The rise and rise of mobile gaming

Illustrated silhouette of person holding mobile phone

Those of us of a certain age will remember the first time mobile phone use seemed to go mainstream. The concept that you could make calls anywhere outside the house without being a member of the emergency services was crazy enough, but the fact that these plastic blocks with clicky buttons had secondary and even tertiary functions seemed an unnecessary luxury.

One of the most famous of these functions was an application featuring a line that moved around inside a box collecting small dots, causing it to increase in both length and speed. It was known simply as Snake. While Nokia didn’t invent the game, it was first released on their phones in 1997 and ushered mobile gaming into a new era.

Fast forward 20 years and the mobile gaming industry generated over $50 billion in revenues in 2017. Titles like Angry Birds, Candy Crush, Clash of Clans and Pokémon have become household names over the years and have attracted whole new demographics of gamers. Driven by free-to-play titles, last year $82 billion was spent on these games by 2.5 billion players - that’s one out of every three people in the global population.

To read the full version of this article, order issue no. 3 of ALHAUS magazine.

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