You know, people are pretty unique, but there’s one thing we all have in common, or at least the majority of us have in common, we all have smartphones in our pockets. While it’s a pretty solid split these days between Apple and Android phones. Today we’re going to be talking about Apple, but I’ll probably end up telling you why it’s the wrong platform later. 

So, Apple as a gaming platform? Yeah, there are multiple ways you can game, including but not limited to online sports betting, which I guess is technically a kind of gaming right? Anyway, we’ll start off by talking about mobile gaming as a whole, where the mobile gaming industry came from and where it’s going before we get into what kind of games are popular. So without further adieu, let’s talk about the history of mobile gaming and some of the benefits.

The very first mobile game, from 1997. Snake. Source: MEL Magazine

Gaming on mobile phones has been a thing since the back end of the 90s, in 1997 specifically, Nokia released their 6110, with the VERY first mobile game, the one we all know and love and some of us still play this game TO THIS DAY, Snake. If nothing else, Snake showed that as a whole there was actual real interest in gaming on mobiles. Following on from snake phones gained access to WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) aka internet, which gave them the ability to access games through the browser and eventually later being able to download games from their wireless carriers or sometimes a third party distributor on their phone. 

Fast forward to around 2007 when the iPhone was released. Apple had been a big player in the early days of PDAs with the Apple Newton,  however the line was discontinued by Steve Jobs way back in 1998 to focus on their computers (macs) and iPods. Eventually though the same teams were set to work on the iPhone, which released in June 2007, among its key features was an APP STORE. This app store ended up flooded with mind numbing time consuming games, which were fantastic at causing a distraction and then eventually, a great source of income for developers.

FAST FORWARD again some more, in 2009, October specifically, Apple introduced “In app purchases” to the app store meaning games could start with microtransactions. Games like Cut the Rope and Angry Birds would have in game stores that would allow you to skip levels you were stuck on or unlock additional levels. These games paved the way for swathes of games like Candy Crush Saga and Puzzle & Dragons, giving birth to what is now known as the “freemium” model and then more recently this model was used by huge games like Clash of Clans.

Angry Birds was the KING of mobile games back in 2009 and it’s reign lasted many years. Image Source: YouTube

In more recent memory the most popular and highest grossing games seem to be “Gacha” games like Dragon Ball Z Dokkan Battle and AFK Arena, for those not in the know (lucky you) gacha games are a genre of video game that implement the “gacha toy vending machine” mechanic, similar to loot boxes in other video games or packs in FIFA Ultimate Team, where you don’t know WHAT you’re going to get, but you know you’re going to get something. Ultimately these games are a scam but it turns out they’re massively addictive, people find themselves chasing that dopamine rush of that one good pull. I’m guilty of it, thankfully the “worst” i’ve done is maybe £120 on one banner chasing a single copy of LR Goku and Frieza (If you know you know) but I’ve seen others go THOUSANDS without a copy and they still keep chasing, it’s kinda crazy!

So where is mobile gaming TODAY? Well, given the fact mobile gaming is well on track to becoming one of the biggest sectors, if it isn’t already, of the gaming industry as a whole given a new report has suggested that the sector may be worth up to $272billion, it’s kinda understandable that the focus has switched more towards the competitive gaming scene. Since the Esports industry is also growing, why not grow side by side? Games like Call of Duty Mobile, PUBG Mobile, Clash Royale have gained popularity over the last couple of years. What with their competitive scenes being streamed on Twitch and stuff. Anybody can pick up and play these games anywhere they want and anybody can try their hand at competing, that’s kinda the beauty of it all.

Well, what do you folks think about mobile gaming? Are you in the camp of “mobile gaming isn’t real gaming” or do you think that it’s finally getting to a point where you’re comfortable saying that you could happily chill and game on a mobile? They’re pretty easily accessible to the masses and there are really well specced out budget phones on the market, mostly Android, but you know what I’m saying right? Anyway, I spend a fair bit of time playing Dokkan Battle and AFK Arena, but I don’t personally play any of the more competitive games like CoD Mobile etc. It would be great to hear what you folks think, let us know!