Mobile games establishing a formidable presence
Consumers are expected to spend more money on mobile games than those on traditional handheld systems by the end of 2013, according to forecasts from the International Data Corporation (IDC). The research firm has tracked the sales of handheld games for some time, finding the market somewhat volatile and relatively devoid of consumer interest. Even Nintendo, which has long reigned in the realm of handheld gaming, has been seeing lackluster sales for its 3DS platform. Mobile games seem to be replacing traditional handheld gaming as smartphones and tablets become more technologically advanced.
IDC predicts decline in handheld sales through 2017
The IDC anticipates that sales for the Nintendo 3DS and the Sony PS Vita will fall by 7% year-on-year through 2017. Mobile games are expected to pick up the slack due to their rampant popularity and the widespread availability of free-to-play titles. The IDC notes that handheld games will still be able to produce higher levels of revenue, however, due to the fact that many mobile games are either free or available at a very low price. This advantage is considered modest due to the fact that most mobile games have in-app purchases and advertisements, which account for the majority of the revenue generated by these games.
Android expected to become ideal platform for mobile games
Android is considered to be the most promising platform in the mobile games sector, according to the IDC. The firm notes that the Android platform is somewhat fragmented, making it difficult for game developers to find traction through the platform the same way they can find success with the iOS platform. Nonetheless, Android has been growing to become more intuitive and accommodating to the gaming environment. So much so that the IDC expects Android to beat out all other platforms in the mobile games field in the near future.
Free-to-play model continues to grow
Free-to-play mobile games will likely be the key to dominance over handheld games. The IDC predicts that the game industry will become more adept in fashioning free-to-play business models that allow consumers to enjoy mobile games for free while also offering valuable services for a fee. Consumers remain somewhat dubious concerning in-app purchases, often called microtransactions, but the IDC anticipates that consumers will grow more accommodating as this business model becomes the norm for the game industry.