Mobile gaming used to be a thing but it is slowly dying. Like, I don’t even understand why honestly. We all have smartphones now and we all like to play games on our smartphones, but the market for mobile games has reached such a saturation point that there isn’t any good mobile games anymore. Here are my top five theories on the death of mobile gaming:

1. Saturation

When I go to the Apple App Store all I see is trash voted to the top. The paid apps are mostly garbage and the free apps are Flappy Bird clones. There isn’t anything worth my dollar anymore. A lot of this could just be there is so much static in the app store that it’s hard for anything to make any noise. So it’s random luck what is and isn’t featured.

2. Saturation Leading to Lack of Profits

Mobile games were once the most profitable thing on Earth and then everyone did it. Everyone had a game. Clones and clones of a single game. It was hard to make any noise so that’s when developers just said whatever I’m out. They threw in the towel and walked away.


Frog Picture

3. Attention Span

Most mobile gamers use their phones for like a few minutes in the car or in the doctor’s waiting room. Some long winded epic tail isn’t their cup of tea and the marketplace is showing this virtue left and right. Most mobile games take 30 seconds to go through a complete run with games like Flappy Bird taking -.0001 seconds to get through a “game.” So why bother making awesome when you only have the attention span of a 2nd grader at Chuck’e’Cheese.

4. Lack of Originality

There isn’t a lot left to do in the mobile scene. The inputs are as follows: tap or drag. Anything more complex is impossible without an accessory which btw very few people own. Do you own one of those controllers for your phone? No? Neither does anyone else. Should phones have controllers built in LOL NO. No they shouldn’t. Why shouldn’t they? Because they are phones.

Have you seen the new tablet phone things? I was in the phone store a few weeks ago and I tried to put one up to my face to pretend like I was calling someone and I was like wow I love how we are totally moving back to the stone age of technology with huge phones shoved against our faces.

5. Too Many Phone Types

The Nintendo DS is one system, two screens, and a fixed resolution. Phones are everything. The aforementioned phone for instance is the size of half your arm pretty much, but there are phones that fit on your wrist, small phones, big phones, funny phones, sad phones, and tablets. They’re all different dimensions and sizes, with very few standardization. So you could make this super awesome 3D game with awesome controls and then port it to another phone and it just… falls apart.

This isn’t so much of a big deal with Apple phones, since you can develop for iOS 7 for instance and totally be okay, but most developers want it on iOS and Android.


In conclusion, I feel like mobile gaming is dying and we’re back to the age of the snack game where super simple super easy games are going to be all the rage while anything super complicated is going to be lost to the Internet.

If you ever do want something a bit better than Hoppy Frog or Flappy Duck or whatever, do your research. Most of the really good games aren’t top games, because they’re not viral or have long gone past their virility. Lots of forums online are dedicated to the discussion of phone games.

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

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Xerin 1
Get in the bush with David "Xerin" Piner as he leverages his spectacular insanity to ask the serious questions such as is Master Yi and Illidan the same person? What's for dinner? What are ways to elevate your gaming experience? David's column, Respawn, is updated near daily with some of the coolest things you'll read online, while David tackles ways to improve the game experience across the board with various hype guides to cool games.