The history of mobile gaming


Mobile gaming is a common concept now. It is impossible to ignore that almost everyone has played a mobile game.

However, these games didn’t start out as a competition for console entry.

Video games have evolved over the past 20-30 years, and mobile games have evolved with them. The history of mobile gaming began over 20 years ago and started with a very simple game.

Whatever 7 games that defined smartphone gaming, or the evolution of mobile technology, the story of the subject is diverse and based on innovation brought about by increasing technological sophistication.


Interestingly enough, the very first mobile game ever created was Tetris. This version of Tetris was a very early addition and premiered in 1994.

At the time, it was the only mobile game in existence, and it quickly became a defining feature of the mobile gaming genre. It was fairly minimal in design and required intelligence and skill, making it a popular game that required practice.

1997 – A turning point

From 1994 to 1997, Tetris ruled the mobile gaming industry. However, it was in 1997 that Nokia designed the very first version of Snake. It was a very popular mobile game that has since been integrated into 400 million devices worldwide.

Snake is actually the most played mobile game on the planet and has been recreated in various incarnations over the years. However, the original was an original idea from Nokia.

Smartphone technology

Despite the contributions of Tetris and Snake during the 1990s, the main driver of mobile gaming came with the advent of smartphone technology.

The very first iPhone represented a whole new shift in the way mobile gaming was first designed. The App Store allowed anyone with programming experience to create and publish apps. These applications could theoretically take the form of games.

This opened the door for a wide selection of different mobile games to come out in the market. Candy Crush, Angry Birds, Cut the Rope and many more quickly became popular.

The general consensus is that these games are popular because they are easy to play. They require minimal investment and can be played casually. This makes them very popular among people who have the inclination but not necessarily the time.

Microtransactions and mobile games

Maybe what really sparked the juggernaut that is mobile gaming was the introduction of microtransactions. It was smartphone technology, which allowed you to create an account and link it to a credit or debit card that introduced the concept of paying small amounts of money for further progress on the game.

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These microtransactions have proven to be incredibly popular and have shown businesses around the world that people are willing to pay small amounts of money to progress in their favorite mobile games. Typical transactions range from 99p to £ 3.99.

With this new business model, many mobile games quickly started offering free variations. The principle was simple. Initially, you could download and play the game for free. However, some characters, items, and features would be locked behind a paywall. This meant that people could choose to spend money to progress faster in the game, which many were willing to do.

Today’s mobile world

Currently, the mobile gaming industry is thriving thanks to the increasing sophistication of the devices used to play games.

Apple and Android devices have been growing in prowess and technological advancement for many years now. Powerful visual capabilities, paired with upgraded audio systems and responsive touchscreen technology, mean mobile games can now be incredibly complex and detailed. Microtransactions are common and ads are also served in the game.

These technological advancements make it possible to create mobile games with the same level of sophistication as big-budget console titles. These offers have similar graphic and narrative options, but use the portable nature of the mobile to function.

Final thoughts

Mobile gaming has evolved considerably since the first Tetris in 1994. Many factors have directly contributed to its overwhelming sense of sophistication.

Improving technology is a factor that has directly influenced the way games are played. The ability to have full access to a platform that allows microtransactions, along with powerful processing and graphics power has allowed games to evolve into fully realized titles.

Technologies like Apple and Android devices dominated the industry as soon as they arrived. Smartphones are at the heart of mobile gaming history, enabling any business or individual with the right skills to jump into a compact and detailed game.

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