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A mobile game is a
video game#REDIRECT Video game A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface or input device such as a joystick, game controller, controller, computer keyboard, keyboard, or motion sensing device to generate visual f ...
that is typically played on a
mobile phone A mobile phone, cellular phone, cell phone, cellphone, handphone, or hand phone, sometimes shortened to simply mobile, cell or just phone, is a portable telephone A telephone is a telecommunication Telecommunication is the tra ...

mobile phone
. The term also refers to all games that are played on any
portable device A mobile device (or handheld computer) is a computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can perform generic sets of operations known as ...
, including from
mobile phone A mobile phone, cellular phone, cell phone, cellphone, handphone, or hand phone, sometimes shortened to simply mobile, cell or just phone, is a portable telephone A telephone is a telecommunication Telecommunication is the tra ...

mobile phone
(
feature phone A feature phone is a type or class of mobile phone A mobile phone, cellular phone, cell phone, cellphone, handphone, or hand phone, sometimes shortened to simply mobile, cell or just phone, is a portable telephone A telephone is a ...
or
smartphone A smartphone is a portable device A mobile device (or handheld computer) is a computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can per ...

smartphone
), tablet,
PDA PDA may refer to: Science and technology * Patron-driven acquisition, a mechanism for libraries to purchase books *Personal digital assistant, a mobile device * Photodiode array, a type of detector * Polydiacetylenes, a family of conducting polym ...
to
handheld game console A handheld game console, or simply handheld console, is a small, portable self-contained video game console A video game console is an electronic device that output Output may refer to: * The information produced by a computer, see Input/out ...

handheld game console
,
portable media player A portable media player (PMP) or digital audio player (DAP) is a portable consumer electronics device capable of storing and playing digital media such as audio, images, and video files. The data is typically stored on a compact disc (CD), Di ...
or
graphing calculator A graphing calculator (also graphics calculator or graphic display calculator) is a handheld computer A mobile device (or handheld computer) is a computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithm ...
, with and without network availability. The earliest known game on a mobile phone was a
Tetris ''Tetris'' (russian: link=no, Тетрис ) is a tile-matching video game created by Russian software engineer Alexey Pajitnov in 1984 for the Electronika 60 computer. It has been published by several companies, most prominently during a dis ...

Tetris
variant on the Hagenuk MT-2000 device from 1994. In 1997,
Nokia Nokia Corporation (natively Nokia Oyj, referred to as Nokia; stylized as NOKIA) is a Finnish multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational for ...

Nokia
launched the very successful ''
Snake Snakes are elongated, limbless, carnivore, carnivorous reptiles of the suborder Serpentes . Like all other Squamata, squamates, snakes are ectothermic, amniote vertebrates covered in overlapping Scale (zoology), scales. Many species of snakes ...
''. Snake (and its variants), that was pre-installed in most mobile devices manufactured by Nokia, has since become one of the most played games and is found on more than 350 million devices worldwide. A variant of the ''Snake'' game for the
Nokia 6110 The Nokia 6110 was a GSM GSM (Global System for Mobile communications) is a European standard for mobile devices. GSM may also refer to: Education * GSM London, a higher education provider * Guildhall School of Music and Drama The Guildhal ...

Nokia 6110
, using the
infrared Infrared (IR), sometimes called infrared light, is electromagnetic radiation In physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its Motion (physics), motion and behavior ...

infrared
port, was also the first
two-player A multiplayer video game is a video game in which more than one person can play in the same game environment at the same time, either locally (e.g. ''New Super Mario Bros. Wii'') or Online and offline, online over the internet (e.g. ''World of War ...
game for mobile phones. Today, mobile games are usually downloaded from an
app store An app store (or app marketplace) is a type of digital distribution Digital distribution (also referred to as content delivery, online distribution, or electronic software distribution (ESD), among others) is the delivery or distribution of di ...

app store
as well as from mobile operator's portals, but in some cases are also preloaded in the handheld devices by the
OEM An original equipment manufacturer (OEM) is generally perceived as a company that produces parts and equipment that may be marketed by another manufacturer. However, the term is also used in several other ways, which causes ambiguity Ambig ...

OEM
or by the mobile operator when purchased, via infrared connection,
Bluetooth Bluetooth is a short-range wireless Wireless communication (or just wireless, when the context allows) is the telecommunication, transfer of information between two or more points that do not use an electrical conductor as a medium by which ...

