Consumers love gaming apps. Just last year, research showed that more than half of all smart-phone owners played mobile games for a total of 1.15 billion hours. Gaming apps are one of the most popular category of mobile applications worldwide, and they are often the most profitable ones as well.
But developing a successful mobile gaming app isn’t easy. On average, it takes eight months and $270,000 to develop a native app — and these numbers can be even higher for mobile games. Many developers also have to spend thousands of dollars on each wave of app updates they release, due to difficulties associated with device/OS fragmentation.
On top of that, it’s very hard for new developers to gain visibility in the mobile gaming market against the other hundreds of thousands of games currently available. This is largely because mobile app stores do not currently have an effective way to organize, promote, or suggest applications to users. The slowing consumer interest in mobile apps is especially felt in the gaming market — as gaming app usage is starting to drop.
However, the innovation of cloud-based browsers and the development of web-apps together offer new opportunities and possibilities for mobile game developers to make and share high-quality games.
By taking advantage of cloud-computing, cloud-based browsers make the development of advanced and unique games for mobile devices less problematic. Because developers can take advantage of the additional speed and processing power the cloud offers, they can more easily provide games with impressive graphics without compromising on performance or user experience. They no longer need to worry about the constraints of the phone’s hardware.
Cloud-based browsers also offer opportunities for continued development of older games. While iOS may not support Flash or 32-bit apps, cloud-based browsers on Apple devices don’t have such restrictions. Users can still access and play their favorite Flash games on such browsers — allowing developers to continue sharing their games and content with their fans. Developing a game for a browser instead also lowers operational and maintenance costs due to the ease of distributing updates.
Performance through a cloud-based browser has proven to be better and faster than apps (comparing web-apps to native apps), and that difference is only going to become more severe over time. While advancements in mobile technology have come a long way since the conception of smartphones, the last few years have shown minimal improvements in terms of processors, batteries, or wireless radios for smartphones. On the other hand, data centers are still improving at an impressive pace to offer new and improved cloud services.
As users and developers start testing cloud-based browsers and seeing the performance and quality improvements with new browser games, they will start to see the potential and possibilities that the cloud offers. By taking advantage of the capabilities and processing power available in the cloud, developers will be able to more easily make and support first-class mobile games.
Ultimately, the future of mobile gaming lies in the cloud.
President & CEO