Some of the sheen has worn off mobile gaming. Anecdotally at least, its popularity has waned among fellow investors, with many of them viewing the sector as overly hit-driven, unsustainable and niche.
Just as there has been a shift toward deeper social engagement within apps generally over the last few years, games too have become increasingly social and the next generation of gamers on mobile — the “Snapchat generation” of 16 year olds to 25 year olds – will expect this in a more extreme incarnation. Forget Candy Crush-style — leaderboards or asynchronous social gameplay – the biggest grossing winners will all need real-time, immersive player-versus-player gaming.
Spectators will lead to billion-dollar opportunities
Game streaming and broadcasting have traditionally been the preserve of core gamers in the PC and console markets, but over the past few years, we have begun to see mobile titles making inroads in the space, with the arrival of games like Clash Royale and Hearthstone.
Mobile esports will be the early winners
The ambition of games like Vainglory and the commercial success of Clash Royale have paved the way for a new generation of esports games designed for and better-played on mobile. Winners will look entirely different from those in the PC and console worlds, and poor translations from these platforms to mobile will not work: They’ll need to be designed for mobile from the ground up.
Game publishers will care even more about their brands
Currently, at least at the company level, brands in the mobile gaming space are weak, with the exception of a few like Supercell and King (we’re not talking about long-established IP such as Pokémon or Mario here). Company-level brand will increasingly become a key differentiator for gaming companies, leading to greater loyalty, better discovery and a desiring of product investment.