How Mobile Gaming Will Re-Shape The Industry (Again)

They’re a growing threat, these simple games with their simple designs, simple controls, and simple graphics. They don’t offer the full, premium experience that the real gamers want. They aren’t hardcore enough. They aren’t serious enough. They’re just too… casual.

In the ’90s these were all complaints used to describe the strengthening console menace. Back then, a younger me squandered his meager income at the local Babbage’s or Electronics Boutique, stores full of PC games in cardboard boxes — console titles relegated to a few little shelves. It wouldn’t take long for those consoles to take over those stores and, along the way, the entire industry. Between just 1998 and 2006 console software sales more than doubled, from $2.5 billion to $6.7 billion, while PC game sales dropped from $1.8 billion to $970 million. Even the FPS, once exclusive domain of the PC, is now a console enterprise, with Call of Duty: Black Ops launching on 4.9 million sales on the Xbox 360 and PS3. The PC version, meanwhile, sold less than 400,000 copies (the NPD lumped them in with sales of the Nintendo DS and Wii versions).

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