The American gaming industry has had a pretty good year so far in 2019. Thanks to the popularity of popular games such as:
Candy Crush is one of the most popular games on mobile devices globally, as of April 2019, it has reportedly been installed on billions of phones. Forbes has ranked the game as the 8th most popular program globally and the 2nd most popular program on smartphones, just behind WhatsApp.
It’s pretty clear why this game is so addictive. The gameplay is simple yet engaging — you’re given a basket of sweets and must match candies by swiping a finger across the screen.
Dolphin Reef (previously known as DolphReench) is a Match 3 game developed by Russian studio Frozen Pizza.
The game got its name from the tropical fish which you can catch in the wild and later release into the sea to grow bigger and reproduce.
Like many Match 3 games, the objective is to click on three or more the same colored balls to make them disappear. The difference is that in this game, you not only need to make matches but also need to make chains by connecting balls in any order.
This game is highly strategic, so it takes a while to learn the correct moves and patterns. If you can complete a level in under 30 seconds, you can unlock that level’s crown.
Genshin Impact is a 2019 fighting game developed and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment. Its gameplay is a hybrid of Soulcalibur and Tekken — you have a main character who engages in hand-to-hand combat while defending themselves against incoming attacks. You make attacks and blocks by swiping your finger across the screen.
This game is part of the larger Genshin Impact series which was first introduced in 2018. Its gameplay and graphics are reminiscent of Namco’s earlier Powerstone game — which is ironic since Powerstone was originally developed by Bandai Namco itself, before being acquired and published by Nintendo.
Pixlox is a puzzle game developed by Swedish studio Asteroids and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Switch. In the game, you control a little creature named Pixl that can jump.
To advance, you need to match three or more blocks of the same color to create a path for Pixl to leap over. Doing this while avoiding enemy attacks is the key to successfully navigating this block-based world.
Pokemon Go is the most popular game in the world as of April 2019. The game’s developer Niantic promises that the title will be available on at least 200 million devices by the end of 2019.
The gameplay is easy to understand if you’ve played any of the Pokemon games before — you use your phone’s camera to identify creatures known as Pokemon which you can then catch, battle and train to evolve.
The game’s success can be attributed to its combination of elements from other games (such as Pokemon Go + Safari for iOS devices) as well as to the simple, intuitive interface, which makes the game accessible to a broader audience. It also helps that Pokemon Go is free, which removes one of the major barriers to entry, especially among newly-released smartphone users who are looking for their first game.
Wordament is a word game that’s similar to Scrabble. You’re given a grid of tiles with a variety of letters and words. Your goal is to form words and sentences using the letters on your tiles. While the gameplay is similar to Scrabble, Wordament is geared more towards vocabulary building and challenging your brain’s spellings skills.
This game is great for young students and gamers who want to improve their vocabulary — it also makes an interesting addition to a teacher’s kit since they can use Wordament to help their students understand the meaning behind the words they’re spelling.
Zynga Poker is a Facebook-based poker game developed by Zynga and published by Facebook for Android and iOS devices. Players can wager virtual currency, known as “Poker Token,” on a variety of games. These include Blackjack, Baccarat, Roulette, and many, many others. In some cases, you’ll need an external device to access these games (e.g., a Ouya or similar Android-based device).
This game is a great example of a social game that also has serious gambling elements. It’s highly accessible as a result — even non-gamers can enjoy playing poker with their friends on Facebook. And if you enjoy the competition, you can access the games’ high-stakes tables to beat the players at their own game.
More than Meets the Eye
In 2019, the American gaming industry grew by 17% over the previous year, according to the Digital Entertainment Group. This growth can largely be attributed to mobile gaming and the increasing popularity of games on social media platforms.
Forbes has called mobile gaming the “golden goose” of the digital entertainment sector, stating that the platform generates billions of dollars in annual revenue. And it’s not just Forbes — mobile gaming has been hailed as the “Next Big Thing” by The New York Times, Reuters, USA Today, and many, many others.
As a result, the mobile gaming industry is expanding, with new platforms and devices being launched each year to accommodate this growth. For instance, 2019 saw the launch of the Nintendo Switch, which is a hybrid console that allows you to play at home, on the go, or even at a local gaming store. And don’t forget about the Xbox One X, which is the upgraded version of Microsoft’s popular Xbox One — meaning it has more power than ever before. Plus, both of these consoles can be connected to the internet so they can be accessed from anywhere.
The Future of Gaming
The growth of mobile gaming is clear — people are slowly but surely moving away from dedicated gaming consoles in favor of mobile devices, particularly smartphones. Thanks to the popularity of games such as Pokémon Go and Candy Crush, the mobile gaming industry is predicted to hit £14.9 billion by next year.
The Switch is also a significant departure from the traditional form factor of a dedicated gaming console — it is essentially a hybrid console, which means it can be utilized both as a mobile device and a fully-fledged computer. As a result, the Switch is arguably one of the most significant releases in recent memory, redefining the way we will perceive and interact with computers and gaming in the future.
If you’ve ever played Pokémon Go, then you’ll know why the Switch is such a game-changing device — with its motion-sensitive controls and rich, immersive experience, it allows for a whole new dimension of gameplay.
It’s been an interesting year for gaming — far from the dramatic downturn which many had predicted. In fact, the industry grew by 17% in 2019 alone, according to the Digital Entertainment Group. This growth can largely be attributed to mobile gaming and the increasing popularity of games on social media platforms.
The next year will undoubtedly continue to shape the future of gaming — mobile gamers will continue to grow in importance, as more people become comfortable using their smartphones for leisure activities, particularly games. The industry is also exploring more immersive experiences, augmented reality, and virtual reality, which could result in even more interesting gameplay.
Ultimately, mobile gaming holds a significant place in the future of gaming — as long as smartphones continue to improve, the software developed for these devices will continue to grow in importance, providing many avenues for discovery, gameplay, and entertainment.