This post originally appeared on on Playbook, Chartboost's blog dedicated to the business of mobile gaming.
Who runs the world? Sorry Beyoncé, it’s mobile games.
From our daily subway rides to Super Bowl commercials, full-length feature films and celebrity Instagram accounts, it seems that everywhere we look someone’s playing (or talking about) a mobile game. And the mass appeal isn’t just in our heads; mobile game revenues are set to eclipse those of console games for the first time this year.
We’ve put together a list of recent signs — beyond hard revenue numbers — that mobile games are spreading way beyond “gamer” culture. Here, seven reasons mobile game devs will soon be telling everyone they know “I told you so.”
1. Kevin Spacey played Monument Valley on House of Cards
Image via Gamezebo
When President Frank Underwood got stressed on the most recent season of Netflix’s House of Cards, the (fictional) leader of the free world didn’t reach for the console games that eased his anxiety in seasons past — he played a mobile game. Indie puzzle game Monument Valley, to be exact. The subtle switch indicates that the show’s writers realized how people want to play today.
2. Ted Cruz admits he’s a mobile game “addict”
It’s not just fictional politicians who are turning to their phones for entertainment. Texas senator (and presidential hopeful) Ted Cruz recently told The Daily Beast that he loves fighting zombies and crushing candies on his mobile phone. Cruz says mobile games are a great way for him to connect with his two daughters—but what’s more notable is that his campaign decided to make being a “gamer” a key part of his narrative.
3. Uber’s getting its mobile game on
Image via Uber
While some would argue the entire app ecosystem (games included) was born in Silicon Valley, the area’s most well-known start-ups weren’t making mobile games … until now. Uber recently launched a mobile game that simulates what it’s like to be an Uber driver in different cities. The company says it created the game to provide current “driver-partners” a new way to learn how to navigate their cities. But it’s also a recruitment tool: The further you get in the game, you start getting prompts to sign-up as a real-life Uber driver. Who needs LinkedIn when you have a mobile game?
4. Celebs from Cristiano Ronaldo to Demi Lovato are rushing to keep up with Kim Kardashian
Following the success of Glu Mobile’s Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, stars from Britney Spears toCristiano Ronaldo to Demi Lovato are vying for a piece of the mobile gaming action. Suddenly, reality shows and clothing endorsements aren’t enough to make it in today’s world of celebrity; the next level of celeb status is your own mobile game.
5. Time, Inc. has its sights set on Trivia Crack
On June 24, Etermax announced a partnership with Time, Inc. to use the company’s content (e.g.People Magazine) to help generate quiz questions for Trivia Crack. The goal for Etermax is to create questions that cater to a broader pop-culture audience. For Time, the partnership is all about brand awareness. Forget magazines, mobile games are where the eyeballs are. It’s not just Etermax and Time, though. Word game Bonza is set to team up with National Geographic to create Bonza National Geographic to release sometime this year.
6. ZeptoLab and Rovio are heading to Hollywood
Game of War, Clash of Clans and Heroes Charge‘s choice to broadcast TV ads during the 2015 Super Bowl was a huge moment for mobile games — giving them mainstream exposure they may not have had before. Game publisher Blizzard followed suit with TV ad spots during the recent NHL and NBA finals hoping for similar success. But mobile games aren’t just entering America’s living rooms, they’re hitting the big screen: OmNom, star of ZeptoLab’s Cut the Rope, and Rovio’s Angry Birds are getting their own full-length features in 2016.
7. Finland’s Using Angry Birds to Lure Tourists
Image via VisitFinland.com
Researching a trip to Finland recently, we were surprised (and proud) to discover that the Scandinavian country has practically anointed Angry Birds as a national treasure. Click on the country’s tourism site, and you’ll find a slick entreaty to travel north and “cool down in the homeland of the Angry Birds.”