Japan’s mobile messaging platform called Line has become extremely popular with over 270 million users currently. This article talks about the application and how it has basically become a replacement for text messaging in Japan for its millions upon millions of users. Also, the article talks about mobile gaming and how Line has become the number 2 publisher of Google Play titles in the world in terms of monthly revenue. In the article is an interview with the CEO of Line where he provides insight into the application’s purpose and how it has become such a huge hit for mobile gaming. The CEO makes very interesting points about engaging users and keeping them interested in mobile games, which leads to money in the long-run. For example, when asked about pay-to-play games and how Line is monetizing their games he said “We’ve done data mining on our social games to figure out the kind of design that works. The important thing is where people tend to drop out when they play a game. If you allow users to drop before billing starts, you’re losing users. So what’s important is to make a process that’s so intriguing that users don’t drop out, even after they start paying.”
According to Flurry research, U.S. consumers are spending 17% more time with their mobile phone than their TV. Also, TV viewership has been decreasing for those 18-24 for the past six consecutive quarters. Gaming is slowly becoming the future of entertainment. For example, Breaking Bad became a huge cultural phenomenon whose finale was watched by over ten million people; Yet, the Candy Crush Saga is played by almost 40 million people a month. This shows that mobile games, especially free-to-play games, are in a rapidly growing and expanding market. Quality games expand a brand’s value but may also bring in new revenue streams. Consumers are frequently deciding to play rather then watch tv. The understanding that mobile games and similar applications are slowly becoming the predominant form of entertainment is crucial to ensure not being left in the wayside.
Mobile gaming has become increasingly more popular on mobile devices as systems improve and touch screen controls are optimized. With the advent of iOS 7, Apple added in compatibility for the use of external gamepads to streamline, optimize, and enhance the mobile gaming experience. Logitech, so far, seems to be the only one taking this new development seriously.
Three days ago, a picture of one of Logitech’s controllers was leaked on Twitter by a source known for reliability in producing images of future mobile products. The image is of one of three style designs presented back in June at Apple’s WWDC (2013). This would completely negate the necessity for the current poor functioning Bluetooth keyboard hacks being used to simulate the button inputs of a gamepad. The obvious benefits of the materialization of such objects over current hacks are more precise button mapping and better response times, due to a physical connection. There is also a standalone gamepad model that was exhibited to communicate via Bluetooth, all of which would offer more precise tactile control with most or all styles of games that don’t function well with touch screens.
A last interesting tidbit takes into account the gaming revenues on both Android and iOS as they are beginning to rival handhold traffic from the big names like Nintendo. Depending on the orchestration of gamepad technology and development for mobile devices or the inclusion of dual analog sticks (as has been rumored), the current portable powerhouses might have new troubles to deal with. A wise decision to include this implementation on Apple’s part, I would say.
AOL Inc entered the mobile gaming market with a social video guessing game available on Apple’s iPhone that uses voice recognition technology to keep players from cheating.
For now, the game, Clucks, can only be played by iPhone users. The Android version of the app will be released by the end of the year, according to Sol Lipman, vice president of AOL’s Mobile First unit which identifies new market opportunities in the mobile space.
Clucks players use smartphones to record a 12-second video of themselves describing a word, for instance tree. Their opponent then receives the video and must guess the word.
You’re trying to send clues without using the word ‘tree’, or associated words like ‘wood’ or ‘leaves’ or branches,’ Lipman said.