If you are younger than 25, you won’t remember a time before mobile/cell phones. They will have been an ever-present part of your life, as much as television, cars, or breathing fresh air have been. For those of us who have been around for a little while longer, the days of not having a phone in our pockets or hand at all times can still be recalled, even if we can’t remember how we coped without one.
If you left the house, you were unreachable. If you got lost, you would have to ask for directions or look at a map. You had to carry around a walkman/MP3 player if you wanted to listen to music. Facebook or Instagram hadn’t been invented yet, so you had to just sit and think to pass the time on public transport or while waiting for your coffee to be ready. You had to look up cinema listings in newspapers, and take an actual camera out with you if you wanted to take a picture of something (and don’t even get me started on editing/filtering the photos- unless you were a professional photographer that just wasn’t going to happen).
When mobiles first became used by the general public, and not just super-rich business people, they were huge, chunky things, that could make and receive calls, and send and receive text messages. There was no such thing as Whatsapp, so every call or text would cost you money. Being popular back then was expensive stuff, and you’d have to be careful not to run out of credit, as then you couldn’t reply to anything!
The first Nokia phones did have some very primitive games on them, such as Snake, which first appeared in 1997. The only aim was to keep eating the apples (which was essentially a black dot) which would then increase the length of the snake. The further you went in the game, the longer the snake became (and the faster it moved) so you would be trying desperately hard not to run into yourself, or hit a wall, as the game would then be over. It was incredibly basic, but for a generation of people, it was a great source of entertainment.
Nowadays, phones have been developed so much that they are essentially miniature consoles, capable of so much in terms of graphics and gameplay. You can also play games over the internet, linking up with friends or other gamers. People have gotten so good at mobile games that there are now Esports competitions, where beginners bettors will actually look for odds and place bets on their favorite gamers or Esport teams. It has become a huge industry in and of itself, almost as a separate thing from console gaming. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular Esports games that are available on the market and frequently played by gamers today.
Highly addictive, and hugely entertaining
It is certainly true that most people spend an unhealthy amount of time on their phones these days, but when there are so many enjoyable mobile games, can you really blame them? One of the most popular games of the last year or so has to be PUBG Mobile or PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds to the uninitiated amongst you. Developed and published by the PUBG Corporation, it is an online multiplayer battle royale game. The concept was taken from the 2000 Japanese film Battle Royale, and the premise is 100 players are parachuted onto an island, where they have to search for weapons, and kill all the other players, hoping to be the final one left standing. As the game advances, the size of the map continuously decreases, meaning you are more likely to run into an opponent.
To say it has been successful would be a huge understatement; it is estimated there have been over 1 a billion downloads of the games and has grossed over $4.5 billion. In January, the PUBG Mobile World championship was held, and quickly became one of the top five most watch tournaments of all time.
Call of Duty has been a successful franchise for many years, so it is no surprise to see it doing so well as a mobile game now too. There have been 500 million downloads already, and hundreds of Esport events happening constantly. A recent such tournament, the Garena Invitational, had a prize pool of $50,000.
Away from shooting games, Clash Royale is another immensely popular title. There have been many Esports competitions, including a world championship, where the top 1000 players on the planet compete in qualifiers, each month until only the best of the best are left in an ultimate showdown.
So it is safe to say that mobile Esports are big business, and are certainly here to stay.