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Mobile Gaming Predictions: AppLovin’s 2020 Vision

by Sarah Alvarez on Jan 3, 2020

The new decade is here, and while we were appreciative of everything the last 10 years gave us (including some truly great mobile games), AppLovin is ready for what 2020 is going to bring. We’re heading into the new year ready to meet any challenges head-on and “just get stuff done.” 

Looking ahead, we think tech will bring innovation to the mobile gaming space (or in some cases – tech won’t have an impact on mobile gaming…yet). AppAnnie predicts that 2020 is going to be an even bigger year for mobile spending than 2019, with consumer spending from iOS and Google Play hitting $105 billion combined compared to $90 billion in 2019. Earlier this year, AdExchanger predicted that 2020 might be the year apps begin to embrace in-app bidding. Idil Canal, GM of MAX by AppLovin mentioned – we hope this one comes true so that developers can more easily make more money to keep creating amazing games. 

While we love seeing what other industry experts think will be the next big tech trend in 2020, we tapped our team to get some insight into what they think the new year will bring. 

5G won’t make it big in 2020

Everywhere you turn, someone is talking about 5G and how it’s coming soon. While the promise of faster download speeds and a more reliable connection sounds great, Katie Jansen, our CMO has some thoughts on the rise of 5G: “It just doesn’t matter yet.” On top of the technical hurdles that 5G has to overcome before we see widespread adoption, it’s also telling that we haven’t seen Apple release an iPhone that supports 5G. For mobile gaming in particular, games will always need to be optimized to be lightweight, responsive, and most importantly – fun. 

“Faster network speeds won’t increase ‘fun,’ and neither will high-resolution graphics,” said Jansen. “What makes mobile games great is the creativity of their developers who have to work within the constraints of limited storage, processing power, and network speeds. Part of what we love to do is work directly with developers on making engaging, creative ads for their games.” 

New technologies mean more choices for gamers

Last year we saw game streaming and subscription bundles launch from major companies in the tech space, which is driving more opportunities for developers to get users playing on mobile than ever before. Streaming has more of an appeal for hardcore enthusiasts while subscription bundles allow existing mobile gamers to try new, premium games for a monthly fee. Rafael Vivas, President of Lion Studios, shares how these options offer new gaming opportunities for different types of gamers, and how major gaming companies are finally understanding the appeal of mobile.

“Mobile will remain the largest, most open gaming platform in the world and game streaming and subscriptions will only give players more choice,” said Vivas. “In the past, there was an assumption that mobile gaming was inherently a subpar experience but this idea has been proven wrong with all the major gaming companies taking mobile seriously and investing in it, including Nintendo.”

We can’t wait to see what 2020 brings to the world of mobile gaming – and more importantly, we can’t wait to play games released this year! 

Sarah Alvarez is a Manager of Communications at AppLovin