Mobile game development had yet another banner year in 2015. Battle passes, one of 2020’s biggest trends, have gained traction as we move into 2021. In fact, features like these and in-game events like them are now so common that they’re causing their own trends. Aside from battle royale, battle passes are branching out into new genres. While events have found a new home as a customizable minigame mechanic for hybrid elements.
However, while many of the most important mobile gaming trends from 2020 have continued into 2021. And will do so again in 2022, 2021 has still delivered in terms of innovation. We see a lot of gameplay features used in new and exciting ways.
Mobile-only versions of popular games like Final Fantasy: First Soldier and Marvel Future Revolution are also being developed by major game studios. Other games like Top War and Cooking Diary are using hybrid gameplay elements to attract new players. While Cooking Diary is using social elements to retain players.
Here are some of the biggest mobile gaming trends you can look forward to in 2022. With so much more to look forward to.
1.A lot of AAA mobile games and cross-play features available in 2022
As exciting as AAA mobile games were in 2021, wait until you see what 2022 has in store for you. With the release of Diablo Immortal. Blizzard is bringing one of its most venerable franchises, Diablo, to mobile devices for the first time. Taking a similar approach to Square Enix’s Final Fantasy: First Soldier, Diablo Immortal is moving the franchise into uncharted territory. It embrace MMORPG elements rather than the ARPG gameplay. Additionally, Blizzard is utilizing Diablo III’s narrative gaps between Diablo II and Diablo III as an opportunity to bring some of its PC players to the mobile platform.
This year we expect to bring us the mobile version of Ubisoft’s action RPG The Division. As well as the mobile version of Riot’s hugely popular FPS Valiant. We’ll have to wait and see how many of those 15 million active monthly players decide to download the mobile version, but we’re expecting big numbers at the launch.
As more AAA titles move to mobile. You can expect to see more cross-play elements. Twenty-second-century mobile shooters Apex Legends and other high-profile games that support cross-platform play include Star Wars: Hunters, Farlight 84, and Honkai: Star Rail.
Seeing as there are so many new AAA shooters taking over the market. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out. PUBG Mobile, Call of Duty: Mobile and Fortnite dominate this highly competitive market. Will Apex Legends and Battlefield be able to compete with these high-profile games on mobile devices? We’ll have to see what happens!
2. Mobile games will introduce new types of gacha.
We estimate that 92% of the top 100 grossing mobile games in Japan make use of ‘gacha’ mechanics, while this figure is only 80% in the United States.
If you’ve never played a gacha mobile game before, it’s a game that incorporates elements of a Japanese toy machine. There are several types of gacha implementations, including box gacha, where players draw a random item from a set that is removed from the gacha pool; charge point gacha, where the rarity of the gacha increases as players earn points; and step-up gacha, where the odds of receiving rare items increase every time the gacha is spun (Monster Strike) (Bleach: Brave Souls).
Loot boxes, a similar feature to gacha, but one that often necessitates spending money to get the items you want, have been associated with gacha features, which are free-to-play elements with paid incentives. Loot boxes are a common way for console games like FIFA to make money, but legislation is being introduced in many countries to prevent them so that players can see what they’re getting before they buy it.
This preview mechanic is expected to make its way into mobile gacha in 2022 as a result. However, even though the preview option may seem counterintuitive to gacha, it may actually lead to the creation of new monetization channels. To avoid the possibility of being locked out of the next preview mechanic. Players may choose to purchase the gacha they’re opening in order to get their hands on the items they want.
New Types of Gacha
In addition, we expect social gacha mechanics to be more creative in the future. Kotodaman, a mobile game that makes use of co-op gacha, is a great illustration of this. A co-op option is available for up to six other players, who each select a character from the gacha pool when they enter the gacha pool. Each character receives the other’s character after completing the gacha.
As one of the most popular trends in mobile games in 2021, social features have finally made their way into gacha. Expect to see even more types of gacha in 2022, given that the number of top-grossing 100 mobile games in the US using five or more gacha has risen from 37 percent to 45 percent since 2012.
3. Mobile games that use blockchain technology are available.
Since the early days of free-to-play mobile games. Blockchain games have been a hot topic in the gaming industry and arguably the most divisive. It may seem as if blockchain games are a new phenomenon. But Axie Infinity, one of the first and most popular, released in 2018 and has been around for quite some time.
Thetan Arena, MIR4, and two of the highest-grossing MMORPGs, Upland and Highrise, are just a few of the live games already available that make use of blockchain technology in some capacity, even on mobile devices.
It’s important to note that each of the aforementioned blockchain-based games has its own unique gameplay mechanics. As an example, in Thetan Arena. You can earn cryptocurrency by using NFTs (non-fungible tokens) to play your heroes, and in Upland. You can own in-game properties that are NFTs that you can exchange with other players. Aside from the fact that Highrise was originally a free-to-play game. It has implemented with NFT cosmetic items and plans to expand its metaverse through player-owned NFT land, where users can generate their own content and monetize.
Battle passes, social features, gachas, renovation events. And minigames can be adapted to any genre if they’re used in the right context, as 2021 has demonstrated. A lot of experimentation and meta elements are popping up in games as a result. And we can’t wait to see how this trend progresses in 2022 and beyond.
It will be interesting to see how many AAA developers decide to move their IPs to mobile games as the mobile game development market continues to grow. If you’re one of the biggest developers. You’ll have a hard time convincing your console fans to join you on the ride. But we don’t think that will be a problem, as mobile gaming has so many exciting opportunities right now!