How Mobile Games Became What they Are Today

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People tend to dismiss mobile games as being a subprime branch of the global gaming industry. Nothing further from the truth, actually – this year mobile gaming has taken over desktops and consoles, smartphones being responsible for almost a third of all the revenue generated by the gaming business (and, together with tablets, even more). Not counting the real-money mobile gaming business, of course.

The real money gaming industry is usually left out of these stats because of its controversial nature. The Red Flush Online Casino and its likes are usually dismissed, as they don’t generate revenues in the conventional ways. So are the people who go mobile at Red Flush online casino, although they are players like any other. The revenues generated by the Red Flush and the other real money gaming destinations would most likely shift the stats even more in favor of mobile, which is increasingly popular among all categories of players. But the Red Flush is only a recent addition to the mobile gaming market, even more recent than the smartphone itself.

1997 – the humble beginnings

Built by Nokia programmer Taneli Armanto in 1997, Snake was the first really successful mobile game. Its simplicity and ease of use on a small. monochrome screen made it a fan favorite, and its rudimentary multiplayer capabilities also helped it become a hit. While it didn’t have a major financial impact on Nokia’s phone sales (although who knows how many enthusiasts bought a Nokia 6110 only to be able to play it), it was the first feature to show that mobile phones (which were a lot “dumber” than they are today, with only basic functions like calling and texting, calendar and alarm clock) have a potential to be an entertainment device.

The 2000s – the rise of the “applet”

As phones became smarter, getting color displays, cameras, and new capabilities, the world of mobile gaming started to shape. The introduction of WAP allowed people to download stuff on their phones, so the first downloadable mobile games were also released. Still, since WAP was expensive, people usually preferred to make do with the games their phones came bundled with. All this changed with the release of WiFi-capable phones – but the real revolution didn’t come until the advent of the iPhone.

The post-iPhone era

Compared to the iPhone, even the smartest phones were dumb. Until 2007, when it was revealed, Nokia’s Symbian operating system was the best there was. After the iPhone, smartphones transformed into pocket-sized personal computers, with amazing capabilities. Soon, the first high-profile mobile games were released, as developers were excited to explore the new platform presented to them.

The rest, as they say, is history. Smartphones are becoming more powerful each year. Today, their capabilities match those of some older gaming consoles and PCs (the iPhone 7 is stronger than a 2004 iMac, for example), and we also have the games to match their amazing processing power. Where we go from here… well, only time will tell.

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