How Japan could help India’s mobile gaming boom

Smartphone apps are big business in India, but the market is set to become even larger according to recent reports. Reviewing the state of the market during the first half of 2016, 9Apps found that users are now engaging with more mobile gaming content than ever before thanks to a 16% rise in the number of app downloads.

The company, which is part of the Alibaba Mobile Business Group, discovered that social media and entertainment remain the most popular genres when it comes to downloads; with gaming being the leading sub-genre. Indeed, the latest statistics shows that the number of gaming apps now account for 20% of the total market in India.

This increased interest in mobile apps has prompted 9Apps to invest $20 million in its InDev Platform in an effort to help local start-ups develop their products and get them to market. Empowering home-grown talent is important for the overall growth of India’s mobile market, but it must also look towards the international market to satisfy its consumer’s needs.

Japanese Gaming Could Help Indian Market

One country that could hold the key to India’s continued success in the mobile gaming market is Japan. Often seen as the spiritual home of computer gaming, Japan is now looking at ways to improve the mobile gaming experience thanks to one of its biggest brands, Nintendo.

According to Nintendo’s director and general manager of entertainment planning and development, Shinya Takahashi, mobile controllers could be on the company’s agenda. Although other similar products already exist, the movement into this space by a company like Nintendo would be seen as hugely significant.

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While the early indications are that Nintendo’s controller would primarily be used for its growing suite of mobile games, such as Pokémon Go and Miitomo, its usage could easily be expanded. Indeed, a look at the Japanese gaming market reveals a slew of gaming options where mobile controllers could be useful.

iGaming platforms like 32Red are known for their varied suite of mobile games that require a combination of timing, logic, and luck. To get the most out of games such as Vegas Downtown Blackjack Gold, players need to be able to place bets as efficiently as possible, and a controller could be one way to achieve this goal.

Naturally, for the online gamblers to get their hands on this technology, it would require some sort of partnership between Nintendo and 32Red. In fact, what would likely need to happen is that Nintendo would have to open up its software and allow iGaming sites to integrate their own products with the new controller.

Flexibility is Crucial

Indeed, like the mobile gaming industry at large, different iGaming platforms have their own subtleties. For example, Vera John Casino’s mobile app offers slot games such as Wild Blood and Enchanted Meadow, while Winner’s portable platform contains bingo and sports betting alongside the likes of blackjack and roulette.

Of course, just as flexibility would be necessary to meet the dynamics of the iGaming industry, it would also be crucial in the mobile gaming world as a whole. Mobile games now come in all shapes and sizes, and a controller would need to be able to handle a variety of functions if it wanted to deliver the best gaming experience possible.

Also Read: Best free Arcade games for Android, iOS, and Windows

In fact, as Nintendo’s spokesperson has stated, action games have long been seen as “impossible” from a mobile standpoint. Although there are plenty of games, such as Lost in Harmony, that aim to replicate the “action” present in traditional console games, it’s never quite the same.

With this in mind, Takahashi has said he wants to create peripherals and controllers that embody the “Nintendo-like” dynamics the company is famous for thanks to products like the 3DS LL. If this were to happen this would be fantastic news for India’s mobile market as “racing and action games” are the most popular sub-genre among users according to 9Apps’ research.

Developers Must Move Beyond Games

What’s clear from the latest research is that mobile gaming is now a well-established market in India. The practice of developing games, whether it’s a mobile casino game like Vegas Downtown Blackjack Gold or an adventure game like Lost in Harmony, has been virtually perfected.

Therefore, the next step for mobile gaming companies is the development of third-party peripherals. In the same way, the console gaming world is now embracing virtual reality headsets; mobile companies need to make their games more tactile and immersive to ensure users continue to be engaged.

Augmented reality games like Pokémon Go are a major step towards this goal, but Nintendo is also making headway in this area with its plans for an external controller. Indeed, for mobile games to be truly immersive they need to engage our sense of touch as well as our sight, and that’s something Nintendo is hoping to do in Japan, India, and the world over with its latest innovation.