From poker to blackjack, developers are taking to the mobile market
Last year, the International Data Corporation reported that growth in the worldwide mobile market grew 6% in the second quarter of 2013 (2Q13), with vendors shipping upwards of 432.1 million mobile phones to markets across the globe. Thanks to new vendors entering the market, smart phones and mobile computing have become more accessible to a wider audience.
There was also a 52.3% year-over-year growth in smart phone sales, with vendors shipping 237.9 million units in 2Q13, compared to the 156.2 million units shipped in 2Q12. Studies by Super Monitoring also show that 91% of the global population now own mobile phones, with 56% owning a smart phone. If the growth and prominence of the mobile market wasn’t apparent before, it sure is apparent now.
Mobile markets have allowed many new developers to begin offering gaming at all levels, from casual to hardcore. Research by MobiThinking revealed that games account for 145/300 of the top apps available on iTunes, and 116/300 of the top apps on Google Play. Revenues for apps and games are estimated at $25 billion in 2013 alone – a figure that’s set to triple by 2017.
Thanks to this, even companies and developers who had previously seen success in other industries have begun closing in on the mobile market. The online gambling industry recently made great strides when some companies were granted licenses to operate in New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware, but the expansion hasn’t ended yet. Online gambling companies have already released simple slot game simulations and other games that rely on luck, but the push for better quality mobile games is felt across all sectors. Some companies have been successful in this endeavor, while some have not.
Bwin.party, who released their partypoker iPhone app last year, says that one of the main points hopefuls needed to develop for any mobile app to be successful was ease-of-access. Connectivity remains to be one of the best features of mobile gaming, and with mobile games, players expect faster, smoother gameplay and results. To address this, bwin.party decked out a Fast Forward type of game specifically for their mobile users – a feature clearly lacking from the apps that had failed.
Could the mobile market be the next frontier for online gambling? Ness Software sure seems to think so, saying that as the number of mobile users go up, the only thing left for a smart company to do is join them and go mobile. Nowadays, consumers want something that lets them do their business – be it banking, emailing, or gaming – on the go, and lets them do it fast. And if online gambling companies want to stand a chance, they’d better take their business to the app stores.