door a little wider for indie game developers at E3, offering a safe haven for independent developers in the console world. Independent games will play a larger role on Playstation 4 consoles.

Even though mobile games aren't likely to consistently out-perform console games, mobile is impacting how the big fish think and how we play. It's good for us, though. Either way, we'll get better, more intense games on our phones and consoles in years to come.

 


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