Bluetooth
, or
memory card A memory card is an electronic data storage device On a reel-to-reel tape recorder (Sony TC-630), the recorder is data storage equipment and the magnetic tape is a data storage medium. Data Data (; ) are individual facts, statistics ...

memory card
, or
side load Sideloading is a term used mostly on the Internet, similar to "upload" and "download", but in reference to the process of File transfer, transferring files between two local devices, in particular between a computer and a mobile device such as a mob ...
ed onto the
handset A handset is a component of a telephone A telephone is a telecommunication Telecommunication is the transmission of information by various types of technologies over wire A wire is a single usually cylindrical A cylinder (f ...

handset
with a
cable Cable may refer to: Mechanical * Nautical cable A nautical cable is a band of tightly woven and clamped ropes, of a defined cable length, used during the age of sail for deep water anchoring, heavy lifting, ship to ship transfers and towing durin ...
.
Downloadable In computer network A computer network is a group of computers that use a set of common communication protocols over digital signal, digital interconnections for the purpose of sharing resources located on or provided by the Node (networki ...

Downloadable
mobile games were first commercialised in
Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an in ...

Japan
circa the launch of NTT DoCoMo's
I-mode NTT DoCoMo is a Japanese . The name is officially , "''do communications over the mobile network''", and is also from a ''dokomo'', meaning "everywhere" in Japanese. Docomo provides phone, video phone ( and Some ), (internet), and mail ( ...
platform in 1999, and by the early 2000s were available through a variety of platforms throughout
Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and Northern Hemisphere, Northern Hemisphere of the Earth, Hemispheres. It shares the continental landmass of Eurasia with the cont ...

Asia
,
Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of scienc ...

Europe
,
North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continen ...

North America
and ultimately most territories where modern carrier networks and handsets were available by the mid-2000s. However, mobile games distributed by mobile operators and third party portals (channels initially developed to monetise downloadable
ringtones A ringtone or ring tone is the sound made by a telephone A telephone is a telecommunications device that permits two or more users to conduct a conversation when they are too far apart to be heard directly. A telephone converts sound, typic ...
, and other small pieces of content using premium
SMS SMS (Short Message Service) is a text messaging service component of most telephone A telephone is a telecommunication Telecommunication is the transmission of information by various types of technologies over wire A wire is ...

SMS
or direct carrier charges as a billing mechanism) remained a marginal form of gaming until
Apple An apple is an edible fruit In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in this fie ...
's
iOS iOS (formerly iPhone OS) is a mobile operating system A mobile operating system is an operating system An operating system (OS) is system software System software is software designed to provide a platform for other software. Examples o ...

iOS
App Store An app store (or app marketplace) is a type of digital distribution Digital distribution (also referred to as content delivery, online distribution, or electronic software distribution (ESD), among others) is the delivery or distribution of di ...

App Store
was launched in 2008. As the first mobile content marketplace operated directly by a mobile platform holder, the App Store significantly changed the consumer behaviour and quickly broadened the market for mobile games, as almost every smartphone owner started to download
mobile apps A mobile application, also referred to as a mobile app or simply an app, is a computer program or software application designed to run on a mobile device such as a smartphone, phone, tablet computer, tablet, or smartwatch, watch. Mobile applicat ...
.


History

Towards the end of the 20th century, mobile phone
ownership Ownership is the state or fact of exclusive right In Anglo-Saxon law Anglo-Saxon law (Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germ ...
became
ubiquitous Omnipresence or ubiquity is the property of being present anywhere and everywhere. The term omnipresence is most often used in a religious context as an attribute of a deity or supreme being, while the term ubiquity is generally used to describe ...

ubiquitous
in the industrialised world - due to the establishment of industry standards, and the rapid fall in cost of handset ownership, and use driven by economies of scale. As a result of this explosion, technological advancement by handset manufacturers became rapid. With these technological advances, mobile phone games also became increasingly sophisticated, taking advantage of exponential improvements in
display Display may refer to: Technology * Display device, output device for presenting information, including: ** Cathode ray tube, video display that provides a quality picture, but can be very heavy and deep ** Electronic visual display, output device ...
, , storage,
interfaces Interface or interfacing may refer to: Academic journals * Interface (journal), ''Interface'' (journal), by the Electrochemical Society * ''Interface, Journal of Applied Linguistics'', now merged with ''ITL International Journal of Applied Lin ...
,
network bandwidth In computing, bandwidth is the maximum rate of data transfer across a given path. Bandwidth may be characterized as network bandwidth, data bandwidth, or digital bandwidth. This definition of ''bandwidth'' is in contrast to the field of signal proc ...
and
operating system An operating system (OS) is system software System software is software designed to provide a platform for other software. Examples of system software include operating systems (OS) like macOS, Linux, Android (operating system), Android and Mi ...

