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The number of gamers on mobile has jumped from 1.8 billion to 2.5 billion people. Why has mobile gaming become popular?

What has made mobile gaming a new standard?

In the last 5 years alone, the number of gamers on mobile has jumped from 1.8 billion to 2.5 billion people. Performing far beyond even the most hopeful predictions of early industry speculators, mobile gaming now finds itself along PCs and consoles as one of the premier platforms of choice.

As a hard-won position, the history of mobile gaming is an interesting one, and will likely have a heavy influence on the shape of gaming’s future. So how did mobile gaming reach its modern mainstream success, and what heights could it reach in the next generation and beyond?

Browser experiences

Long before smartphones, some of the most popular games around ran directly from internet browsers. Simply termed browser games, these were often smaller and less hardware-demanding than their contemporaries, yet offered experiences no less engaging. When mobiles arrived in a state generally less powerful than their PC and laptop counterparts, it makes sense that these forms of games would succeed on the humble pocket-devices.

One of the most successful involved industries in this regard is digital casinos that players can try online here. Modern incarnations of these casinos have hundreds of titles, from classics like slots and blackjack to new creations such as live casino games. Now running on HTML5, these casinos scale perfectly to mobiles, providing what many users see as the superior way to play. 

Angry Birds” (CC BY 2.0) by Johan Larsson

The only downside to the browser gaming experience is that some classic games are now being left behind. Many older games run on a system called Flash, which is now being phased out after decades of use. When this phase-out is complete, many classic browser video games will become unplayable unless they take the online casino route of updating themselves to newer platforms.

Essentially, it was these games that would serve as the predecessors of the now enormous app games market. Expanded far beyond their roots into enormous and complex experiences, the humble browser games laid the framework, and lead the way for newer titles of all shapes and sizes.


AAA titles

A later entry in mobile gaming has been the appearance of traditional video-gaming ports. Multiplatform titles, as they are traditionally called, were long confined to the PC/console divide, with the lower power of older mobiles making them an unviable platform.

With enormous leaps in modern mobile power, the potential of multiplatform gaming has exploded, serving as yet another area for newcomers and established players to explore. From Grand Theft Auto to Final Fantasy and beyond, both classic and contemporary titles are now well represented in the mobile sphere.

The benefits of convenience

Tying together the avenues of mobile gaming expansion and choice is the ever-important aspect of convenience. Unlike other forms of gaming, mobiles give players access from nearly anywhere, and at nearly any time. No more needing a hard-line internet connection, and no more lugging around bulky equipment to play a few rounds.

The ubiquity of modern devices has created a world where the ability to play is constant, and where convenience is greater than with any system that came before. Whether looking to play for a few minutes or hours, mobiles raised the bar of opportunities in a way that is still accelerating to this day.

Samsung S10 Game” (CC BY 2.0) by

A mainstream system

The future of mobile gaming is one where the platform will only become more popular and capable. No longer just an alternative, the modern mobile platform is one where gaming can stretch its legs, to perform just as well as the best the modern consoles and PCs can. With the arrival of 5G, game-streaming, and ever-improving general tech, this world is only going to get bigger and better, and there’s no telling just how far it could go.

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