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Mobile Gaming: For Better or for Worse?

There seems to be a hierarchy amongst gamers based on the platform which he or she chooses to consume their gaming hours. For years, the console gaming community and the PC gaming community has been battling for the high-tech throne as the king of gaming platforms. However, there is one other platform that is so far out of the picture in this battle for supremacy that an average gamer may even have second doubt that it is a gaming platform at all. That platform is mobile gaming.

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When it comes to mobile gaming, most gamers will immediately be taken back into the November of 2018 fiasco. During Blizzcon, the mastermind behind the upcoming Diablo Immortal, Wyatt Cheng, commented “Don’t you guys have phones?” as a rebuttal to the crowd’s displeasure when it was revealed that Diablo Immortal will be a mobile title. This very moment has become an iconic meme which embodies the idea of “what you should not do”. But let us examine this objectively. Though the delivery by Wyatt Cheng was awful, the ideology behind that notion is valid.

Majority of the game consumers are not full-time gamers. In other words, they are not able to play videogames at the comfort of their home for more than nine hours in a single day. Instead, they most likely have activities such as jobs or hobbies that will lead them to the great outdoors for the majority of the day. What is the one thing that everybody will carry with them anywhere they go more than your house keys? You guessed it: Your phone. Even at home, how often do you find yourself checking your phone for social media, or to answer text messages and emails?

In addition, mobile devices are evolving at a neck-breaking speed. During the life cycle of Playstation 4 since its release in 2013 to its successor Playstation 5 to emerge, Apple has introduced fifteen new phones alone, excluding IPads. New enhancement means better games can run on these mobile devices, which would allow companies more freedom.

From a financial standpoint, the numbers alone is enough to make anyone who can read numbers drool out of greed. Pokemon Go has brought home more than $1 billion in 2020 alone, even through the pandemic lockdown. PUBG Mobile, another giant in the mobile game industry, also scored $1.6 billion worldwide from January 2020 to August 2020. For comparison, Activision Blizzard’s total revenue at the end of third financial quarter 2020 was $1.95 billion.

To add fuel to the fire, a good chunk of these mobile games are sinfully addicting. Gacha games are notoriously addicting. Preying on those who may have gambling tendencies, gacha games continuously make headlines throughout the years. Most recent example being Genshin Impact by miHoYo. It broke through all sorts of records and won best mobile game of the year 2020. However, it was also a nominee in the “Best Role-Playing Game” category. In that category are titan titles such as Final Fantasy VII: Remake, Persona 5 Royal, Wasteland 3, and Yakuza: Like a Dragon.

Oh, you say Genshin Impact is more of a PC game than mobile since most people play it on PC? Then let us examine a little franchise called Fate: Grand Order. Fate: Grand Order has grossed over $4 billion in the game’s lifetime and the earning is expected to be another earth-shattering number once 2020 earnings are announced. And no, this is not a stand-alone outlier. There are multiple mobile games that have duplicated or even surpassed this astronomical number, consistently.

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Love it or hate it, mobile gaming is here to stay. The annual GDP these mobile games bring in is enough factor for any gaming companies to want a piece of the action. With the growing reliance on our mobile device to perform daily tasks, it is no wonder that the market is growing exponentially, with no signs of slowing down. It is only a matter of time until you find the game that will hook you into this ever-evolving platform. And I would argue that mobile devices are as much of a contender for the high-tech throne as any other PC or gaming console.

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