iGaming Business: Future Mobile

THE MOBILE FUTURE?

All talk about the future of mobile gaming may currently revolve around VR and augmented reality, but for Serge Mukhanov of Connective Games, it’s an emergent design tool that offers the most potential to revolutionise mobile gaming.

Whenever talk of mobile gaming of the future arises, exciting new trends like virtual reality and augmented reality often spring to mind. Certainly these new technologies have the capacity to redefine gaming, and the games we may create in the future in virtual reality may one day be restricted only by the limits of our imaginations.

But mobile gaming is not really the best use-case for VR. Mobile games work best as “snackable” time-killers that you dip into when you’re sitting on the bus or in a café, perhaps waiting for friends to arrive. No-one wants to don a full headset and slip into a full-blown immersive experience while they’re waiting in a queue at the supermarket.

We believe that there are two broad approaches to mobile gaming. Firstly, there are native applications, involving their download from software e-stores such as the AppStore, PlayMarket, Windows Marketplace, etc. Native applications usually have better graphics and faster response times, however a player still needs to download and confirm the pulishing process with the software e-stores.

Secondly, there is the browser-based approach, which is launched instantly from the browser, doesn’t require any additional confirmation from the software e-store to be published and therefore is far more accessible to the player and convenient for the operator. The only potential drawback is that it can be slow to present itself to the user.

That’s why, for us at Connective Games, the most exciting recent development in game design is WebGL. It has the ability to revolutionize mobile gaming, offering beautiful graphics and the faster response times of native applications within the browser format.

WebGL (Web Graphics Library) has been around since 2011 but only recently, with the arrival of a new generation of smartphones having powerful enough GPUs to support it and its now being supported by most modern browsers, has it become an exciting tool for in-browser games design.

The advancement of mobile GPU technology, in particular, has been vast over the past few years, meaning that mobile devices are increasingly able to provide console-style graphics and performance, crucially, at lower power.

Until quite recently, all browser-based games had pretty simple graphics and as previously mentioned, very poor response times, especially for multi-user games, as the creation of the simplest 2D graphics and animation consumed all the CPU’s computation resources.

Now WebGL has changed the game - quite literally. The feature allows JavaScript to communicate with the users’ GPU like a native application, without overloading the CPU and allowing us, the software designer, to create a really fast game application with feature-rich graphics which are compatible with a wide range of web browsers.

WebGL is not just a mobile technology – it also creates exciting possibilities for the desktop platform as well as video content broadcasting.

For the solutions we provide to the online gambling market, the instant browser format is very important as it is the most effective approach for attracting new players, especially the “Millennial generation” that has mostly grown up with console gaming. This is a more sophisticated type of player, and as they get quickly bored by the limitations of browser-based mobile gaming, WebGL allows us to create a much more visually immersive environment that increases engagement, interaction and response time, and we are waving goodbye to the underwhelming games of yesteryear.

We can also bring immersive poker action to in-browser mobile, making it comparable to desktop, and also, for example, creating stunning 3D casino experiences that permit instant interactions with in-game objects - brighter, faster and also using up less battery life.

Our belief is that the future of mobile gaming is bright and it belongs to WebGL and this is why it has become the preferred mode of game design for our design team. Software developers are beginning to use it widely for casino games and we are planning to apply it to our poker offering too, as right now there is no decent in-browser mobile poker on the market.

In summary, WebGL promises to be an exciting Millennial-friendly driver for mobile online casino and poker in the coming years. Players, operators and software developers will ultimately realise huge benefits from this new technology.

Serge Mukhanov has been with Connective Games for ten years and was appointed CEO at the start of this year. Over the last ten years, he has overseen the growth of Connective Games into a leading software provider, providing gaming platform solutions on behalf of customers around the world and with great success within regional markets such as Latin America, Georgia, Asia and the CIS region.

(Published by iGaming Business, Issue 100, September 2016, Page 42) 

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