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Mobile Sports Games: The new leader of competitive game development?

November 20, 2019

Sitting in a crowded city bus on your morning commute to work, you look around you. Some people are sleeping, some are looking out of the window, but most have their eyes glued to their smartphone and are reading the latest news or playing a game. The objective mundanity and commonplaceness of this scene just demonstrate that mobile devices and mobile games, in particular, have become an important force in our daily lives. Of the thousands of applications opened each day on our gadgets, it is fair to say that a large portion of them are sports games. So, what is this mobile sports trend and where is it going?

People holding phones

Mobile sports is the general term that refers to sports-themed games played on electronic devices like smartphones and tablets. They were among the first mobile games to appear, but their popularity was initially limited due to the wide variety of operating systems and phone models available in the first era of cell phones. Over time, major marketplaces on Android, iOS, and Windows emerged and were flooded with the products of many game developer companies, making the same software accessible to millions of users. In contrast, sport-themed computer and video games have been around for much longer (think “Pong”), but they have a reach and role different from mobile sports.

Why mobile sports are popular among game developers, brands, and players.

By analyzing the current sports games market, we can identify several reasons why mobile sports have become so popular and prominent, especially among top mobile game developers.

Image — Cricket Player

  • The accessibility factor. One of the biggest factors in the growth of mobile sports is their accessibility. With millions of people owning an Android, iOS, or Windows device, it is incredibly easy for them to find a suitable app on the marketplace and install it.
  • A different level of cost. Because sport-focused video and PC games tend to have high-quality graphics and diverse gameplay, they usually come with a price tag. On the other hand, most mobile sports applications are free but come with in-app purchases.
  • Ease of game app development. Generally speaking, it takes much less time, fewer resources and game app developers to develop a mobile game than a video game, simply because of the limits of application size and functionality that exist.
  • Brand involvement in video game development. Many major sports companies and associations see video games as an opportunity to get younger people involved in sports and make a profit using the likenesses of its players. Thus, extending this type of promotion to portable devices is a logical step many such organizations (like NFL, WWE, NBA, MLB) take.

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Stacking up mobile and traditional sports video game development

Image — Sport Games

There is no denying the fact that the cumulative number of mobile sport app downloads is higher than the number of sports games purchased for PC or consoles. However, it is important to note that downloads are not the same as active users, and PC users customarily spend more time playing the desktop program and get a much more immersive and extensive experience. Thus, while mobile sports applications may have more total players, players of traditional computer and video games tend to have more regular and long-term players. HTML5 game development is a separate niche worth mentioning, as web browser sports applications have a solid level of popularity, but not quite close to mobile games and video/computer games.

Image — Cricket Manager

Cricket Manager – sports mobile application developed by Game-Ace

The mobile app market greatly outpaces PC and console markets in terms of profit, but this is likely due to the sheer quantitative superiority of the apps, and it is common for big sport PC/ video games to bring in more revenue than their mobile counterparts. In the end, the two markets each have their client bases, and this is unlikely to change anytime soon. Mobile sports play apps will remain a fun distraction that you can enjoy everywhere, while PC/video games will give users a richer and more immersive experience.

Finding the right 3D or 2D game development services

Image — Finding the right 3D or 2D game development services

If you are pondering the development of your own sports games, there are several things you will need to keep in mind. First, you will need to decide which platforms (Android, iOS, etc.) and devices (smartphones, tablets, gadgets) the application will be available on. Then, you will need to muster the cross-platform game development expertise needed to build the software according to the set conditions. If you prefer to hire a game creation studio to handle the process partly or entirely, this is another valid approach.

Explore the Cricket Manager

Game-Ace is a leading and recognized game dev studio. We host a team of talented developers who excel in full-cycle and partial game development. Our custom game development portfolio includes a range of projects, with Cricket Manager serving as an example of our solid experience in mobile sports game design. Cricket Manager allows users to manage their own cricket club and participate in exciting and interactive cricket gameplay. You can learn more about our services and experience on the Game-Ace website.

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