Needless to say, video games are always changing and evolving, and this may be truer in the mobile medium than anywhere else. Because of the sheer number of developers and the relatively small size of most games, there’s always something new, and seemingly with each passing month a new trend makes itself apparent. This can make the world of mobile gaming somewhat dizzying, but it also makes it all the more fun to look to the future. Doing just that, we believe these are some of the types of games we’ll be seeing more of before long.
1. Franchise Battle Royales
“Battle Royale” games like PUBG are all the rage in the mobile category – even though there are really only a few of them. The prediction we’re making though is that this general style of gaming will be picked up by popular franchises and twisted into different experiences. For example, imagine a Super Smash Bros. mobile game, but in a Battle Royale format, such that you could choose a character and be dropped into a map to brawl with other characters from the game. Think of the same thing with Pokémon, or popular Marvel heroes. There’s a ton of potential across the board.
2. Dating-Quiz Hybrids
This may be more of a reach, but there’s a natural connection to be made between ever-popular dating apps and the resurgent quiz game genre. When you think about it, filling out personal information to match with others on dating programs is almost like a personal quiz of sorts, and with these games so popular these days, it makes sense that the two concepts will eventually be paired. It’s hard to say exactly what that might look like, but imagine designing quizzes for potential partners to take in order to “qualify” to chat with you. It would be a new, game-like way of setting up a profile, such that members of the app could consistently take each other’s quizzes to match with one another.
3. Gamified Betting
This is something we view as particularly likely in the American market, where mobile betting is only just beginning to take off. As state legislatures around the country move toward legalizing real-money gambling, various bookmakers are making themselves heard: FanDuel and DraftKings quickly added sportsbooks to their daily fantasy platforms, a BetAmerica mobile app emerged, and some of the big European providers are easing into the market as well. But given that the vast U.S. market is largely transitioning from free-to-play, betting-like games (from daily fantasy to ESPN’s Streak For The Cash), it may be in these betting companies’ best interests to gamify things a bit. Thus, we expect to see betting/gaming hybrids becoming the norm.
4. AR Fighting Games
In a very limited way, Pokémon GO already introduced the idea of battling characters in augmented reality space. As AR improves though (possibly through smart glasses), it’s likely that we’ll see more in the way of AR fighting games. Imagine it in the simplest terms and you’ll start to see the appeal: Ryu and Ken of Street Fighter could do battle right in front of you, in your own front yard, with you controlling one character and either a live multiplayer opponent or the app itself controlling the other.
5. Zen VR Games
Virtual reality has already produced its share of zen-like experiences, even as mobile app games meant to relax and soothe us have gotten popular. Marrying the two concepts seems like a no-brainer that will almost assuredly happen in due time. This could happen in any number of ways, but basically we’re imagining smartphone-fueled VR games that surround us in peaceful environments and challenge us in minor, methodical ways, such that we play through games while enjoying trance-like relaxation.