In 2022, more than 255 billion apps were downloaded to mobile phones around the world. Games made up more than 50 percent of these; an average of more than 16 games per person.
To put that into context, that’s more than 200 times the number of big macs sold globally in 2022. Since the invention of the games console, less than two billion physical games have been sold.
To say playing mobile games via mobile apps is popular would be, without a doubt, an understatement. Part of the appeal of mobile gaming is the seemingly limitless range of games available to play in every style.
Some of the most popular mobile game types include action, puzzles, sports, role-playing, strategy, games for kids, and online casino. Within these genres, the range is vast, and independent services have become valuable in helping players find the right games.
For Canadians, for instance, Bonus.ca helps identify the best Ontario casino apps for those who enjoy playing casino games. Comparison sites are a great way to find a mobile gaming app most suitable for you.
So, what is it that makes playing games via mobile apps so popular?
Having some of the latest and most powerful gaming technology in your pocket is not the preserve of the super-rich. While the cost of new-release smartphones and games consoles are comparable, the former has become almost ubiquitous.
This is because, in most countries, payment plans have been devised which spread the cost of owning a smartphone. As a result, billions of people own the technology they need to play even the most cutting-edge gaming apps.
Globally, four times more people own a smartphone than a console, so game development has become focused on mobile apps. More new games mean more new customers, all helping to complete the circle of mobile dominance over other devices.
In recent years, easy-to-use mobile apps have become our preferred way of accessing almost every service we need. This is a change from the traditional assumption that larger, more powerful PCs were the better tool for most jobs.
Moreover, people have begun turning against browser-based interaction, preferring downloadable apps even to mobile-friendly websites. When Edinburgh’s annual arts festival removed its app in 2022, organizers received record complaints from visitors unhappy with browser-based alternatives.
From emails to banking and shopping to social media, most of us now turn to our smartphone apps without hesitation. As this has become the accepted method of engaging with practical services, using them for gaming has naturally followed.
Ease of use
Of course, one of the biggest benefits of a smartphone is that it’s right there, all the time. Most of us carry our mobile devices everywhere – in a pocket, in a bag, or even in our hands.
Whenever there is a pause – a work break, waiting for a train, a gap in conversation – we grab our smartphone. Any game we have downloaded by an app is simply a few presses and a few seconds from being played.
This is incredible news for game providers who have had almost every barrier to engagement removed. With no complicated setups, delays, or any need for lengthy gaming sessions, app-based games are able to tempt us constantly.
An extension to the ease of use that smartphones offer us is a new type of gaming engagement. In contrast to PC and console games which naturally promote longer sessions, the challenge apps have is keeping us engaged.
This has led to the rise of what is often termed ‘hyper-casual’ gaming, which now dominates playing styles. Hyper-casual games entice us in with easy access, then keep us hooked with short, easy levels and constantly addictive gameplay.
Players intend to distract themselves for only a few moments but often discover a much longer period has accidentally passed. Some of the best examples of hyper-casual games include Angry Birds, Candy Crush Saga, Subway Surfers, and Temple Run.
Huge numbers of new app games are being constantly released because app gaming has become so incredibly popular. On the other hand, app gaming is increasingly popular because there are so many new games constantly being released.
Whether the chicken or the egg came first, the result is that there’s a perfect game for almost everyone. Whatever genre, style, or theme of gaming you enjoy, you can download it in seconds and begin playing.
This constant circle of supply and demand creates a market which offers continuous appeal, intrigue, and innovation. If you lose interest in the games, you have today, something new will come along to entertain you tomorrow.
It’s easy to see why playing games via smartphone apps has become so popular. What is hard to understand is how this trend will ever change.
What response PC and console game makers can come up with, we’ll just have to wait and see.