Suddenly, it seems, it’s possible to have a conversation with your grandmother about what her favourite online games are.
Ten years ago such a dialogue would have been unthinkable, but now smartphones have spread into every section of society.
Affordable touchscreen technology, the spread of connectivity via Wi-Fi, and ingenious game designers are responsible for this state of affairs.
Prices are likely to come down as devices spread further into the market, and ported versions of console games and gaming websites are released for smartphones.
In some developing countries, the used mobile phone market is huge. As the first wave of smartphones enters these markets we’re likely to see a situation where, eventually, the majority of humanity owns – and plays games on – such a device.
So, what’s the world playing? Anyone who can predict what we’ll want to do with our smartphones in, say, 18 months time is likely to make a lot of money.
So let’s have a look at the best and most successful games available now.
One of the biggest markets in the world is online gambling. The ability to play poker, blackjack, roulette and slots on a smartphone is now limited only by connectivity and, sometimes, the legal situation in various countries.
In India, for example, Maharashtra is the only state that expressly forbids online gambling, and if you’re looking for a smartphone casino the choice is huge.
Some of the biggest casinos originate in the UK, where a well-regulated, legal online gambling industry contributes to billions of dollars that change hands every year globally.
Grand Theft Auto V was the console hit of 2013, and developers Rockstar Games have managed to keep smartphone gamers excited by releasing mobile versions of earlier games including GTA: San Andreas. GTA V had sold nearly 30 million copies six weeks after its release in September 2013.
If that figure doesn’t blow your mind, consider the case of Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side Of The Moon”. It’s one of the biggest-selling records of all time, having been on the market for forty years.
In that time, industry figures suggest sales of 50 million. GTA isn’t for everyone, but smartphone gamers around the world love it.
Simpler games continue to keep people amused on the way to work, with well-designed puzzles like Candy Crush Saga played by millions. Angry Birds Star Wars seems uncannily designed to appeal to everyone on the planet, and has managed to fit that appeal into a four-word title!
Smartphone gaming is not going away – quite the opposite. Guessing how the market will look by the end of 2014 is a very interesting – and potentially rewarding – exercise. (Images courtesy of digitaltrends.com, thefuturescompany.com, telegraph.co.uk, imore.com, droid-life.com)