The boom in mobile gaming apps is just one of the examples of modern technology’s impact on people’s everyday lives. Mobile apps are gaining ground globally, advancing and forthputting in every possible way and area of implementation. It looks like whatever use of our mobile devices we could even theoretically think of — sooner or later (or rather sooner) — will undoubtedly happen. More and more apps are being introduced all the time, with gaming and gambling apps clearly taking the lead in this race.
Though the history of mobile apps is relatively short, even compared to the history of, say, personal computers, it already seems to be a good time to draw some conclusions. Indeed, the evolution of mobile gaming and gambling apps has already led to very interesting results not many people were able to anticipate when the first apps of this kind were introduced. Neither is it clear where all this development is going to take us.
Everybody who is interested in history — especially those who have played civilization-building strategy games — know the concept of the technology tree. New important technology is being introduced while some other necessary techs are already in place. You cannot develop book printing if you have not invented paper, and so on. These breakthrough technologies have a fundamental impact on human life and change everything for everybody affected.
Mobile phones represent an innovation of exactly this earthshaking kind: shipbuilding, gunpowder, railways, rocket technology, nuclear science, genetics, polymer materials, computers, mobile phones…any of these things were epoch-making milestones, innovations of a truly “civilization-building scale.” And one important distinctive feature of such life-changing developments is that you never know the outcome, the potential, and the remote consequences.
The scale of impact could hardly be measured in money, or even in descriptive economic terms. As far as mobile devices are concerned, it is not even about how much time we people now spend fingering touchscreens — it is about our attention and focus and about the way we now think, not even mentioning all kinds of new internet-born activities like messaging, shopping, education, and, of course, gaming and gambling.
Since the appearance of mobile phones, finding ways to connect them with gaming and gambling activities was only a matter of time. Mobile phones were invented to let people make calls and stay in touch from anywhere. And, in fact, in the very beginning of the mobile communication era, the possibility of using mobile phones for gambling was not obvious at all.
In the first generation of mobile phones, some games were only a part of built-in options. These gaming functions, like Tetris or Snake, were considered auxiliary. However, they immediately became very popular. The developers did not expect that people would play these games so absorbedly. And the stunning success of the first mobile-playable games was a clear sign that mobile gaming satisfies one yet unknown need people have. Of course, we did not know we wanted mobile games until they became available.
While the first games playable on mobile devices now appear primitive — with their pixel graphics and simple animation — the progress was really very fast. The development of graphics, animation, and interface brought mobile gaming apps close to the best games playable on computers and big screens.
A huge step ahead was WAP (Wireless Application Protocol), on which the games became downloadable. Before that, it was not the case. The ability to download gaming apps gave a great push to the development of the gaming and gambling industry.
With the rapid development of mobile technologies, it was very logical that mobile gambling apps would gain huge popularity. The trend was that we do more and more things with our mobile devices as they became an inseparable part of our life. Gambling is only one of the things that can be done on your mobile device. Today it is difficult (if not impossible) to say how many gamblings apps are already available for your mobile phone. In many cases, you don’t even need to download an app as there are many online casinos where you could just log in to your account from your mobile device and wager your money. The same relates to sports betting and many other kinds of gambling.
You only need two things to gamble online: a modern gadget and a good internet connection — which is, in fact, just a commodity in the modern world. To make your bet, you don’t need to go to a specialized venue, like you had to just a few decades ago. You can do it anywhere when you have some time and the money to wager. With the rapid expansion of accessibility of mobile communications, especially in the developing world, there is no wonder that growth in mobile gambling really goes off-scale. The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of this industry segment is a stunning 17%!
In 2017, the mobile segment of the gambling industry generated $56 billion in revenues. In 2018, it was already $70 billion. The projection for 2021 is an astonishing $105 -110 billion — just as much as the GDP of Slovakia or Puerto Rico. Is there any other industry that doubles revenue over the span of 4 – 5 years? With this pace, 4 – 5 years from now, mobile gambling revenues will be at the level of the GDP of Portugal.
Another question is where the limits of this growth are. So far, we can see only new niches and points of further growth, like mobile bookmaking, newly emerging e-sports, and online games with the elements of virtual reality. Besides, game makers, designers, and software developers keep on working actively, if not frantically, to release new apps, even more attractive and appealing to many different target groups of players. UI (user interface) and UX (user experience) issues are a very important part of this development.
However, we should take into account that there are “country risks” and limitations — many governments prohibit or restrict online gambling. Nevertheless, the global trend seems to be “legalize and control” rather than “ban and forbid.”
Here we are witnessing a very special kind of a business model, which is built not around the idea of meeting customers’ needs, but rather on inventing and promoting new needs and wants of the potential customers’ target groups. The limits of growth for businesses based on this development model are really difficult to imagine, let alone identify.
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The boom in mobile gaming apps is just one of the examples of modern technology’s impact on people’s everyday lives. Mobile apps are gaining ground globally, advancing and forthputting in every possible way and area of implementation. It looks like whatever use of our mobile devices we could even theoretically think of — sooner or […]
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