The first mobile games in their time were great. Just like Pac-Man and Donkey Kong at the arcades, or Pitfall or Super Mario on the early consoles, BrickBreaker on BlackBerry, Bejeweled on Palm OS, or Tap Tap Revenge on iOS. But, like any early game, we played the first mobile games alone, or perhaps with a few friends.
Over time, however, the PC went online, and so did consoles. From Ultima to EverQuest to World of Warcraft, from Halo to Call of Duty to Battlefield 4, PC and console games have become increasingly social and increasingly multiplayer. Massively so.
Now, with ubiquitous Wi-Fi and persistent cellular connections, so has mobile and so has mobile gaming. And since mobile isn’t constrained to an arcade or living room, mobile players can join in the action anytime, and anywhere, and bring with them additional technology and features like GPS and social networks beyond the games.
That’s led to new innovations like push notifications for challenges, video and audio streaming to TV sets, and asynchronous play. And it’s only just the beginning. Real Racing 3 and Ingress are only the beginning when it comes to multiplayer and MMO gaming on mobile.
How far have we come, how well does it work now, and how much farther can multiplayer scale on mobile?