Gaming February 28, 2022
With more than 2.6 billion mobile gamers worldwide, mobile gaming is massive. Mobile gamers cut across age and gender. Your middle-aged tito is just as likely to play casual games on his smartphone as your three-year-old niece. So, what can we expect this year for mobile games? Here are the top not-to-miss gaming trends for 2022:
5G is super fast, forecasted to be at least 7x times faster than 4G. Most smartphone users now still use 4G, but global 5G adoption will hit one billion in 2022. So, how will this impact mobile gaming?
First, there is the obvious which users are (and will always be) looking for: faster gaming time, shorter download times, and no lag. 5G will also enable more complex multiplayer gaming. Expect more games using virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), giving you a more immersive experience.
More and more mobile games will also be live streamed. This trend was seen in 2021 when three of the most streamed games were exclusive to mobile devices: Free Fire, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, and PUBG Mobile.
While many games are available only on PCs and consoles, that will change as more of them shift to mobile. In addition, some of these games will let you play with both your mobile and console devices simultaneously.
For example, Among Us, a multiplayer social deduction game was first launched on iOS and Android devices. Now, it’s available on consoles and supports cross-platform play with existing Windows and mobile versions.
One of the most popular cross-platform games that will banner 2022 is Fortnite, the battle royale to end all battle royales. Millions of these online warriors build their fortresses, batten down their hatches, and then duke their enemies simultaneously and on a variety of platforms. With its digital frontiers on PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC, and of course, mobile, this war is never-ending.
Ubisoft and Activision also plan to release new installments of their big console and PC games on mobile in 2022. Pretty soon, gamers will not just be interacting across cross-platforms, but maybe across their gaming multi-universes as well.
Crossplay happens when you can play the exact version of the game on the platform or device of your choice. One such game that translated very well across PC, phablets, and mobile phones (running either Android or iOS) was Genshin Impact, one of the biggest games in the world.
This feat can be challenging for game developers as different platforms have limitations that cannot give the player the same gaming experience from playing the game on a PC or console. With necessity as the mother of invention, the creative juices of these game developers and designers are finding a different sandbox to play in through crossplays, where they create variations of the PC or console game optimized for mobile devices.
Until mobile technology can accommodate PC and console games’ high definition and resolution, expect to see spin-offs. Experts and insiders don’t see the popularity of crossplays and spin-offs waning soon because they help publishers build brands and reach a wider audience.
Socialization is different from interactivity which players have been doing for a long time. Gaming interaction happens in MMORPG, where characters and avatars take down each other, as controlled by their human users who might be living entire countries away from each other.
Socialization sparks, however, when these same digital enemies reach out to each other outside of the game, and interact outside of their characters as real persons. It started with conversations in chat rooms, leading to exchange in tips, online bonding, social media exchanges, and culminating in gaming guilds.
Socialization took off during the pandemic when the gamers, locked up in their physical homes for months, felt a need to communicate with the other players on a very human level. Gaming experts forecast that, even when the lockdowns are lifted, the virtual opponents (or allies) will continue their off-game, if still digital friendships. To date, at least in the U.S., 38% of gamers said they like chatting while playing games.
Gamers can earn while they play their mobile devices, and we are not just referring to the esports superstars who win massive payloads of money in international competitions. Gaming companies make this possible by introducing rewards and prizes. The more rounds you play and the higher levels you reach, the bigger your rewards. Rewards can be converted into cash or favorite items.
Cryptocurrency, blockchain, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have spread this trend into developing but game-loving countries like the Philippines. What’s top of mind right now is Axie Infinity, where dedicated players earn an average of $400 a month. Membership boomed during the pandemic when it got the attention of many locked-down people forced to seek other sources of income that could help them get by.
The still unbeaten high earner in Axie Infinity PH is a 22-year-old Pinoy who earned enough to buy two properties. He posted his winnings and images of his new homes on his Facebook, and the internet went wild.
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