operating system
functionality. The first such game that demonstrated the desire for handset games was a version of ''
Snake Snakes are elongated, limbless, carnivore, carnivorous reptiles of the suborder Serpentes . Like all other Squamata, squamates, snakes are ectothermic, amniote vertebrates covered in overlapping Scale (zoology), scales. Many species of snakes ...
'' that
Nokia Nokia Corporation (natively Nokia Oyj, referred to as Nokia; stylized as NOKIA) is a Finnish multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational for ...

Nokia
had included on its devices since 1997. In 1999,
NTT Docomo is a Japanese mobile phone operator A mobile phone operator, wireless provider, or carrier is a mobile telecommunications company A company, abbreviated as co., is a Legal personality, legal entity representing an association of people, ...
launched the
i-mode NTT DoCoMo is a Japanese . The name is officially , "''do communications over the mobile network''", and is also from a ''dokomo'', meaning "everywhere" in Japanese. Docomo provides phone, video phone ( and Some ), (internet), and mail ( ...
mobile platform in Japan, allowing mobile games to be downloaded onto
smartphones A smartphone is a portable device A mobile device (or handheld computer) is a computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can per ...

smartphones
. Several
Japanese video game Video gaming in Japan is a major industry. Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , image_coat = Imperial Seal of Japan.svg , ...
developers announced games for the i-mode platform that year, such as
Konami , is a Japanese Japanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , image_coat ...

Konami
announcing its
dating simulation Dating sims, or , are Video game genres, video game subgenre of Simulation video game, simulation games with romantic elements. Dating sims are often dialog-heavy and focus on time management. The player must befriend and carefully build and mai ...
''
Tokimeki Memorial is a dating simulation series by Konami. It consists of six main games in addition to many Spin-off (media), spin-offs. The games are notable in the dating sim genre for being highly Linearity (computer and video games), nonlinear. Their nickname ...
''. The same year,
Nintendo is a Japanese Multinational corporation, multinational consumer electronics and video game company headquartered in Kyoto, Japan. The company was founded in 1889 as by craftsman Fusajiro Yamauchi and originally produced handmade playing ca ...

Nintendo
and
Bandai is a Japanese toy maker and a producer of many plastic model kits as well as a former video game company. Its headquarters are located in Taitō, Tokyo, Taitō, Tokyo. From 1981 until 2001, Bandai also produced video game consoles. History In ...

Bandai
were developing mobile phone adapters for their
handheld game consoles A handheld game console, or simply handheld console, is a small, portable self-contained video game console A video game console is an electronic or computer device that outputs a video signal or visual image to display a video game A ...
, the
Game Boy Color The (commonly abbreviated as GBC) is a handheld game console A handheld game console, or simply handheld console, is a small, portable self-contained video game console A video game console is an electronic or computer device that outpu ...

Game Boy Color
and
WonderSwan The is a handheld game console released in Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , image_coat = Imperial Seal of Japan.s ...

WonderSwan
, respectively. By 2001, i-mode had users in Japan, along with more advanced handsets with graphics comparable to 8-bit consoles. A wide variety of games were available for the i-mode service, along with announcements from established
video game developers A video game developer is a software developer specializing in video game development – the process and related disciplines of creating video games. A game developer can range from one person who undertakes all tasks to a large business with emp ...
such as
Taito is a Japanese company that specializes in video games, toys, arcade cabinets and game centers, based in Shinjuku, Tokyo. The company was founded by Michael Kogan in 1953 as the importing vodka, vending machines and jukeboxes into Japan. It be ...

