Should developers focus on mobile-friendly titles rather than desktop?

    In the third episode of SlotBeats Spotlight, we asked our experts if moving forward, should suppliers start focusing on mobile-friendly titles rather than content catered to desktop and tablet?

    Given the different economic circumstances in emerging markets  is it more imperative to create mobile-friendly games rather than focusing on desktop and tablet?

    Petra Maria Poola, head of business development and operations, OneTouch

    Petra Maria Poola, OneTouch: Absolutely. In emerging markets such as those found in Latin America, broadband infrastructure and smartphone adoption are rapidly catching up with the rates seen in much of the Western World. 

    That means providers who want to build a presence within those high-growth territories must place mobile-optimisation right at the top of their priority list, as the speed and direction of technological change point to ever-increasing demand for multi-channel content. 

    Many of those regions also skipped desktop and jumped straight to mobile as part of that technological revolution, so when you are talking about emerging markets, mobile-oriented content is even more important.

    Vladimir Malakchi, CBDO at Evoplay Entertainment

    Vladimir Malakchi, Evoplay Entertainment: Absolutely. It’s high time the industry realised that the age of the mobile is upon us – in both developed and emerging markets. In 2020, 3.5 billion people owned a smartphone. That’s almost half of the world’s population – an increase of nearly 10 per cent compared with the 2019 figure. 

    When it comes to emerging markets, the centrality of mobile gaming only grows stronger. Almost 60 per cent of the Latin American population, for example, now have internet access, while broadband networks have the capacity to reach over 90 per cent of its residents. 

    By 2025, projections show that the number of people using the internet will increase by 80 million. Providers with designs on the continent would do well to take note, what we’re seeing in terms of adoption is likely to continue to be exponential. 

    Andy Sekula, head of games, Kalamba Games

    Andy Sekula, Kalamba Games: Based on some widely accessible data we can clearly see that most of the game sessions are played on mobile devices, so being mobile-friendly is always an imperative, nowadays. As we seek to optimise market share across many territories, it’s clear that substantial segments of some markets still prefer to play on desktop. 

    This could be due to a number of factors such as Wi-Fi availability, or the cost and availability of mobile data and up-to-date smartphones. Particularly if we look at the impact of COVID-19, people have been less mobile and often working from home and therefore playing on the devices they’re using most. One of those would naturally be the humble laptop or desktop. 

    Once things start to go back to normal, we could expect this will revert fairly quickly. However, if there’s a permanent shift to more home working, this bounce back might be slower. That, in addition to slower adoption and genuine preference in some markets will surely make desktop or ‘home based’ gaming at least somewhat relevant for years to come.

    Henry McLean, co-founder, commercial and marketing director at 4ThePlayer.com

    Henry McLean, 4ThePlayer: When creating a game, we always think about the device players will be using to play our games. 

    As you mentioned, there is a wide spectrum of devices of varying sizes and capabilities. We always try to find the sweet spot between the most powerful device with the biggest screen and the least powerful with the smallest. We want to ensure that you can still enjoy our games no matter what device you have.