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Mobile Gaming Trends to Look Out for in 2017

The year is coming to an end. Before we know it, it's New Years Eve. Predicting the future is hard... Our best bet is to look at trends and see where we are headed. In the rapid growing world of mobile gaming, all bets are off. But is it?

Ben Sim, Blogger

December 5, 2016

7 Min Read

“If you think the Internet is full of weird and wacky stuff, what about mobile games?”

Winter is coming for real. Yes! We will be seeing that in 2017 soon. In the blink of an eye, we have almost reached the end of year 2016. As always, the future of digital technology continues to exceed all expectations as it shapes the mobile gaming industry in many ways that we do not think is possible.

Since the mobile gaming has been growing exponentially to a point that it actually challenges the traditional console and PC gaming, it is safe to say that its growth is truly unprecedented. The next big question is what are the 10 mobile gaming trends to look out for in 2017?

Always Have Rooms for More Players

Thanks to its immense value in terms of revenue, the mobile gaming industry steadily attracts a lot of developers that come from different backgrounds. As such, this is the best moment for the users since they will be having fun time in getting mobile games that really appeal to them. Not only that, they will find that the mobile gaming scene now boasts a huge variety of games that unlock countless possibilities.

Amazingly, this translates to more intense competitions between mobile gaming developers as younger players and established gaming names are eyeing the market with great interest. The competition has become fiercer when young and old battle to "win the souls". Unsurprisingly, mobile games have been as the crucial part of marketing tactic by movie studios. Not only that, even a simple mobile game can be a great marketing and promotional tool that continues to draw the crowd. From a simple casual style game to a specific niche game, the variety of games will grow as numerous as the stars in the sky.

A Different Kind of Update

Once upon a time ago, the updates were usually about fixing bugs and glitches in the games. Now, the developer teams are willing to go all out when it comes to introducing bigger and more epic expansions. Aside from enriching your gaming experience, these updates are going to offer high replayability values. Needless to say, such strategy clearly aims to retain long-time gamers while attracts newer players at the same time. Most importantly, it is all about creating a stronger desire and demand among the gamers so that their cravings can be spurred to be satisfyingly engrossing experience.

Truly Indie-Integrated

The beauty of the mobile gaming industry is that it has emerged to be one of the biggest gaming platforms in the world. With such a huge market, there will be a lot of different ways for indie developers to find and carve their own niche market. As long as they are able to make these games to be financially successful, mobile gaming will open a lot of doors for totally new gaming experience. In other words, the indie developers can be said to be at their strongest position now to cultivate and craft successful indie mobile games. These successful indie mobile games include Darkest Dungeon, Hyper Light Drifter, Stardew Valley and others. 

Crafting Your Game Creatively with Customizable Options

Nowadays, mobile games can be incredibly addictive as they often offer endless customizable options which personalize your gaming experience. In a simpler term, this just means that customization is the best way in making sure that you remained engaged and invested in the game. Besides, the ability to individualize your game is certainly a feature that will be cherished by many gamers. Furthermore, it is just highly appealing in observing how your own input can make your gaming moment to be uniquely yours.  

Remastering for a Refreshing Retro Revolution

Is this the radical restructuring mobile gaming trend that everyone has been looking for? As a matter of fact, the decision to revive older games with updated graphics and gaming mechanics has been seen by most as a positive move. Aside from old gamers feeling nostalgic, this is a great way in revitalizing certain game franchises. Not just that, younger audience now can enjoy the chance to enjoy these games in the same way like long-timers do. Remember Crash Bandicoot? What about the Final Fantasy series? It is the time to revive your excitement and rev up your adventure at the same time.

All About Graphics

Just as your smartphones are now affordable with powerful CPUs and GPUs, so too developer teams can take advantage of them to run stunningly beautiful yet fluid graphics in their mobile games. Within your own palms, the graphics just look very impressive as they draw your attention in a more hypnotizing manner. In some cases, you even can interact with these lovely visuals that usually add more value in terms of gaming experience and storytelling.

When you combine the graphics with incredible game mechanics, the end result is that you will be engaging in deeply immersive gaming experience. At the same time, gorgeous graphics definitely help the job marketing team in promoting the games. These eye-catching details just draw the crowd like crazy. Among popular games that utilize the power of eye candy are Rival Knights, Asphalt Extreme and Injustice : Gods Among Us

Accelerating the Power of VR

While the concept of virtual reality or VR is not that entirely new, a number of mobile games also support the use of VR technology which incorporate another layer of realism in the gameplay. Despite the popularity of Oculus Rift as the poster child of VR, other incredible devices such as Google Cardboard, GearVR and others enable you to transform your smartphones into VR-empowered devices. Not just that, the inclusion of VR experience in the mobile games will be a common theme these days. One of the best VR mobile games is Hidden Temple VR Adventure that gives you a very addictive full 360 degree view.

Freemium For Everyone

Whenever you are loading YouTube videos, you will be bombarded with Clash of Clans advertisement videos. Contrary to popular backlash against Clash of Clans, this mobile game is doing very well since it is one of the best examples of the "freemium" gaming model. In the freemium gaming model, you only need to pay for certain in-game content.

While many have argued about the sustainability of free-to-play type games, there are successful stories of these mobile games. Indeed, you can expect freemium games as this particular model has been replicated in many different forms.

Mustering the Multichannel

Despite the power and potential of mobile gaming, the highly accelerated trend dictates that people generally love to move from one device to another. Naturally, this is a normal trend as people will get their hands on the latest gaming attractions like how fireflies to a bright light. Rather than pushing the model of mobile gaming to be concentrated solely in strengthening its dominance, the other favorable strategy is to design and develop multichannel gaming at the outset.

Basically, it is far better in building cross-platform applications that further strengthen the relevancy of mobile device as opposed to pursuing aggressive strategies to outperform other traditional gaming platforms. In fact, the popularity of cross-platform applications is growing indefinitely as more people prefer to stream their mobile games from their smartphones to their laptops and others. At the same time, such feature will prove to be invaluable in taking your gaming experience to greater heights.

Persistence is the Key

Instead of making a one-off product, it is argued that developers should spend more time and effort in building a more sustainable gaming model that thrives on expandable content. In other words, it is like a gift that keeps on giving. After all, it is always better in making mobile games that offer limitless fun and adventure through expanding its content and environment. Not just that, it is all about expanding a mobile game to be more diverse or long-lasting.

At the end of day, what is the point of making a fleeting game experience when you can choose to embark on a more meaningful gaming content? Indeed, one can never finish a fine game because the fun never truly end until you stop playing it. This should be the goal of all developers in aiming for a rewarding experience for gamers. Hence, these are key trends that everyone should be looking for in the next mobile games.


Written by Aaron Tam. A firm believer in “tomorrow never dies," Aaron is an enthusiastic wordsmith that has been watching the future with great interest. He is currently a content writer for iPrice Group.

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