ldquo;It shines so bright, it's poised to send portable consoles twinkling and fading into the darkness,” expressed Ward.
"In this context, it will become increasingly difficult for the major handheld game console providers to compete effectively," he stated. "The market as a whole will grow rapidly, though, and swing dramatically in the direction of Asia/Pacific, and Android-based devices in particular, by 2018."
While Dota 2 and League of Legends dominate on PCs, Ward believes that mobile versions of Multi-player Online Battle Arenas (MOBAs) are primed to break out in 2015. While there are obstacles holding the mobile versions of MOBAs back in the areas of player communication, Ward assures that advances in infrastructure and gaming innovations will drive the genre forward next year.
"One of the big barriers to mobile MOBAs, however, is the fact that multi-player V0IP (Voice over IP) is hamstrung," said Ward. "It's basically very tough to do live co-op games that leverage VoIP today, so this important, team-based aspect of MOBAs is practically missing from [the] mobile environment. Part of the issue here in the U.S. is that there are 911 system integration issues to be worked out on smartphones that, of course, don't apply to PCs or consoles."
Mobile gaming has been propelled to mainstream success by the free-to-play models, also known as "freemium" games. An Insights Meta survey, obtained by VentureBeat, found the market for paid apps, those purchased up front, is stronger than many people believe it to be.
Insights Meta found that the approximately 31 percent of mobile gamers play paid apps, which is right around the 32 percent of gaming enthusiasts who play premium games on PC and the 33 percent who do so on consoles.
"The paid download share is much larger than people realize," said Jason Anderson, president of Insights Meta. "Publishers have an understanding of how their own individual titles are performing in that regard. I don't know if people realize how successful it is becoming across all titles."