What we once thought of as another way to waste time while waiting in line or riding the bus has quickly become the preferred way for many to find their gaming fix. With the continual rise of the mobile marketplace, casual gaming platforms are looking to expand their reach to the living room.
The casual gaming market has long since grown too large to ignore with even longstanding, established companies trying to find new ways to compete with upstarts like Angry Birds and Candy Crush when dealing with mobile devices. Now, these developers will have even more competition as more companies are looking to the home for the next big thing.
While the console market is expected to exceed $27 billion this year, the mobile market expected to surpass that with an estimated 2015 revenue of more than $40 billion.
With so much money involved in mobile, big-name developers such as Square Enix have been putting some of their most revered, classic games on mobile devices. Yes, that even includes fan-favourite RPG Final Fantasy VII, and plenty more companies are starting to follow suit. The notoriously protective Nintendo, which practically never allows its properties to be available for third-party devices, has officially announced its support of iOS with a spate of titles based on some of the companies most recognisable franchises.
Even Fallout 4, one of the most anticipated big-budget games of the year for Xbox One and PS4, will come with not one, but two mobile offerings. One is a a free-to-play game, Fallout Shelter, that is out now. The other is an additional Pip-Boy companion app to be released in tandem with the game’s launch that will sync Fallout 4 and its beloved PDA to your mobile device.
Konami has also taken some of its biggest franchises like Castlevania and Silent Hill and adapted them to casino-style games designed to appeal to a casual audience. The publisher has even developed a casino-style machine for the arcade classic, Frogger.
Similarly, the variety of arcade games dedicated to pop culture on Betfair have adhered to a like-minded strategy. They’ve accomplished this by offering subtle variations and fresh takes on classic casual games in an effort to appeal to a new audience. One major push has been through the use of big name licenses, such as the characters of the Marvel cinematic universe. It’s an attempt to cash in on some of the film’s massive success and make these games less of a back-up for boredom and more of a primary form of entertainment.
While there will certainly always be a place for big-budget blockbuster console titles, the amount we always see may not always stay the same as PC Mag noted in regards to the move from computers to mobile devices. “The largest and most surprising shift in the 2015 gaming ecosystem was kids’ move away from the computer,” analyst Liam Callahan said.
Now, Apple has announced its plans to upgrade the Apple TV device in the hopes of going toe-to-toe with Google’s Chromecast as well as Microsoft’s casual offerings for the XBox One. It looks as if the company will be trying to compete with consoles for control of gaming in the living room, and The NY Times reports that Apple’s jump into gaming could pay off big. “I think Apple’s going to create a big new category in gaming, one that others have tried and failed to create before,” Jan Dawson, chief analyst at Jackdaw Research, said in the article. “What the Apple TV has the potential to do is to bring casual gaming to the living room and make it a much more social activity.”
Gamers certainly shouldn’t expect the traditional console to go anywhere any time soon. However, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that some of your favourite, or most loathed, mobile games may soon be playing on the big screen in your living room as opposed to your phone.