Mobile Gaming Is Growing. But Are Its Players True Gamers?


The gaming industry has lived on will most probably be the future of entertainment. But the last decade or so has seen a huge revolution with the industry being on the leading front in the global economy in terms of the numbers it attracts. This then impacts the huge amounts of revenue that these different companies and developer studios earn year-on-year.

Reports show that the global video game market is predicted to hit revenues of $152.1 billion in 2019 alone. In Kenya, it is estimated to generate about Kes.2.6 billion and if you can afford that, then that’s not so big for you.

And as the industry grows, we have seen it being made more readily available to as many people as possible. This is considering the traditional form factors, console and PCs can tend to be super expensive. They can leave your jaw dropped after the price is mentioned, be it the console, the game or the accessory.

PC vs mobile gaming

Image: Avira

A FIFA 20 game that just came out about two weeks ago would leave you about Kes.7,000 poorer. Other more complex titles go up to Kes.10,000 let alone the in-game purchases that one is usually forced to give in to eventually.

And this is why after the two traditional platforms dominated for so long, one rogue platform came out, the smartphone. Sure, the likes of Steve Jobs never made the first iPhone with goals of it being a solely gaming device, but it has turned out to be one. Check the ASUS ROG Phone 2 to see why.

PS: And when we say gaming, we do not in any way mean betting.

Mobile Games Are Taking Over

And now as you’re reading this, video games aren’t the exclusive domain of nerds and geeks anymore. Yes, I know that your average Joe isn’t playing Angry Birds in hopes of being an e-sports champion. But similarly, not all console and PC players are looking to have this as a career so we’re pretty even.

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Mobile players are predicted to account for half of the industry’s money by 2020. We’ve seen moves to and from various platforms, but this represents a serious change for the gaming world. Clearly, more people are flocking to play mobile games at a higher rate than people are committing to consoles or gaming PCs.

But still, why do many gamers believe that mobile gaming doesn’t count? Believe me, this is far from an unpopular opinion, but does it have any merit?

Who Is A “Gamer”?

Technically speaking, a “gamer” is simply someone who plays games. But this encompasses a huge percentage of our society today. Billions of people around the world have mobile devices and you can bet that a huge number has played a game on the device, even if it is just Candy Crush. But do they all count as gamers?

For one, we need to look past the superficial definition. When they talk about the gaming community, they are not including everyone that has ever played a video game. It’s about a subset that is intensely committed to their hobby and in the long run, choose to identify themselves and their work by their hobby.

mobile gaming

Image: h20

And now that there are “hardcore” gamers who focus mainly on consoles and PCs, the idea of a non-traditional platform coming in and disrupting the norm all in the name of playing games may seem unruly to many.

So Are Mobile Players Gamers?

There has been a lot of criticism that mobile games come in too cheap or even free only to be ruined by the numerous microtransactions. But then again, traditional gaming isn’t free either. You might think it’s dumb to spend thousands of shillings on microtransactions, but other people also think it’s dumb that you spent around Kes.50,000 or even more to buy a console or PC when you already have a good phone.

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The fact of the matter is that mobile players can also choose to invest as much time into their games. They can play PUBG Mobile or the new Call Of Duty Mobile and relate to each other over their shared experiences. Eventually, they can also choose to identify based on their hobby.

Oh, actually, e-sports based on mobile games have already kickstarted with the PUBG Mobile Club Open that was held a few months ago. So, just as you cannot discriminate against women from being good and influential figures in the gaming industry, don’t say that playing mobile gaming doesn’t count.

But if they continue doing that (which they will), there’s nothing wrong with not being a gamer. Heck, most mobile players don’t even seem to care if they’re counted as a gamer or not.

So let’s just count this as the article that solved the entire debate, and move on with our lives. We’ve got games to play.

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