Indie Game Developers
Ever since smartphones became the primary type of cellphones, the way we see our phones changed drastically. PDA phones and the later generations of cellphones, which are today known as smartphones, allowed users to install their own chosen applications on their devices rather than being limited with stock functions. This ability created new possibilities for the gaming world. Game designers recognized the potential and began to develop more and more games for cellphones every year.
Before smartphones, mobile gaming as in gaming on cellphones wasn’t more than time-wasters such as the legendary “Snake”. Smartphones made mobile gaming a viable platform for video game designers. Especially with the help of the later popular operating systems, open-source Android and Apple’s user-friendly iOS market, mobile gaming evolved much faster than other gaming platforms. Many AAA and indie game designer released millions of games for mobile platforms. Also, many major game titles either got mobile ports or companion mobile apps in previous years.
As technology advances and more powerful smartphones get released for cheaper. Since many gamers have limited times or limited money to spend on game consoles or PC games, the appeal of mobile gaming is undeniable. Thanks to newer, more capable smartphones, mobile gaming is getting closer to game console qualities. Some companies even published their high profile titles from other platforms in the mobile gaming market, like EA’s Call of Duty and Need for Speed.
But of course not everybody interested in high profile games on phones. The majority of gamers in mobile gaming is having more fun with short bursts of casual gaming sessions on their smartphones. This idea is proven multiple times by the massive success of the most popular casual mobile game titles.
Numbers show that today almost all teenagers and the majority of adults own a smartphone and a large margin of smartphone owners play casual games any time they can. Of course, video game developers benefit this popularity of the mobile gaming platform. Many existing video game design companies released their most addicting games on mobile platforms. But mobile gaming served independent video game design studios the most.
For example, in 2009, a small company called Rovio Entertainment released the game “Angry Birds” for iOS platform and later for Android. The game was quite simple. It featured a touchscreen-controlled slingshot that shoots birds to destroy bad pigs in side view levels. The mobile gaming market loved this game so much it became a hit and made $106 million in just three years with over a billion downloads. Later years “Angry Birds” became a massive brand and made Rovio one of the biggest mobile gaming focussed video game companies.
Another example would be the success of Halfbrick Studios. Although its success is smaller than Ravio, Halfbrick studios managed to make itself a strong name in the mobile gaming world. In 2010, indie game design company Halfbrick Studios released “Fruit Ninja”, a game that uses touch screen technology to create the sensation of cutting fruits in the air. Players could feel like a ninja while they are slicing flying fruits in combos and avoiding bombs, hence the name; Fruit Ninja. The game became a hit fast and reached 300 million downloads in a short time. It was the second best-selling game on Apple’s App Store at its time. Although Fruit Ninja is still their most significant success, most of the future game titles of the company reached impressive numbers as well. Today Halfbrick is one of the most acknowledged mobile game design studios.
Since its introduction with smartphones, mobile gaming changed so much in video game design and the gaming market. Especially indie game designers found a market where they can make real profits with simple game design and short production time. Thanks to Application Store systems, nowadays even the game design students or self-learners with limited budgets now can create games that might become hits and make a name in the mobile gaming market.