Back in January, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings cited YouTube and Fortnite as bigger threats to his platform than both HBO and Disney. As you can imagine, this had a number of neutral onlookers shaking their heads – how could a video sharing website and a video game (albeit a very popular one) pose any sort of problem to the world’s biggest streaming platform? Well, it appears we have the answer to that question a mere 4 months since Hastings’ original statement; mobile eSports gaming platform Skillz now draws in more users than Facebook, Netflix, YouTube and Snapchat do at their peak. In a nutshell, the gaming industry landscape is changing in a huge way and mobile gaming is enjoying a bigger share of that pie than ever before. But just how has this happened and what is behind the meteoric rise of mobile gaming?
A Brief History Of Mobile Gaming
Contrary to popular belief, mobile gaming has been around for much longer than people think. Back in the 1990s and early 2000s when internet was less widely available, in-built mobile games such as Snake and Space Impact. With wider internet coverage in the form of WAP, games such as online fruitmachines came into prominence and they grew into the Candy Crush type offerings we see today. As the average person’s life gets busier, our desire to escape gets greater and what better way to do this than through playing video games? With this in mind, it’s easy to see why mobile gaming has started to garner worldwide interest and appeal and why developers are now taking the industry more seriously than ever before.
As has been previously mentioned, mobile platform Skillz is pulling some impressive numbers at present. According to the official website of the platform, it hosts around 2 million tournaments and features games such as solitaire and mahjong, as well as fan favourite Bubble Shooter which is a clone of the Puzzle Bobble game released back in 1994 by Taito. Moreover, Newzoo indicates that tablet and phone-based games will possess more than a 50% market share by 2020/2021 equating to around $90 billion in total revenue. This, coupled with a rapidly rising global interest in competitive gaming and eSports means that the mobile forms of this competition will dominate the gaming industry for the foreseeable future.
Key Business Players Are Now Taking Note
With Apple recently revealing its new arcade gaming subscription service and Google also getting in on the streaming act with Stadia, major companies are now starting to fully realise the potential within the gaming industry. Add in the already existing and newly scheduled sponsorships of Intel, Red Bull, Twitch, Mercedes and Mountain Dew to this list (amongst others) and it’s clear to see that reputable companies are now taking eSports seriously. Indeed, the importance of the relationship between Twitch and eSports is difficult to overstate and with one of the best mobile apps on the market, Twitch is the perfect breeding ground for eSports growth.
Improving Technology Will Dictate The Future
With greater internet speeds, faster processors and higher-quality displays, gaming on your mobile is no longer a subpar alternative to console or PC gaming. With this in mind, the stage looks set for mobile eSports to dominate the gaming sector for years to come providing that mobile devices can keep up with other platforms on the technological side of things.