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8 Trends to Expect about Mobile Game in 2017
by Keval Padia on 01/10/17 09:46:00 am

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.

 

2016 has really been a wild and happening year for the mobile gaming industry altogether. We have seen the rise of several trends, brands and equally the fall of several ones. Naturally, we can expect 2017 to be an equally consuming year for mobile game development company. From the outset, several trends seem to go big and solidify in this year. Let's have a look at the key mobile game trends that are going to dominate game development and game publishing in 2017.

1. Expect a Never Before Growth Story

The mobile gaming industry in conformity with its stupendous growth story for consecutive years is supposed to reach $40 billion globally this year. While most of the well-known game publishing houses will drive for more consumer spending, indie games will continue to grow with their out of the box approaches. High-quality game contents and game playing experience will dominate the scene and developers have to raise their standard to the optimum. With more competitive focus and more game development services targeting the million dollar pie of game industry, you can expect a never before growth for the game industry in 2017.

2. Mobile Esports Taking on The TV Viewers

Watching mobile game playing as sports event which has earned its name as esports is continuing to rise in revenue and consumer appreciation for some time. In 2017 we can expect reports market to surpass a never before growth figure of $1 billion. This huge growth can be attributed to the huge popularity of passive game watching by the millennial audience and big brand television networks investing in video game broadcasting. Already big channels like ESPN and Turner came up with the big investment in broadcasting video games like League of Legends and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Apart from TV broadcasting, many popular multiplayer mobile games are hosting online tournaments creating millions of viewers and active players through their broadcasts. Mobile game secretly became a broadcast material for TV channels and soon you can expect it to hit the National Television.

3. A Whole New Approach to Game Publishing Model

This year you can expect some groundbreaking change in mobile publishing models. Some trends were already apparent in 2016. We have seen the rise of venture capital funding in 2016. Developers are increasingly willing to leave serious revenue grounds just to gain good marketing leads. In 2017, we can expect this trend to continue. Publisher assisted development with marketing being key focus will also transform mobile gaming industry.

4. It's the year for VR to Make Its Killer Presence

VR as of now has mostly worked on the edges of popularity and we are yet to find the killer VR app yet. With preceding two years consolidating the industry, this year we may find VR apps to emerge as the crowd puller. Although the majority of big label publishers will still remain skeptic about the popularity of VR to create great success stories, a whole array of new brands can emerge by taking on the platform in a big way. Leading VR device manufacturers like HTC and Sony are already on the move to make VR gaming more affordable and we can expect some serious shifts of focus towards VR games this year. If affordability has been the biggest challenge for most VR games, we can expect this challenge to evaporate with device makers releasing more budget VR devices.

5. Watch Out The Rise of Alternative App Stores

Alternative App Stores have emerged as the next big possibility for the mobile gaming world. Contrary to expectations, they rise to prominence and challenged iOS and Android as serious distribution platforms. Just look at the launch of Facebook's Instant Games. It almost made the single most important shift in game distribution models in the recent times. This created another possibility called app stores within apps. After Facebook Instant Games we have seen the rise of iMessage App Store and soon we can expect other popular social platforms to follow the footsteps and create a space for mobile game distribution. Watch out for the new app marketplaces offered through apps rather than traditional app stores.

6. Rise of Subscription Revenue

Just after Apple allowed mobile game developers incorporating a subscription component to their games, we have seen several games taking this new opportunity of monetization. From Smule apps to Best Fiends Forever from Seriously to the Just Dance from Ubisoft, we have seen several such examples in recent times. Subscription model allowing developers higher share of revenue, better customer loyalty, and easier predictability of revenue emerged as an opportune area to target. The subscription will continue to grow with more mobile game developers adopting it.

7. Mobile Game Developers Having Strong Bond With Console Makers

Mobile game developers will play an elemental role in rolling out triple A rated console games as well. The consoles and mobile platform cannot remain as two separate islands. Almost all major game developers are working in close collaboration with console makers to realize their ambition of growth and popularity to the highest extent. Several recent announcements like Nintendo’s Super Mario and DeNA, the Final Fantasy from Square Enix, are few of the latest examples of this trend. Console makers will want to take the advantage of huge audience and expertise of F2P mechanics that mobile game developers offer.

8. New Devices and Technologies

Well, new devices and technologies will continue to push growth and expansion for all kinds of digital experience, including obviously mobile gaming. PS4 as experts predicted will sell at least double the sales figure of Xbox One in 2017. The total sales volume for all the consoles is expected to reach an all-time high of 27 million. Nintendo Switch has already been subject of massive buzz among the home console enthusiasts and gamers worldwide. Microsoft's ambitious native 4K gaming console under the Project Scorpio can also bear fruit this year. Sony's PS4 Pro may be a little pricey but will be appreciated by the high-end gamers.

To conclude, mobile gaming industry this year will become a more happening field than ever before. The consolidation of platforms and game experiences will continue to hold the key.


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