We love to be entertained; we love to play games, watch movies, listen to music, and see funny sitcoms. As a kid, I remember being absolutely in love with such animated movies as Timon&Pumba, The Simpsons (I still enjoying watching this show), Aladdin, Woody the Woodpecker and many others. Those were the days, I am telling you.
Video Games, Part of The Education Culture
I can’t neglect, however, the role and impact that video games have had in my life. I remember playing cartridge games on Dendy when I was about 10 years old. You probably don’t know what Dendy, so let me enlighten you. It was, basically, a hardware clone of NES made in China and commercialised mostly in Russia and countries from the Eastern Europe and from the former Soviet Union. And I wasn’t, by any means, a kid that would stay the entire day inside the house, watch TV programs and play video games.
No, sir, I was on the field, playing soccer with my buddies. But, still, video games had a charm of their own; it was like I was entering a new realm, filled with interactive games. Video games have always enjoyed thousands of fans everywhere in the world. Nowadays, there are people out there who spend most of their waking hours locked in a room and playing for countless hours. And games are no longer restricted to bulky desktop computers, no, games have moved to other platforms as well. The most important ones seem to be smartphones and tablet.
Casual Games, Making The Most of Our Free Moments
Not everybody has the luxury of locking himself/herself into one room and playing nonstop games. Some of us have to work. But during their lunch breaks, most game lovers would fancy playing a relaxing game to take the edge off and forget about the stress at work. And exactly that’s why casual mobile games have started to be successful. Because you don’t have to be at home to play them, you can always resume the game and the fun doesn’t get spoiled!
Games like Angry Birds have really set off. Even if it started as a little unnoticed iOS game before transforming into an actual cult, Angry Birds has managed to achieve massive popularity among gamers. The sequels also enjoyed the same popularity. Angry Birds: Space broke some records when it was first launched after an aggressive Rovio (the company behind the game) marketing campaign. The game was downloaded over 10 million times in just three days. Angry Birds is not alone in the sea of mobile game success.
Companies Are More Interested in The Mobile Field
Meet Cut the Rope, a physics-based puzzle video game. Who said that science isn’t attracting people anymore? The game was developed by Russian developer ZeptoLab and published by Chillingo. On iOS it uses the Crystal and Game Center social networking services. In 2011 it was followed by a smash hit sequel called Cut the Rope: Experiments. Go geeks! So what does all this success tell us? A recent research on the Gaming Industry as a whole reveled some interesting facts.
The numbers are quite puzzling. Here’s how many games Electronic Arts has available at the moment:
Video-console games: 480
Desktop games (PC&Mac): 270
Mobile games: 220
Online games: 24
Look at the numbers, mobile games provide the company with almost the same amount of revenue as desktop games. This is quite interesting. If mobile games continue to evolve in the right way, we might see them climbing at the top of the hierarchy. Tomorrow mobile gamers are more than just casual gamers looking for “bite-sized” escapes. Augmented reality games could become a great example of how mobile games could develop into something wonderful. They could become the bridge between the real and virtual words. The new game tactics could be incorporated into location-aware apps in order to enhance user game-play.
Social gaming could also be a big surprise. Smartphones offer this functionality. You can unwind playing with your friends on Facebook or Twitter. According to recent studies, 4 in 5 people agree that games – if they are well designed – could create positive changse in the world, and 96% said they would like see more games being developed with this consideration in mind. I am not quit sure if this is the right approach for business companies because Zynga’s games inside Facebook are definitely killing employees’ time. But doesn’t that make them more relaxed?
The Future of Mobile Apps Belongs to Children
Returning back to my memories of being a kid and playing video games on my cloned Dendy console, I realize that today’s casual games are bound to be successful thanks to 2 important factors: kids and touch technology. We need to give credit to Apple here, for making touch technology a world standard and for making the iPad, an intuitive product, ready to be used by kids.vBy no means am I the advocate of kids playing apps on tablets and those of you, parents, that are on the Android side, you can use such an application as Kyte to be able to control them.
I am not an advocate to that but I also don’t think we should interdict them to play games. Actually, only by mixing up technology and education, we could have awesome learning tools, that could be brought to the world by Apple itself, which I was referring to as a potential Superhero company. It is obvious why we shouldn’t allow kids to play too much these casual games but are you aware of the benefits? Personally, I think that these beautiful displays, the Super AMOLED and Retina Display will bring in front of their eyes a truly colorful world and, who knows, maybe they’ll learn to reproduce that in the following years.
I know I’m being a little too visionary here, but isn’t that what kids learn in drawing lessons? To create and to perceive the beautiful? Why can’t a casual mobile game stimulate the creativity and develop the intelligence of kids? Obviously, there are enough games that will only transform him into a vegetable, but I am sure he’ll be intrigued by the challenging ones.
Mobile Games Companies vs Big Players in Entertainment
Mobile games aren’t that costly to be made and can deliver good returns on the long run. I praise Vesterbacka for refusing the deal with Hollywood and that means that we’ve got an emerging new trend in the entertainment field. Let’s say it’s a bit of an educational field, as well. I only can hope that we will see more and more great games like Angry Birds, Cut the Rope, Temple Run in the future. I think that a bigger number of independent companies will do a much better job than a world of entertainment and education divided between Hollywood, Pixar and Disney.
If you think about it, TV is not anymore the hot gadget of our days. I am not saying it is going down because people will always stay hungry for news and kick-ass displays but kids are way more different. For them, being able to interact, to burst a bubble, to shoot a bird is a funny and engaging experience. I am not talking only about games here. Just imagine how easily your kid would learn to speak, if he’ll see all sorts of shapes, beautifully created inside a cartoon-app.
Mobile Apps to Boost Kids’ Creativity
My strong belief is that you shouldn’t be skeptic about allowing your 3-year old son to play on your pad, you can start off with tablets for kids and then allow him to more sophisticated gadgets, such as the iPad. I also strongly think that FPS games, evolved games won’t fare well on tablets and smartphones, unless a product like Razor’s Fiona will prove I’m wrong. To sum up, I am sure that we will see more hit-games in the future and that they will be target the younger audience, especially.
Kids love to touch, they love to interact and it would be a pity not to create some entertaining applications to feed their curiosity and the unstopping need to be engaged in something. Sure, don’t put that in the first place and neglect his social needs. We cannot stop technology but we can make it understandable and enjoyable even for our kids. Your children will become the most important customer to mobile apps developers and that’s a good thing because developers will be forced to create spotless, ingenious applications.