Almost a week ago, Zynga announced the purchase of OMGPOP, the developer of the popular Draw Something game, for $210 Million. The purchase of the popular game highlights the explosive growth in the mobile gaming industry. Wildly popular games seem to spring up each week. With gadgets, like the new iPad, launching with faster processors and stunning screens, it seems that many of these gadgets are becoming increasingly game friendly. Let’s take a look at how the gaming industry on the App Store has evolved.
It All Started with Angry Birds…
When we look back at gaming on the App Store, it seems that the biggest craze last year was Angry Birds. The bird slinging game that could quiet even the noisiest toddler and teen alike was a hit from the start. While it will be undeniable to say that Angry Birds popularity has leveled off over the past few months, the developer Rovio is still quite successful, gaining huge revenue since the game’s creation. Rovio knew how to appeal to every user. Angry Birds was available in both free and paid versions, resulting in more than half of all Angry Birds users eventually going over to the paid version.
Additionally, Rovio understood that to stay popular they needed to diversify editions. Now there are classic, seasons, and Rio versions. This brought many users back for more fun. Rovio also knew that they must dabble a bit outside the gaming, and even the out of the mobile, realm to gain complete success. Rovio created a myriad of Angry Bird gifts and apparel available in store and online. More developers followed soon after with similar concept games including Tiny Wings. However, iPhone gamers drift between games, trading their Angry Bird addiction for something new.
Words with Friends: Smart Gaming
iPhone gamers are starting to actually use their brain!
I overheard this quote from an iPad user while grabbing some WIFI one afternoon. When we think about it, it’s a funny but true statement. Aside from the time passing Angry Birds sessions and Fruit Ninja battles, iPhone gamers are finding mentally stimulating games fun again. When we look at a couple of years ago, Scrabble probably wasn’t the biggest party on the block in terms of excitement. However, games with similar (some have said stolen) concepts like Words With Friends are more popular than ever. Is it the fact that it isn’t a physical game, that you can play with friends from across the world? Or is that it isn’t actually called Scrabble? Why it is so popular, we don’t know. Whatever the reason is, WWF is a gaming craze that we can expect to stick around for a while longer.
Draw Something and The Future
As the industry grows, brain stimulating games are becoming more approachable for the younger crowd. Draw Something is a recent example of this. The game involves a modern-day version of Pictionary. Gamers go back and forward to see who can guess the word and keep the streak going. It offers the right amount of brain stimulation and the same amount of excitement. Draw Something’s concept also takes a lot from the success of Words With Friends, play the game at your own pace. Unlike many other traditional games which require an immediate response, Draw Something and Words With Friends allow you to play the game and come back later.
As we look on in the gaming industry, it’s safe to say that we don’t know what to expect. Developers are finding great ways to find the next best trend to incorporate in their apps. Developers and entrepreneurs alike are dreaming the next big hit on the App Store. Users are always intrigued by getting in on the next gaming trend. We’ll just have to wait to see how things shake out.