The smartphone, whether iPhone, Android or any other brand, plays a very important, if not the most important role in our society. In recent years we have not only been able to see how the smartphone has developed into a device that has been used mainly for social networking, but also that it is increasingly being used for gaming purposes. Here you have to understand how the gaming industry and the smartphone have changed.
It began with simple games
Games such as Angry Birds, Doodle Jump and Flappy Bird enjoyed great popularity. They provided for the fun in between. Everyone could play it at any time because these games were not difficult but extremely simple. No matter if you sat in the bus, at school or in the office. Those were the times when there were practically no micro-transactions. Very simple games were free of charge and were financed by advertising.
Slightly more demanding games had a fixed price of several euros. The fun was absolutely in the foreground. This should change very soon, as ever more powerful smartphones would soon be coming onto the market. Better processors, more memory, more storage and much more. A simple comparison: In 2004, laptops with 512MB of RAM were sold. Nowadays there are smartphones with at least 4GB RAM.
If one would have spoken of a “Freemium” game 10 years ago, one would probably have had one or two helpless glances. Of course there were also “DLCs” before, but the whole scheme of “Free-To-Play”, i. e. you can download and play games for free, but later on, you don’t need items like currencies, which have to be bought with real money.
DLCs were very simple extensions that added new cards, items or characters. Also here comes a very popular game, which had lots of expansion packs from EA: The Sims. Alone for The Sims 4, there were countless DLCs. But that should not be enough. Sims Mobile for iOS and Android will be released soon.
Microtransactions were introduced
When you think of microtransactions, two games come to mind. On the one hand Clash of Clans, which was probably one of the most popular games for iOS and Android, and on the other hand FIFA Ultimate Team. As early as 2009, FIFA Ultimate Team was offered as DLC for the then version of the game. The idea that players put together their own team proved to be a real gold mine.
Currencies such as coins and points were introduced in the following versions. From now on, it was all about players buying FIFA Points and opening up gold packs to receive players. Nothing has changed since then. Clash of Clans was one of the first games that were free, but where in the long run premium currencies were needed.
As a result, the Finnish developers Supercell developed more Freemium games. Among them games like Hay Day, Boom Beach or the very popular Clash Royale. With Brawl Stars, the next big Supercell game is already in the starting blocks. From then on, almost exclusively Freemium games were developed. In games such as Fortnite and PUBG, there are also microtransactions that allow you to purchase items for real money.
The kings of micro-transactions, however, are Electronic Arts, who have been following a tough course since the beginning with FIFA Ultimate Team which is in the top 10 the best-selling games currently in 2018. With Star Wars Battlefront 2, however, they overdid it last year. Since then, more and more players are rebelling against EA.
Where does the future lead us?
Smartphones and tablets are becoming increasingly powerful and games more complex. Complex graphics are no longer a problem for the smartphone. This can be seen recently in the game Rules of Survival, which looks almost as good as Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds on the PlayStation 4. Games can also be played via Bluetooth, the Internet and the like.
The only weakness of the smartphone is the battery. Unlike the console and PC, these are only available to a very limited extent. If this technology can be improved and the control for smartphone games becomes easier, we may soon see LAN parties with the smartphone.