Taito
, Konami,
Namco simply known as Namco, was a Japanese multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Multinatio ...
, and
Hudson Soft was a Japanese video game company that released numerous games for video game consoles, home computers and mobile phones, mainly from the 1980s to the 2000s. It was headquartered in the Midtown Tower in Tokyo Midtown, Akasaka, Tokyo, Akasaka, ...
, including ports of classic arcade games and 8-bit
console games A console game is a form of video game#REDIRECT Video game A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface or input device such as a joystick, game controller, controller, computer keyboard, keyboard, or m ...
. The launch of Apple's
iPhone {{Infobox information appliance , name = iPhone , logo = , image = , caption = The front face of an iPhone 13 Pro The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max are smartphones designed and marketed by Apple Inc. They are the flagship smart ...

iPhone
in 2007 and the
App Store An app store (or app marketplace) is a type of digital distribution Digital distribution (also referred to as content delivery, online distribution, or electronic software distribution (ESD), among others) is the delivery or distribution of di ...

App Store
in 2008 radically changed the market. The iPhone's focus on larger memory, multitasks, and additional sensing devices, including the
touchscreen A touchscreen or touch screen is the assembly of both an input ('touch panel') and output ('display') device. The touch panel is normally layered on the top of an electronic visual display of an Information processor, information processing system ...

touchscreen
in later model, made it ideal for
casual game A casual game is a video game A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface or input device such as a joystick, game controller, controller, computer keyboard, keyboard, or motion sensing device to genera ...
s, while the App Store made it easy for developers to create and post apps to publish, and for users to search for and obtain new games. With several games released at launch of the App Store featured as
rags to riches Rags to riches refers to any situation in which a person rises from poverty Poverty is the state of having little material possessions or income In microeconomics, income is the Consumption (economics), consumption and saving opportuni ...

rags to riches
stories, developers drove to the iPhone and App Store. Further, the App Store added the ability to support
in-app purchase Microtransactions, often abbreviated as MTX, are a business model where users can purchase virtual goods with micropayments. Microtransactions are often used in free-to-play games to provide a revenue source for the developers. While microtransacti ...
s in October 2009. This allowed games like ''
Angry Birds ''Angry Birds'' ( Finnish: ''Vihaiset linnut''; Swedish Swedish or ' may refer to: * Anything from or related to Sweden, a country in Northern Europe * Swedish language, a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Sweden and Finland * Swed ...

Angry Birds
'' and ''
Cut the Rope ''Cut the Rope'' is a Russian series of physics-based puzzle video games developed by the Russian entertainment company ZeptoLab ZeptoLab is a Russian video game developer based in Moscow. It is best known for developing the ''Cut the Rope'' se ...
'' to find new monetization models away from the traditional premium "pay once" model. Meanwhile, Apple's disruption caused the market to stabilized around iPhone devices and
Google's Google LLC is an American multinational technology company "Technology", in this context, has come to mean primarily electronics-based technology. This can include, for example, business relating to digital electronics Digital electroni ...

Google's
Android Android may refer to: Science and technology * Android (robot), a humanoid robot or synthetic organism designed to imitate a human * Android (operating system), Google's mobile operating system ** Android (operating system)#Mascot, Unnamed Androi ...

Android
-based phones which offered a similar app store through
Google Play Google Play, also branded as the Google Play Store and formerly Android Market, is a digital distribution Digital distribution (also referred to as content delivery, online distribution, or electronic software distribution (ESD), among other ...

Google Play
. A further major shift game with 2012's ''
Candy Crush Saga ''Candy Crush Saga'' is a free-to-play match-three puzzle video game released by King (company), King on April 12, 2012, for Facebook; other versions for iOS, Android (operating system), Android, Windows Phone, and Windows 10 followed. It is a ...
'' and ''
Puzzle & Dragons is a puzzle video game with Role-playing video game, role-playing and strategy games, strategy elements, developed and published by GungHo Online Entertainment for the iOS, Android (operating system), Android, and Amazon Fire platforms. ''Puzzl ...
'', games that used a stamina-like gameplay feature found in
social-network game A social network game (sometimes simply referred to as a social media game, social video game or online social game) is a type of online game An online game is a video game that is either partially or primarily played through the Internet or any ...
s like ''
FarmVille ''FarmVille'' was an agriculture Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentism, sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticatio ...
'' to limit the number of times one could play it in a single period, but allowed optional
in-app purchases Microtransactions, often abbreviated as MTX, are a business model where users can purchase virtual goods with micropayments. Microtransactions are often used in free-to-play games to provide a revenue source for the developers. While microtransacti ...
to restore that stamina immediately and continue playing. This new monetization brought in millions of players to both games and millions of
dollars Dollar is the name of more than 20 currencies A currency, "in circulation", from la, currens, -entis, literally meaning "running" or "traversing" in the most specific sense is money Image:National-Debt-Gillray.jpeg, In a 1786 James Gi ...
in revenue, establishing the "
freemium Freemium, a portmanteau A portmanteau (, ) or portmanteau word (from "portmanteau (luggage) A portmanteau is a piece of luggage, usually made of leather and opening into two equal parts. Some were large, upright, and hinged at the back and enabl ...
" model that would be a common approach for many mobile game going forward. Mobile gaming grew rapidly over the next several years, buoyed by rapid expansion in
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere ...

