Thursday, October 24, 2013

Mobile Video Games

What happened to video games? The genre seems to be in decline, but look more closely, and you realize that people are still playing video games, just not in the same way. About 1/5 of the video game market is on mobile devices, mainly phones, but that is if you measure according to revenue. If you look at the time people spend playing, probably more than half of that time is on phones. The phone games are different — smaller, simpler, shorter, and often free. Game designers are having some success in selling expensive console versions of the games they give away or sell at low prices on phones. This marketing approach probably cannot last very long, though. With graphics improving on phones and most players saying they don’t really have time for the large-format console games that predominated five years ago, the console games are fighting an uphill battle. Of course, “uphill battle” sounds just like a scenario for a video game, and my feeling is that the games will keep coming even though the number of buyers declines.