Research Presentation: Mobile Apps in the Game World

What is an App:

The term “app” has become popular over the years and in 2010 and was listed as “Word of the Year” by the American Dialect Society.

‘App’, in the sense that we mean it today, did not exist before the iPhone was introduced in 2007. Apps are relatively lightweight programs, specifically designed to run on mobile platforms such as the iPhone and Android phones.

History of Mobile Games:

The mobile game genre essentially began in the early 90s when design and technology companies, such as Texas instruments, began to embed the snake game in their devices. The pixilated reptile that grew in size while gliding through a tiny maze captivated users so much that Nokia decided in 1997 to become the first mobile phone provider to include a game in one of its models. 350 million mobile phones have offered snake as a standard feature.

Snakes popularity inspired so many companies that they began to work on technology, informally knows as WAP (Wireless application protocol), which would enable mobile phones to transfer game-related data via a remote server. The game developers began to explore and understand the possibilities for fast action and multiplayer mobile-based games.

The mobile games turned corners when iPhone was launched in 2007 and in 2008 iPhone created a wide open market for third- party titles, where the barrier to entry for developers was low and games costed relatively little money for consumers. The app store revolutionized the sector by establishing an easily- accessed direct connection between developers and consumers.

Similarly, thousands of developers create a variety of apps for Android, a mobile operating system launched by the Open Handset Alliance. Google’s Android Market enables users to access the more than 700,000 apps available for the system.

Overview of Mobile Games:

As smartphone and tablet penetration have significantly grown over the last few years, the performance metric for playing games has changed from quality of graphics to convenience and ease of play. People want to be able to play games on-the-go like when they’re waiting in line or have a few spare minutes in between class.

Such a desire for portability and convenience has created a genre of mobile games that are attracting new, “casual” gamers – ones that never played hard-core games on PCs or consoles but are now finding themselves addicted to simple, cheap, quick, pick-up-and-play mobile games they can play whenever they want from wherever they are. But without the expensive, up-front purchase of consoles and games, mobile games have looked to new business models

What’s most remarkable about this growth is that 80% of total app revenues now originate from freemium products from the mobile games.

“Games count for the vast majority of revenue for Google and Apples stores,” “Maybe two or three years ago, you would pay $1 or $2 for a game, but there was no opportunity for them to charge you more. Now they give it to you for free, then keep charging you for additional features.

Research Report Document


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