If there is one sector that has changed almost beyond all recognition during the last decade, it is the gaming market. Once driven by the video game platform and subscription based games, it has since been taken over by online channels, freemium gameplay and optional, paid tiers. Mobile gameplay is particularly dominant, with smartphones generating an estimated $12.1 billion in gaming revenues by the end of 2015 and this figure likely to increase further over the course of the next decade.
The emergence of dedicated gaming tablets is also driving this trend, with this type of device also increasingly successful in terms of revenue generations. The amount of money spent on tablet gaming will have more than doubled by 2019, for example, from 3.51 billion in 2014 to 8.2 billion. This is a huge increase, and one that underlines the direction in which the gaming market is heading in the near-term future. Tablet usage is also growing at a faster rate than smartphones, and we can certainly expect this trend to continue over time.
Of course, the emergence of new platforms has added diversity to the market, triggering a shift from the high octane shoot-em ups that dominate consoles. With a wider range of educational and intellectually rewarding games available, players can enjoy a non-violent experience that also challenges them mentally.
A game in the mould of Broken Sword (a classic from the fifth generation of console gaming), Gone Home is a wonderful adventure title that offers a fascinating narrative. Played from a first-person perspective, you return home on a stormy night after a year abroad only to find that nobody is home. Alone in the house, you explore every nook and crevice for clues as you look to piece together precisely what has happened during your absence. There are clues littered all over the place, from letters and memos to a discarded diary.
A thriller in every sense of the word, this game also challenges your mind and problem solving qualities.
This game is altogether more serene and unusual, although it provides a fascinating experience that is truly one to savour. You are essentially a pilgrim on a journey towards a distant light at the top of a mountain, as you make your way across a number of ancient ruins from a once prosperous world. Along the way you meet another traveller (a fellow player), with whom you can communicate with as you aim to complete your journey together.
Who knows, you may even forge a relationship with your fellow traveller and this game has certainly become a cult classic among young adults and adolescents.
At the other end of the spectrum we have a modern game, and one which embodies the trend for freemium, online gambling. Sun Bingo 90 is one of the most popular bingo iterations in the existing marketplace, and one which replicates the excitement of a bricks-and-mortar hall with live games. Combining spectacular visuals with fast-paced gameplay and real money wagering, this variation is a fan favourite and offers something for both old and new demographics.
Available both online and through a designated mobile application, Sun Bingo 90 represents the modern facing of gaming and is ideally suited to both smartphones and tablets. It is also immersive and incredibly fun, making it an ideal way of passing the time regardless of what you are doing.
Above all else, there is not a single moment of violence to be seen anywhere!