Tag: free to play games

Mobile games may dethrone handheld games by the end of 2013

Mobile Games - Handheld games lose groundMobile 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.

Mobile games with “freemium” model are the future, according to EA

EA Mobile Games FutureEA continues to become more enthusiastic toward mobile games

Electronic Arts is one of the most powerful companies in the game industry, so when it starts putting more focus on mobile games, it is not doing so arbitrarily. Mobile games are quickly becoming the most popular product that the game industry has to offer. These games are enjoyed by millions of mobile consumers around the world, many of whom are more than happy to put their own money into these games to unlock new features are purchase virtual currencies. Electronic Arts has been growing more vocal on the issue of mobile games as consumers begin to become more critical of the company’s entry into this sector.

Freemium model enjoyed by most consumers

According to EA, the vast majority of people that play mobile games prefer the free-to-play, often called “freemium,” business model. Through this model, consumers can obtain and play mobile games free of charge. This allows games to circulate among a larger audience, potentially acquiring more fans and exposing more people to in-game advertisements, which generate revenue for both the game’s developer and the game’s publisher. Many of the features of these games could be locked, however, with players having to pay to access such features. This particular practice has been criticized by many gamers as greedy and dubious.

In-app purchases are widely supported

EA notes that consumers are enthusiastic about in-app purchases because the can choose how they want to experience the game they are playing. Some purchases involve power-ups that can significantly decrease the time investment requires to complete mobile games. These allow players to enjoy games at a pace that is more accommodating to their tastes. Moreover, in-app purchases are the ideal way for mobile games to generate revenue for their developers. EA suggests that traditional games that require an upfront purchase in order to play typically generate less revenue and are considered, on the business side, outdated.

Freemium is the most popular model among independent developers

While a large portion of gamers enjoy mobile games, many suggest that EA’s insistence on the freemium model is a prime example of corporate greed ruining the game industry. Developers, however, are the primary parties responsible for this business model. Independent developers, those that release games without the backing of publishers like EA, rely heavily on this model in order to remain in business, as the freemium model is the best way for these developers to generate profits from their mobile games.