China
. By 2016, top mobile games were earning over a year, and the total revenue for the mobile games sector had surpassed that of other video game areas. Other major trends in mobile games have include the
hyper-casual game A hyper-casual game is a Mobile game, mobile video game which is easy-to-play and usually free-to-play; they also feature very minimalistic user interface, user interfaces. Popularized in 2017 by game makers such as Kwalee, Ketchapp and Voodoo (comp ...
such as ''
Flappy Bird ''Flappy Bird'' is a mobile game A mobile game is a video game#REDIRECT Video game A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface or input device such as a joystick, game controller, controller, comp ...
'' and ''
Crossy Road ''Crossy Road'' is an Arcade game, arcade video game released on 20 November 2014. It was developed and published by Australian video game developer Hipster Whale, with the name and concept of the game playing on the age old joke "Why did the ch ...
'' and
location-based game A location-based game (or location-enabled game) is a type of pervasive game in which the gameplay Gameplay is the specific way in which players interact with a game with separate sliding drawer, from 1390–1353 BC, made of glazed fai ...
s like '' Pokémon Go''. Mobile gaming has impacted the larger video game market by drawing demand away from
handheld video game console A handheld game console, or simply handheld console, is a small, portable self-contained video game console with a built-in screen, game controls and speakers. Handheld game consoles are smaller than home video game console A home video game ...
s; both
Nintendo is a Japanese Multinational corporation, multinational consumer electronics and video game company headquartered in Kyoto, Japan. The company was founded in 1889 as by craftsman Fusajiro Yamauchi and originally produced handmade playing ca ...

Nintendo
and
Sony , commonly known as Sony and stylized as SONY, is a Japanese multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from mult ...

Sony
had seen major drops in sales of their 2011 handhelds compared to their 2004 predecessors as a result of mobile gaming. At the same time, mobile gaming introduced the concept of
microconsole A microconsole is a home video game console that is typically powered by low-cost computing hardware, making the console at a lower cost compared to other home consoles on the market. Many of them are low-cost Android (operating system), Andro ...
s, low-cost, low-powered
home video game console A home video game console is a video game console that is designed to be connected to a display device, such as a television, and an external power source as to play video games. Home consoles are generally less powerful and customizable than ...
s that used mobile operating systems to take advantage of the wide variety of games available on these platforms.


Calculator games

Calculator gaming is a form of gaming in which
games with separate sliding drawer, from 1390 to 1353 BC, made of glazed faience, dimensions: 5.5 × 7.7 × 21 cm, in the Brooklyn Museum The Brooklyn Museum is an art museum An art museum is a building or space for the display of a ...
are played on
programmable calculator Programmable calculators are calculators that can automatically carry out a sequence of operations under control of a stored computer programming, program, much like a computer. The first programmable calculators such as the IBM CPC used punched c ...
s, especially
graphing calculator A graphing calculator (also graphics calculator or graphic display calculator) is a handheld computer A mobile device (or handheld computer) is a computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithm ...
s. In 1980,
Casio is a Japanese Multinational corporation, multinational electronics manufacturing company headquartered in Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan. Its products include calculators, mobile phones, digital cameras, electronic musical instruments, and analog watch ...

Casio
's MG-880
pocket calculator An electronic calculator is typically a portable Electronics, electronic device used to perform calculations, ranging from basic arithmetic to complex mathematics. The first Solid-state electronics, solid-state electronic calculator was create ...

pocket calculator
had a built-in "Invaders" game (essentially a downscaled ''
Space Invaders is a 1978 shoot 'em up Shoot 'em up (also known as shmup or STG Davies, Jonti. ''. GameSpy GameSpy was an American provider of online multiplayer and Matchmaking (video games), matchmaking middleware for video games founded in 1996 by ...

