5 Popular Mobile Gaming Trends We’ve Seen In 2022
A decade ago, most prominent game developers weren’t keen on mobile gaming. The focus was mainly on creating games for PC and console, with mobile versions barely an afterthought. But it’s 2022, and smartphones are literally everywhere. Over five billion people own one, and roughly four of the five mobile phones in the world are smartphones.
This has led many of the world’s major industries to focus on optimizing for smartphones. Activision, a leading figure in the gaming world, launched the mobile version of their billion-dollar franchise, Call of Duty, in 2019 and garnered over 200 million downloads within a year. This and other successful crossovers plus mobile innovations have led to a massive interest and growth in the mobile gaming industry.
It has also led to rapid, massive developments making it harder for fans to keep track of the latest trends. To make things easier for you, we’ve outlined five of the major gaming trends in 2022. Also, if you want to wager at top online poker rooms from your mobile devices, you can check some of the best online poker sites here.
Most Popular Mobile Gaming Trends In 2022
The mobile gaming industry is evolving every year, and 2022 is no different. Here are some of the most popular trends the industry has seen in 2022.
1. AAA Games Now Available on Mobile
Newzoo predicts that the mobile gaming industry will cross the $100 billion valuation in 2023. The industry’s size has led many major game developers to release mobile AAA Games.
In June, Blizzard launched the mobile version of one of its most successful franchises, Diablo. Diablo Immortal was met with massive praise for its MMORPG elements and storyline (with the game’s story filling the gap between Diablo II and Diablo III).
The game amassed over 10 million downloads within the first month of its release and crossed the 30 million mark in late July. It also had the most successful launch in the Diablo franchise, with reports estimating that the game made $14.5 million in its first week.
Diablo is not the only major franchise making a crossover in 2022. Riot Gaming has announced that the mobile version of their first-person shooter, Valorant, will be released in the second half of the year. Other franchises slated for mobile release include Apex Legends and Ubisoft’s The Division.
2. Simple Games are Still Leading the Charts
According to data from Singular, 70 billion apps have been downloaded this year, and more than half of those apps are mobile games. The industry is growing, more developers are investing in highly complex games with advanced graphics and sophisticated gameplay.
Despite this, casual games are still dominating the charts. This has been the case since 2020, and it’s safe to say that in 2022, people still prefer simple, quick games that don’t require them to stress too much.
In terms of revenue generated, casual games are still topping the charts. The most downloaded games for the first half of the year include Candy Crush Saga, Subway Surfers, and Roblox. Top revenue-generating games in 2022 include Roblox, Candy Crush Saga, Bingo Blitz, and Homescapes.
3. Mobile Games Have Become More Social
The COVID-19 pandemic stopped major real-life events, so people had to find digital ways to connect and interact with friends. Mobile game developers saw this as an opportunity and began to create virtual worlds in games.
In 2021, Fortnite partnered with some of the world’s biggest artists like Lil Nas X and Travis Scott to host in-game virtual concerts. Various developers also included lounges and spaces outside the main gameplay where players’ avatars can come in and interact with themselves.
This trend transcended into 2022, and more mobile games now serve as social media. Most games now allow players to connect their accounts to other social media platforms where they can chat and share their milestones.
According to Facebook, 38% of US gamers like to chat while they play. Games now include chat rooms, guilds, and the social hangouts areas Example of such games are Cooking Diary and Homescapes.
4. Mobile Games Have Attracted More Spectators
In 2022, more spectators have become interested in mobile games. According to a Nielsen study, 7 in 10 millennial gamers spend 6 hours a week watching other gamers play. The gaming industry now attracts a massive audience, and mobile gaming is gradually becoming a major digital sector.
Gaming tournaments like the Free Fire World Series and the Call of Duty Mobile Championship have attracted millions of viewers this year. Platforms like YouTube and Twitch have recorded a massive increase in mobile game streaming in 2022.
Garena Free Fire is the most streamed mobile game this year, with nearly 40 million hours. PUBG Mobile and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang have amassed 18.5 million and 16.3 million hours, respectively.
5. Smartphone Availability and 5G Has Led to More Mobile Gamers
The number of smartphone owners worldwide rose to 6.64 billion in 2022. That is, there are 300 million more smartphone users than last year. This boom in smartphone accessibility, together with the fast rise of 5G, has led to a massive increase in the number of mobile gamers.
Also, 5G has greatly improved the mobile gaming experience. Mobile games have become smoother, faster, and more advanced. Some are even starting to match the high standards of console games. These significant technological advancements have greatly improved multiplayer gameplay and mobile game streaming.
Some of the biggest mobile multiplayer games like Garena Free Fire and Call of Duty Mobile now boast over 40 million players every month. With more people owning smartphones and 5G gradually becoming a norm, monthly players will be averaging 60-80 million by the end of the year.
The Bottom Line
2022 has been a good year for the mobile gaming industry. It has so far generated over $50 billion and now accounts for roughly 40% of the total gaming sector revenue in 2022.
The industry is now at a peak it’s never seen before, and it’s all thanks to the major trends and developments going in its favor. These trends include an increase in smartphone availability and 5G, more spectators for mobile eSports events, a social approach to mobile gaming, and the rise of casual and AAA games.