Mobile gaming is here to stay

Why do gamers who play their games on dedicated gaming devices, react in such an extreme way to gaming on smartphone? With the big developers like Nintendo entering the scene, I’m pretty sure mobile gaming is here to stay.

I still remember so vividly that I bought my first iPad in 2011. Not really ahead of the game, the iPad and iPhone had been on the market for some time, but I had resisted. Couldn’t really wrap my head around how it worked, I only had experience on a windows computer. And having apps on the device, working from within the apps, that was difficult to picture while not having a device myself.

Of course, as soon as I had my device it became pretty clear that I didn’t ever want to do without anymore. Not only because of the fast internet access and productivity apps, but also because of the games I could play on it. An iPhone soon followed, and I’ve been having fun with mobile games ever since.

The mobile gaming market is a fickle market.

We’ve all seen the examples of the companies that made it big with one app game, only to fail to keep the public interested. For instance, Rovio scored big in 2009 with Angry Birds, a game that absolutely went viral. Merchandise flooded the market and everybody knew about Angry Birds, even my elderly mother. But, the world of mobile gaming is a fast moving world, and pretty soon interest waned.

This lead to Rovio seeing its profit halved in 2013, and the Finnish company had to lay off a lot of its employees. Ever since that time lots of company restructuring has gone on, and many new games were released. But it seems to me Rovio never reached the same heights anymore.

Enter the big gaming giants

That’s only one of the many examples of how the mobile market is moving fast, and changes quickly. In the past two years it has been changing once again: where before we had lots of developers who solely aimed at the mobile smartphone market, nowadays gaming giants have found the mobile market too. Developers that make games for multiple dedicated gaming platforms have discovered the big bucks that can potentially be made in smartphone gaming. Square Enix, Level-5 and of course, Nintendo entered the market and have changed things for the better, in my opinion.


They generally bring high quality games into the mix, and use IP’s that are sure to bring even bring a bigger audience in. Pokémon Go was an excellent example: friends and colleagues started playing who hardly ever touched a game before. Animal Crossing Pocket Camp is doing the same, and I’m pretty sure Layton’s Mystery Journey appealed to an audience that had left the Layton experience behind when their kids outgrew their DS.

In my opinion, there is no way back anymore. Even though Nintendo might rightly feel as if they are King of the Mountain again with the success of the Switch, they will stay in the mobile gaming market. And looking at companies like Level-5: I almost see more announcements for mobile games from them, then games aimed at a gaming console.

Why the negative feeling towards mobile?

What surprises me though, is I’m the vehemence with which people who love their gaming on a console react to mobile gaming. You don’t have to look too far on the internet to find YouTube videos like “Top 7 reasons why mobile games are awful”. In one article I saw the reaction that “Smartphone games are the absolute bottom of the barrel of gaming, they are the Tiger Electronics of the modern age”. And that it’s not real gaming because of the touchscreen controls, they miss buttons and D-pad. They should remember how much fun the stylus only games on the DS were!

Is it a reaction out of fear of losing their preferred way of playing games in the future? Or does it stem from not wanting to share gaming fun with people from all ages? The negative reaction to smartphone gaming often seems over the top to me, there’s no need to bash something just because it’s not your cup of tea. Everyone is entitled tot heir own opinion, but comments like this annoy me somehow, especially the one about being the bottom of the barrel of gaming.img_4888

Yes, there are a lot of games for smartphone that aren’t the quality they should be. And yes, the advertising and commercials for mobile games often don’t depict what it’s really like to play the game. But look at commercials for console games, where there’s always a happy family of group of friends around to game with? And the extreme joy this would bring?

Have fun with whatever device you prefer!

Maybe it’s because of the primary strength of my website, to write about casual games for women. Sharing my experiences in gaming of all sorts with women who started gaming life with Animal Crossing. Or ladies who have no gaming console, but have embraced the relaxation that comes from walking with your Pokémon. Or girls of all ages who for now just play Candy Crush, because that’s the game you can play anywhere for just short bursts of time while managing your busy combination of working and having a family.

What I’m trying to convey here is: use the console or device that suits you, and have fun with it. Let’s not bash what other people love to do, don’t look down on others just because they don’t play your kind of games. And don’t let anyone tell you that your kind of games aren’t worth it!


  1. Good article! And there you have a point. I reconize the fear… that al the gaming consoles will vanish in the future and only mobile games will continue. The thing with mobile games is. Like nintendo does actually releases full games and some other game makers to. But compared to the sea of shovelwear and very simple clones of hayday and farming games… i kinda got lost in it. I did try them out many times.

    The mobile market is due to change these days. I do not mind if they would release a very good simulation/rpg game and payed full price for it. I enjoyed harvest moon and animal crossing. I was very surprised that harvestmoon was fully playable offline. What does bothers me is a cash shop where you can do micro transactions to either have faster progress or leveling. And games who do not work offline. It also depends what kinda phone you have. How fast the battery drains ect. For me nintendo systems have the very best controls. I Like playstation and some pc games and the vita. But my number one is the 3ds and switch controls. Guess because i’m used to it. Indeed everybody can play with they want to their taste. Its funny that younger children are much more into app gaming. Maybe due to being portable?

    1. Oh I feel sure that younger kids are more into mobile because it’s portable. Plus, tablets are nice things to keep the youngsters entertained while traveling in the car and such. I bet the parents like finding good educational games on them too!
      It’s astounding how many App games are released every day, I wouldn’t mind paying either if it gave me a well rounded game. No micro transactions, just paying once. Like in Lady Layton!

  2. The big gaming giants HAD to do it. Nintendo lost immense market share to mobile in the handheld arena. For proof just look at how many DS systems were sold (roughly 155 million) compared to the 3DS over the same time period (68 million). Mobile took a massive bite out of the gaming market, especially the casuals the Wii and DS had brought in. Nintendo got them in back in the mid-2000’s, and Apple essentially began courting them over in the late-2000’s. What Nintendo needs to do is forget that market, they love playing on phones, and focus on more of the gamer market who’ll play on systems- ie Switch’s main target is those who play PS4 and XBox, and this is their system for playing those same games on the go since the 3DS is horribly underpowered to even remotely compete with those home systems.

    Iwata figured out a genius plan though, and put it in motion in 2015. Instead of relying on 2 devices each bringing in their unique revenue stream, he ventured into mobile to be one stream of revenue, and the home/handheld hybrid device (this is the successor to both 3DS and Wii U despite what Nintendo says), is their other revenue stream. Nintendo doesn’t need 2 devices now, a hybrid and mobile serves as their home and handheld money makers. They know that, Kimishima knows that, the 3DS will be phased out, replaced by both Switch AND mobile, not just Switch. In this case, Reggie and Kimishima aren’t lying, the Switch won’t replace the 3DS, cell phones and Switch together will replace 3DS.

    1. You’ve given this quite some thought and research, and the way you put it, I guess I’ll have to agree. I too feel that the 3DS is on the way out, being replace by the Switch or maybe a mini-Switch in the future. Makes sense that mobile will be the handheld device they will focus on in the long run.
      You know, I just don’t see people around me who have become enamoured with Pokémon Go or Pocket Camp go and buy themselves a Switch or any other console. Maybe if they have kids who are in to gaming, but not for themsYou’re all so sweet to say so, almost makes me reconsider writing the weekly news posts. I’d better print al your nice encouragements and pin it to my laptop, so that when I’m worried about the site, I can read it and instantly feel better!elve. So you’re comment absolutely makes sense.

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