The Evolution of Mobile Gaming

Snake was among the earliest examples of mobile gaming; soon thereafter color mobile phones became widely popular and developers could create even more sophisticated titles for these phones.

Mobile gaming has now entered its fifth stage with the advent of augmented and virtual reality games, expanding players’ experiences while captivating new audiences.


Mobile gaming refers to playing video games on a mobile device like a phone or tablet, such as an iOS or Android smartphone or tablet, and has quickly overtaken console and PC game revenues as the fastest growing form of gaming.

The initial mobile games were simple calculator games designed for use across various platforms and technologies, such as Palm OS, NTT DoCoMo’s DoJa, Adobe Flash Lite, Qualcomm’s BREW, Sun’s Java, Nokia’s Symbian OS, GPRS/UMTS network connectivity and early versions of Microsoft’s Windows Mobile operating systems. Nowadays, most smartphones run one of a few supported operating systems such as iOS or Android.

The mobile gaming industry continues to develop. Rovio’s Angry Birds revolutionized mobile gaming experience when released in 2009 with its touch screen interface and advanced graphics. Since then, more recent trends include hyper-casual titles such as Flappy Bird and Crossy Road as well as location-based titles like Pokemon Go that provide unique opportunities to socialize while on the move.


Mobile gaming has experienced phenomenal growth over recent years due to various factors, including increased internet speeds, accessibility enhancements and smartphone usage surges.

Initial mobile games were simple arcade-style titles like Snake and Tetris that made use of limited processing power of early phones. As time progressed, more complex titles emerged which offered greater challenges while forcing players to think strategically.

Augmented reality (AR), one of the pioneering innovations in mobile gaming, enables players to experience a virtual environment layered on top of their real surroundings in games like Pokemon Go and Ingress – and since then many developers have released similar titles with different monetization models.

Apple’s App Store

Mobile gaming has experienced steady growth for several reasons, one being people’s love of having entertainment they can take with them anywhere they go; another reason being mobile games are more cost effective to develop than console or PC titles, making them accessible to more people.

As well, mobile games have gained in popularity thanks to new technologies and genres. Popular examples include Pokemon GO and Ingress which utilize GPS on phones as a fun new way of engaging with the world around us; such games have quickly become worldwide successes that encourage social playback.

As the mobile gaming market expands, companies are making investments. Goldman Sachs recently pledged $200 million in hyper-casual game developer Voodoo; Blackstone acquired mobile ad network Vungle for $750 million.


As technology improves, mobile gaming continues to expand and develop rapidly. Now nearly everyone owns a smartphone capable of playing games – leading to an upsurge in demand for mobile game development companies, which have found that creating games specifically for mobile devices is much simpler due to lower production costs.

Mobile games offer convenience that console and computer games cannot. All you need is access to an internet connection and most are free for play – which has propelled its rapid growth into global phenomenon status. Mobile gaming’s rise will continue, overtaking console and PC game revenues with advances such as 5G networks, cloud gaming and AI; leading to innovative experiences that blur virtual with real gaming and may include games using biometric data for customization and unique user experiences.

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