News broke in Spring 2022 that game developer extraordinaire Blizzard Entertainment would be releasing its most ambitious game in the company's explosively popular 'Diablo' franchise, Diablo Immortal, in the summer on both PC and mobile.

Why the italicized "and"? It draws attention to a development that most of us have become so accustomed to that we take it for granted, even though a few short years ago, it was virtually non-existent. Namely, the massive uptake of smartphones as the device of choice for billions of us for gaming, dramatically overtaking the use of consoles and PCs.


Diablo Immortal, Mobile, iOS
 

It's not just epic fantasy, battle royale, or "arcade" games that gamers turn to their smartphones for these days. Lovers of digital casino games do so, too. One of the most popular digital casino games of all is slots. While many casino devotees seek these out specifically online, often tapping phrases like "online slots real money" into the search bar. Upon arrival at the landing page, they're sometimes presently surprised. Like New Jersey's Resorts Online Casino, some casinos now offer apps for Android and iOS devices that include a broad selection of cutting-edge digital slots.

Consumer tastes have changed with technological innovations, and gaming has adroitly stayed ahead of the tech curve. Why remain tethered to your PC or console when you can play your game of choice wherever you want to be, on a device that fits in your pocket?

And the stats bear this out: data groups like IDC and App Annie show that mobile gaming revenues are now not only dwarfing console and PC titles but hit $100bn in 2020 alone, trebling the total garnered by PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch titles combined. Unsurprisingly, new studios that specialize exclusively in mobile games are rising, while established developers are joining the fray and creating their for-mobile offerings.

To keep popular games perennially enticing, developers are building on hit titles with "live operations": games are now being developed in such a way that they can be continually enhanced with additional levels, novel extra features, and even seasonal events. This gives single titles significantly greater longevity.

Smartphones only debuted in the early 2000s, and while mobile games were 'a thing' even then, the offerings were pretty basic. Today, more than three billion people own smartphones – and two-thirds of them use their devices to play mobile games. Games now offer the same quality as those played on consoles and PCs.

While mobile consoles of yesteryear like PSP and PSP Vista enjoyed considerable uptake when they were released, they've gone the way of the dodo. That is mainly because competitors today offer better gaming quality that you can slip neatly into your pocket and use while you're out and about.

A new development reported by The Washington Post is the prospect of 'porting' top PC and console titles to smartphones via streaming. As Michael Pachter, an analyst at financial services firm Wedbush puts it:

"Ultimately, we'll be able to receive the game on our phone and play it on our television. That's where technology is today. And everybody now knows they need to be in this business."

 

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General Information

Platform(s): PC, Mobile
Publisher(s): Blizzard Entertainment
Developer(s): Blizzard Entertainment, NetEase Interactive Entertainment
Genres: Role-Playing
Themes: Fantasy, Action, Adventure, MMO
Release Date: 2022-06-02

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