- What Makes Mobile Gaming So Popular?
- Advantages of Mobile Game Development
- Improved UI/UX
- Target More Users
- Feature Sets
- Top Mobile Games Publishers Worldwide
- Moon Active
- Roblox Corporation
- Garena International
- Bandai Namco Entertainment
- Dream Games
- Product Madness
- Most Popular Mobile Game Development Software
- Unreal Engine
- About Pingle Studio
- Final Thoughts
If you’ve ever taken out your smartphone and opened up a game to play in your idle hours, you’re not alone. Not by a long shot.
According to recent statistics, close to 3 billion people played mobile games in 2021. That’s over 5% more than the number of people who played in the previous year.
The more people that play on their phones, the more demand there is for mobile game development companies to step up to the plate. Not only must they deliver better and more interesting games, but they must also produce better graphics and a smoother user experience (among other features). That’s if they want to stand out from the vast crowd of apps available for Apple and Android phones.
But just what is it about mobile games that has led to such a recent surge in popularity? What advantages do they offer, to both players and developers, over other types of games? And what is the best mobile game development software that companies use to keep up with new demands for usage, security, customization, quality, and other relevant metrics?
We’ve got all the answers to your questions below!
Mobile gaming has seen its biggest growth in Asia, which hosts over half the mobile game players in the world. There could be several reasons for this, but the most likely is that China has the largest population of smartphone users at over 950 million.
Number of mobile game users worldwide in 2021. Source: Statista
Another driver of mobile gaming could be the recent COVID 19 pandemic. Lockdowns are still in full swing in some parts of the world, which means that more people are looking for fun ways to distract themselves and their families while staying indoors.
Regardless of the reason for it, the burgeoning popularity of mobile games has had a significant, positive effect on the industry. That effect is that it has paved the way for an influx of new mobile game development companies and talent to start creating their own content.
There are many advantages to getting into mobile game development right now, either instead of or alongside your other video game projects. Read about them below.
Smartphone users don’t want to play janky games with cheaply designed graphics. They’re looking for mobile games that look sharp, are easy to navigate, and aren’t constantly interrupting their play with lagging graphics and crawling ads.
This presents a challenge - as well as an opportunity - to developers to create an improved UI/UX experience that players will value enough to pay for. More importantly, the experience must be totally optimized for mobile. Fortunately, it’s both easier and cheaper to improve UI/UX for mobile games than for any other type of video game.
There are more smartphone users than there are people who play on game consoles or PCs. This means that when you develop a mobile game, you have a wider pool of potential users to target as customers, which raises the likelihood that you’ll be able to sell it and make a profit.
With a mobile game, you can incorporate customization options which allow the player to optimize the game quickly and easily for their own personal use. For example, you can allow them to change the language or the time zone of their gameplay to match their own native tongue or country of residence.
Because mobile games are cheaper and easier to develop, they can come with a wide range of features. For example, you can have a user-friendly interface, fast load times, innovative graphics, a photo filter, and more, all in one game. That will help you stretch the limits of your creativity and develop an app that people will get excited about playing.
Mobile games are inclusive and appealing to all different kinds of people. People of any age, ethnicity, gender, and background can and do enjoy playing games on their smartphones. You can market to any one of them, or all of them at once.
While mobile game development companies are responsible for creating games, publishers are tasked with putting them out on the market to sell. In many cases, mobile games publishers will invest in the development of certain games that they believe they can turn for a profit.
Below are some of the leading mobile games publishers that are currently active around the world.
Even if you’ve never heard of the mobile game publisher King, you’ve most likely played one of their games. They began distributing the wildly successful Candy Crush Saga title back in 2012, an app that spawned three spinoffs. Other games under the King crown are Farm Heroes, Pet Rescue, and Bubble Witch.
Moon Active, a mobile game publisher based in Israel and founded in 2011, is responsible for two popular titles: Pet Master and Coin Master. Both games involve building up your own empire, attacking other players to reduce theirs, and spinning to win prizes on a virtual slot machine.
Playrix is an international mobile game developer with headquarters in Dublin, Ireland. It develops and publishes mobile games that are relaxed and casual, yet still deeply immersive. For example, they’ve released several entries in what they call their Scapes Series - games where you get to build your own world, so to speak. Each installment is set in a different environment: Wildscapes, Homescapes, Gardenscapes, and Farmscapes. They also released Fishdom, Township, and Manor Matters, the latter being a hidden object game.
Zynga is headquartered in California in the United States. They’ve partnered with household name franchises for mobile games like Star Wars: Bounty Hunters, Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells, and Game of Thrones Slot Casino.
Roblox is a platform released by the Roblox Corporation for iOS in 2012 and for Android in 2014. It’s a unique concept, as it allows users to create their own games and share them with other players on the Roblox platform. According to Pocket Tactics, the best mobile games on Roblox in 2022 were Combat Warriors, Anime Story, Da Hood, and Project Slayers.
Garena International in Singapore has effectively cornered the Southeast Asian market for e-sport mobile games. Their titles include Call of Duty Mobile, Arena of Valor, Free Fire, Speed Drifters, Fairy Tail: Forces Unite, and Contra Returns. Each game is designed to allow players around the world to compete against one another in various settings.
You probably recognize many of Helsinki-based Supercell’s titles, as they include chart-toppers like Clash of Clans, Clash Royale, and Hay Day. Clash of Clans incorporates building a village with fighting against other “clans” (AKA players) online, whereas Clash Royale requires you to build a Battle Deck and fight other players one on one. Hay Day, in which you build and maintain your own farm, is much more laidback. But all the games incorporate elements of building and collecting to create a reputation.
