The mobile gaming sector is growing incredibly fast. According to Statista, Americans’ engagement levels with mobile, non-voice content averaged some 135 daily minutes in 2013. That figure is projected to rise to 203 minutes by 2018 – an increase of around 50% in just five years.

The value of the market is also increasing exponentially. The Newzoo Global Games Market Report projects that the world’s 2.2 billion gamers will collectively generate revenue of $108.9 billion in 2017, up 7.8% on 2016. Mobile gaming is by far the most lucrative sector of the gaming industry, accounting for 42% of the market and growing 19% year on year to a value of $46.1 billion in 2017, according to the report. By 2020, mobile gaming is predicted to account for over half of the total global gaming market.

Technological innovation goes hand in hand with the rise of mobile gaming. Indeed, without it, mobile gaming as we know and love it wouldn’t exist. Some recent trends are pushing the boundaries of how gamers can interact with their games, as developers race to produce the next big thing by harnessing the power of evolving tech.

Of course, that tech doesn’t have to cost the Earth, as Google Cardboard so imaginatively demonstrated. The simple folded cardboard design brought virtual reality (VR) into the homes of the masses for no more than the cost of a piece of cardboard and a couple of magnets. By using the phone’s inbuilt accelerometer and gyro, along with its magnetometer and processing capabilities, Google’s inventive cardboard design turned virtual reality headsets into something that almost everyone could afford.

Google has since released the cloth-based Daydream headset, demonstrating the company’s commitment to the future of VR. This is laying firm foundations for a large-scale explosion in the development of virtual reality mobile games. Meanwhile, other game developers are pushing the boundaries of augmented reality (AR).

While VR presents the gamer with a virtual environment, AR overlays the real environment with new information, literally augmenting the user’s reality. AR gaming is big news. Research and Markets projects that the AR games market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 152.7% between 2017 and 2023, reaching a total value of $284.93 billion by the end of that period.

Pokemon GO is the perfect example of how AR is being brought to the masses through gaming, breaking several records and quickly establishing itself as one of the highest-earning games in recent years.

The ability to play games in any location and while on the move is another mobile tech trend that has captured gamers’ imaginations. Mobile casino games are proving popular with players who want the freedom to enjoying gaming on their phones whenever and wherever it suits them. Some providers such as Casino Cruise offer a fully optimized mobile site, offering classic games such as blackjack and roulette, but also video slot machines based on popular movies such as Jurassic Park. Users can even be dealt cards or see the roulette wheel be spun by live dealers in real time as they play on the move. The rapid evolution of the mobile casino gaming experience has led to significant growth in the online gambling market. Worth $28.22 billion in 2012, the market is projected to more than double in size in less than a decade, reaching a value of $59.79 billion in 2020, according to Statista’s projections.

As technology continues to evolve, it’s going to be exciting to see what the next few years hold in terms of new mobile gaming experiences.

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