How Casual Mobile Games Will Still be as Popular as 3D Games in the Future

Written by B Johnson March 01, 2012
How Casual Mobile Games Will Still be as Popular as 3D Games in the FutureHi guys, welcome back!

In the past few years, it’s really amazing to see how mobile gaming industry has developed into a completely new promising land of business, especially for mobile game developers.

I remembered a few years ago when playing some of my favorite mobile games on my old feature phones.

From adventure games, action, sport, role playing, simulation and even simple puzzle games – YEAH, i’ve already played them all on my simple cell phones in the past.

However, many of these games were mostly simple Java-based games with 2D simple graphics.

Of course, there were many mobile games that also utilized 3D impressive graphics like Asphalt 1 – 4 series or Resident Evil. But they didn’t look as impressive as mobile games that you see today.

But all of that has changed a lot ever since the first-gen smartphone from Apple, iPhone, came out.

Since iPhone and its app market - App Store - became really popular, many mobile game developers started taking this business seriously by bringing more advanced mobile games with more detailed 3D graphics and even advanced visual effects into their games.

This significant improvements and developments that happened on mobile games actually came at no surprise given that the release of iPhone – which followed by the launch of App Store (iTunes) and iPad -, changed this industry entirely, from a small scale of ecosystem into a huge profitable business, especially for mobile game developers.

And then, since the arrival of many other smartphones and tablets from other brands (Android and Windows) -, this industry had improved a lot, not only in the ecosystem itself, but also on the revenues that are gained by developers.

What makes it amazing is, not only has this helped push mobile game developers to bring their games to the next level, but this also attracts many console game makers to port their titles into smartphone and tablet.

From EA with its Dead Space, Rockstar Games with its GTA series and last time i heard, one of the most popular PC and console games – Bioshock from Irrational Games (2K Games) – is about to arrive on iOS devices later this year (hopefully will be followed by the release on Android devices as well).

This shows how mobile gaming industry has now been taken to a far new level, even alongside console and PC game markets - given how profitable it has become.

And all of that is possible to achieve given that smartphone or tablet’s hardware today are now way more powerful and adequate to handle 3D games with even more detailed graphics and stunning visual effects, compared to the less-powerful feature phones in the past.

And thanks to that, now mobile game developers have much bigger space and power to develop their games without any limitations, especially in terms of game size/scale, graphics and visual effects.

If you compared the mobile games on feature phones in the past (like PES 2009, Asphalt 1 – 4 series or Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow, etc) with today’s mobile games on smartphone and tablet (such as: PES 2012, Asphalt 8, Splinter Cell: Conviction or Modern Combat 4), you can see how the improvements made by developers on the graphics and visual effects of these games are really significant.

Now mobile games today have much gorgeous 3D graphics and even stunning visual effects that we usually see only on console and PC platforms (like sun glare, reflections on the road or mirror, shadow on object, etc).

And a few months ago, NVIDIA just announced its latest mobile chipset called Tegra K1, an extremely powerful processor shipping with 192-core Kepler GPU – which can be found only on Xiaomi Mi Pad and NVIDIA’s own Shield Tablet (or at least for now).

The more impressively is, according to many benchmark tests, not only does this Tegra K1 manage to top all the mobile chipsets on the market to date, but it is also capable to deliver the same level of the graphical performance as desktop’s GPU – which is outstanding given that Tegra K1 is only a tiny mobile processor, compared to NVIDIA's GeForce GTX GPU on desktop.

With all of these massive improvements and developments that have been around in mobile industry in the past few years, i believe it’s just a matter of time before we finally see mobile games in the future have nearly the same quality 3D graphics as on the console or PC platforms.

So don’t be shocked if Call of Duty or other popular PC/console titles will finally arrive on iOS and Android in the near future given that the hardware of smartphones or tablets will be more than ready to execute these heavy games even in lag-free performance, with those detailed graphics and visual effects running smoothly in the game.

2D Casual Games Will Still be as Popular as 3D Mobile Games

Interestingly, despite all of these significant improvements in this industry, casual 2D games amazingly still has huge followers until today.

As a matter of fact, casual game ecosystem actually becomes even bigger and bigger ever since smartphone and tablet came out.

On Android and iOS, there are many popular 2D simple and casual games that many of you are already familiar to see and even play on your smartphone or tablet - from simple platforming games, card-based games, puzzle games, simulation games, intuitive (touch and tilt) games and not to mention, role playing games.

Speaking of role playing games, or popularly known as RPG, i actually just stumbled upon one interesting role playing game yesterday when i was reading some of my favorite game websites around the net.

I don't remember exactly where i found it but the thing that made me really interested about this game was actually its gameplay.

This game is called Miramagia if i'm not mistaken.

To perfectly honest, I have many favorite role playing games that i used to play on my old-generation SNES or Xbox consoles, which some of them have been released also on smartphone and tablet.

However, from many of those RPG titles, i think Miramagia has something new and fresh to offer that i haven't seen on any other RPG titles (visit Magic Game Miramagia to check out more about this game).

Compared to many other role playing games that are more prominent with their hack-and-slash combat gameplay, Miramagia interestingly combines simulation (farm), magic and role playing gameplay into one solid game.

For your information, this game is actually an online role playing game or more popularly known as mmorpg (Massively multiplayer online role-playing game). So you must firstly get connected to internet in order to be able to play this game.

How Casual Mobile Games Will Still be as Popular as 3D Games in the Future

In this Miramagia, you and many other players all across the world can join together in this wonderful world full of magic and do a lot of awesome things according to your chosen character.

So in this game, not only can you grow colorful plants on your farm, but you can also do other things like, learning powerful spells, chatting with your own fellow neighbors, playing or helping your family and friends, meeting new people in your neighborhood or town, making your village the prettiest in Miramagia or even raising your own dragon (which kind of reminds me with the movie "How to Teach Your Dragon").

Anyway, the great thing about this game is, Miramagia is not only available to play on your internet browser, but you can also dive into this awesome role playing game with your Android smartphone or tablet.

So if you don’t really have time to play games with your laptop or PC, you can also experience being in Miramagia by only using your Android device.

Isn’t that awesome? Of course, besides Miramagia, there are also many other awesome online role playing games that you probably would like to play on your Android or iOS device.

I think this game just shows how simple casual games like Miramagia will always have such a massive fan base on any platform – even on smartphone/tablet -, despite using only 2D simple graphics with no advanced visual effects whatsoever just like games in FPS, third person or adventure genres that usually put the top priority on the graphics and visual effects of the games, of course with great storyline as well.

So this is the main reason to believe why - despite all the massive developments and improvements made by developers on their mobile games, in terms of graphics and visual effects -, 2D simple casual games like Miramagia will still be as popular as 3D games and can even gain as many downloads as 3D heavy games on Google Play Store or Apple App Store, or probably even more.

And this is very possible to happen given that the market for casual games is usually bigger than the market of 3D hardcore games because the vast majority of gamers on smartphone and tablet are mostly not hardcore gamers just like on console platform.

So there will be a huge chunk of market share in this industry that is free for grabs for those creative developers that can make attractive and compelling mobile games for those non-hardcore gamers.

Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja or Cut the Rope are just some of the examples how popular mobile games don't really require some heavy detailed 3D graphics and stunning visual effects just like on Modern Combat 4, Asphalt 8 or Dead Trigger.
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