Supercell has found their niche in mobile gaming and achieved great success. Clash of Clans alone has been downloaded over 500 million times on Google Play.
Bandai Namco Entertainment has been in the video game development and publishing industry for decades. They were the company behind the Pac-Man the arcade game, which is now optimized for play on your mobile phone. They’re also behind mobile game versions of various popular anime series, including DRAGON BALL LEGENDS, Sword Art Online VS, and NARUTO X BORUTO NINJA VOLTAGE.
Founded in 2019 with branches in Istanbul and London, Dream Games is best known for their mobile release, Royal Match, released in 2021. The game features thousands of match-style levels, which you play through with the overall objective of restoring the castle of King Robert, the main character, to its former splendor. Royal Match has been extremely popular on Google Play, with over 10 million downloads and a 4.6 out of 5-star rating.
Product Madness has produced some of the best-known and most popular social casino mobile games in the world. These are casino-style games where you can compete against other players on virtual slot machines. The more “winnings” you get (they’re just points, not real money), the higher you place on the leaderboard.
Some of Product Madness’s top releases in this niche include Cashman Casino, Lightning Casino, Jackpot Magic Slots, and Big Fish Casino.
To produce a great mobile game, you need to use the best mobile game development software. Below are the most popular platforms that the top mobile game developers are using.
Unity is one of the best mobile game development software options out there, and for good reason. 70% of the top mobile games are developed using it, including Arena of Valor by Tencent Games (read the case study here) and Subway Surfers by SYBO (read the case study here).
One major advantage it offers - in addition to the robust Unity Pro game creation platform - is its wide variety of development, optimization, and publishing tools to help you create and sell a high-quality mobile game. Features like an asset store, game backend, backtrace, and gaming analytics help you churn out mobile games fast, so you can cut down the time it takes to get your creation from development to market. On the publishing end, features like cloud content delivery and in-app purchases help you launch and scale your game.
Mobile game development with Unity is always a smart choice, especially if you’re a seasoned developer working alone or with a team.
Unreal Engine supports a broad spectrum of video game development fields - including mobile on iOS and Android platforms - with a powerful array of tools and optimizations. It offers some of the best 3D graphics in the industry, and yet it’s completely free to download. That means that developers of any size working on any size mobile game project can use it. If you’re a small developer just getting started, that’s a huge win.
Some popular mobile game titles you may recognize that were developed using Unreal Engine are Injustice 2, Fortnite, and Mortal Kombat Mobile.
Godot is another free software that supports multiple platforms. It allows you to create both 2D and 3D games, with state-of-the-art rendering engines, nodes, and an object-oriented API. It’s also open source, which means it’s ever evolving. You can also contribute your own coding to it to help other developers.
Overall, Godot is the perfect software for beginner developers.
Formerly Amazon Lumberyard, O3DE is an open 3D engine that allows you to develop graphics in real-time. It’s designed to be customizable, so you can pick and choose which tools you want access to for your project. Using O3DE’s physics engine, photorealistic renderer, high-performance networking layer, and other incredible features, you can create AAA games without breaking your budget.
This software is another great option for beginners.
If you’re starting or are in the middle of a mobile game development project and you need all hands on deck, Pingle Studio is here to help.
Pingle Studio is a global game development partner. We use our industry expertise and experience to assist developers and publishers of all shapes and sizes with bringing their games to completion.
Our process is simple. First, we identify the services that you need. We know that not every developer and publisher is in the same place, development-wise, so we want to create a tailor-made plan just for you.
Next, we take into account your resources, potential roadblocks, deadlines, and goals to create a plan of action that will fit your unique project needs.
Finally, our gifted team of developers will execute the plan, producing the highest quality end deliverables at an efficient pace.
We’ve already partnered with some incredible, established game development companies on mobile projects. Below are some of the highlights of our past work:
- Donut County Case Study.
Developer Annapurna needed a team that could help them port their Donut County game from PC to Android without losing any of its quality. Pingle delivered console-quality content optimization, touchscreen controls designed from scratch, and coding that met Google Play requirements. As a result of our collaborative effort, Annapurna was able to launch the mobile version of Donut County on time. The app received an average score of 80 at Metacritic.
- Hello Neighbor Case Study
Pingle helped tinyBuild port their hit AI game, Hello Neighbor to iOS in two months and Android in three months. Our team of developers worked hard to reproduce the game’s console-grade graphics for mobile, design touchscreen controls from scratch, achieve high performance, and ensure seamless gameplay. After the app was released, it received a 4.2 out of 5 star-rating on Google Play from over 160K reviews.
Read about this incredible collaboration in the Hello Neighbor case study.
- Beyond A Steel Sky Case Study
Revolution Software came to Pingle with Beyond a Steel Sky, a game that they wanted to optimize for release on iOS systems. We were able to reproduce the game’s existing high-resolution graphics while preserving its unique visual style for lower-end Apple devices; achieve high performance on all iOS devices; ensured that Beyond a Steel Sky’s features were supported by every device that is compatible with the Apple Arcade; and delivered the final version of the app in a short turnaround time.
Mobile game development companies have seen major growth in the past couple of years. As mobile games continue to surge in popularity around the globe, the demand for high-quality, high-performance gaming experiences is going to go up, as well.
Developers and publishers can meet this demand by using the best mobile game development software to create new games and port them to mobile. They can also partner with teams like Pingle Studio to expand or complement their current team and turn around projects faster.
Contact us today to discuss your next mobile game project.