Almost as long as there have been video games, someone has been trying to figure out a way to put them in your pocket. For a while that meant handhelds, like the Game Boy and PSP. But in 2007, the balance changed. Plenty of us still wanted games on the go, but Apple had suddenly given us a whole new way to make that happen: the iPhone. In 2008, the App Store officially launched, and mobile gaming has been unstoppable ever since.

Challenging the very definition of what makes a gamer, mobile games have pushed free-to-play monetization, birthed new genres, and bolstered the industry like never before. Compared to consoles and PCs in 2016, mobile gaming was the single largest portion of the industry, bringing in a staggering $41 billion in revenue.

And big name game developers have started taking notice. Fire Emblem Heroes released just recently, bringing the turn-based RPG combat to phones and tablets everywhere. With titles like Super Mario Run and Hitman GO, Nintendo and Square Enix are leading the charge onto mobile. But even as they do, they still are struggling to find the perfect balance for the radically different market.

On the ninth episode of The Game Café, we dive into all the questions about the state of mobile gaming, how we got here, and where we go now. We also discuss Nintendo’s handheld plans after the 3DS and the recent controversies surrounding Oculus and GameStop. You can find it all on iTunes, Google Play Music, Stitcher, or right here:

How do you feel about the growing presence of mobile gaming? Are you glad Nintendo and others are turning to the new platform, or do you still prefer your games on a computer or TV screen? Let us know in the comments. For even more from The Game Café team, check out our last episode, where we looked at video game movies and the problems games continue to have when adapted to the silver screen. And be sure to subscribe for our future episodes too. Until next week, thanks for listening.

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