Mobile game genres to watch in 2016
04 Apr 2016
Hello everyone! This year, the industry of mobile games will turn eight years old, and like other industries, it may seem that they’re running out of innovation. Althought the same top games are occupying the charts for years, we can see that mobile gaming is changing in other ways.
These ways can be emerging marketing strategies or new monetization tactics. Today, we are talking about the innovative mobile game genres, those to watch in 2016.
Hearthstone has made card games for the last two years, but has never had any top game on the charts of success in mobile. Clash Royale, Supercell’s first worldwide release in two years, is the card game that breaks through that ceiling.
Clash Royale tasks players with building complex card decks, but it limits players to an eight-card deck, simplifying the complexity of its predecessors. It also adds bases to defend and turns cards into animated characters that attack these bases.
The combat of Clash Royale is great, but its bigger innovation is he monetization mechanic. Instead of paying for the characters or training units, players can battle as much as they want, but to unlock the rewards from a win they must wait. To unlock that rewards early they have to pay gems, the premium currency.
Clash Royale will certainly be the beginning of a wave of card games. But it will also have an impact on multiple mobile game genres. Its new way of monetization creates new rules that other games will be probably forced to follow.
For Western developers, the best strategy has always been targeting wealthier countries. But growth in developing markets, like India and Brazil, is creating a newly viable strategy with lightweight games.
This change is due to multiple factors. While emerging economies are growing, smartphone prices are starting to drop and cell providers are offering less expensive plans. Both Android and iOS now have lower in-app-purchase amounts.
But what these millions of new consumers need are games that are small and that allow them to play offline. This points to resurgence of light puzzle and arcade games in the short term, preferably with social features.
Most of the hype for eSports has been about PC games such as Counter Strike and League of Legends. Althought there have been predictions of mobile eSports growing, initial attempts such as Vainglory haven’t yet shown that they can be a industry changer in the niche of mobile eSports.
However Clash Royale may prove to be a game changer here too. Hearthstone has a growing eSport and the game is multi-platform, but most pros are playing on PC. Nevertheless Clash Royale is mobile-only, and Supercell seems serious about pushing the viewership of the game, with a feature to show replays of high-level games called “TV Royale”.
In many developing markets, mobile phones are a gamer’s first and only device. Countries such as China and India will create their own market, even if mobile eSports fail to hit it big in the West.
The HTC Vive costs $800 and the Oculus Rift costs $600, and both require expensive computers to run. Mobile VR is limited to formats including Google Cardboard and Samsung Gear, so how could VR mobile game genre possibly be on top?
The truth is that the Vive and Rift are far out of reach of normal consumers. Amitt Mahajan, a managing partner at Presence Capital writes “Mobile VR holds a lot of potential because of its ease-of-use, low-cost (compared to those that require a computer), and portability,”. “I firmly believe it’s going to be the dominant form of VR in terms of reach and engagement.”
He is not the only one who shows that confidence. At the Mobile World Congress conference this year, Mark Zuckerberg promoted VR. Also, Samsung is shipping a free Gear for S7 pre-orders.
It’s unlikely we’ll see this year VR games succeeding like Candy Crush or Clash of Clans, but this 2016 may mark the start of an extraordinary change in mobile gaming.
So what do you think about the next generation of mobile game genres? Do you think there will be others too? Please comment us below and share your opinion.