Space Invaders
'' clone), released in the Summer that year. Another early example is the
type-in program A type-in program or type-in listing was computer source code In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algorithmic proce ...
'' Darth Vader's Force Battle'' for the
TI-59 The TI-59 is an early , that was manufactured by from 1977. It is the successor to the TI SR-52, quadrupling the number of "program steps" of storage, and adding "ROM Program Modules" (an insertable ROM chip, capable of holding 5000 program st ...

TI-59
, published in ''
BYTE The byte is a unit of digital information that most commonly consists of eight bit The bit is a basic unit of information in computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It ...
'' in October 1980. The magazine also published a version of ''
Hunt the Wumpus ''Hunt the Wumpus'' is a text-based game, text-based adventure game developed by Gregory Yob in 1973. In the game, the player moves through a series of connected caves, arranged as the vertices of a dodecahedron, as they hunt a monster named the W ...
'' for the
HP-41C The HP-41C series are programmable, expandable, HP Continuous memory, continuous memory handheld Reverse Polish Notation, RPN calculators made by Hewlett-Packard from 1979 to 1990. The original model, HP-41C, was the first of its kind to offer al ...

HP-41C
. Few other games exist for the earliest of programmable calculators (including the
Hewlett-Packard 9100A The Hewlett-Packard 9100A (hp 9100A) is an early programmable calculator (or computer), first appearing in 1968. Hewlett-Packard, HP called it a desktop calculator because, as Bill Hewlett said, "If we had called it a computer, it would have been ...
, one of the first scientific calculators), such as the long-popular ''
Lunar Lander A lunar lander or Moon lander is a spacecraft 275px, The US Space Shuttle flew 135 times from 1981 to 2011, supporting Spacelab, ''Mir'', the Hubble Space Telescope, and the ISS. (''Columbia'' STS-1">maiden launch, which had a white exter ...
'' game often used as an early programming exercise. However, limited program address space and lack of easy program storage made calculator gaming a rarity even as programmables became cheap and relatively easy to obtain. It was not until the early 1990s when
graphing calculator A graphing calculator (also graphics calculator or graphic display calculator) is a handheld computer A mobile device (or handheld computer) is a computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithm ...
s became more powerful and cheap enough to be common among
high school A secondary school describes an institution that provides secondary education Secondary education covers two phases on the International Standard Classification of Education The International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) is a ...

high school
students for use in
mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and their changes (cal ...
. The new graphing calculators, with their ability to transfer files to one another and from a
computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to Execution (computing), carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can perform generic sets of operations known as Computer program, programs. These ...

computer
for backup, could double as game consoles. Calculators such as HP-48 and
TI-82 The TI-82 is a graphing calculator A graphing calculator (also graphics calculator or graphic display calculator) is a that is capable of plotting , solving , and performing other tasks with . Most popular graphing calculators are also prog ...

TI-82
could be programmed in proprietary
programming language A programming language is a formal language In logic, mathematics, computer science, and linguistics, a formal language consists of string (computer science), words whose symbol (formal), letters are taken from an alphabet (computer science) ...

programming language
s such as RPL programming language or
TI-BASIC TI-BASIC is the official name of a BASIC BASIC (Beginners' All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) is a family of general-purpose, high-level programming language In computer science Computer science deals with the theoretical founda ...
directly on the calculator; programs could also be written in assembly language or (less often) C (programming language), C on a desktop computer and transferred to the calculator. As calculators became more powerful and memory sizes increased, games increased in complexity. By the 1990s, programmable calculators were able to run implementations by hobbyists of games such as ''Lemmings (video game), Lemmings'' and ''Doom (1993 video game), Doom'' (Lemmings for HP 48 series, HP-48 was released in 1993; Doom for HP-48 was created in 1995). Some games such as Dope Wars caused controversy when Student, students played them in school. The look and feel of these games on an HP-48 class calculator, due to the lack of dedicated audio and video circuitry providing hardware acceleration, can at most be compared to the one offered by 8-bit handheld consoles such as the early Game Boy line, Game Boy or the Gameking (low resolution, monochrome or grayscale graphics), or to the built-in games of non-Java virtual machine, Java or Qualcomm Brew, BREW enabled cell phones. Games continue to be programmed on graphing calculators with increasing complexity. A wave of games appeared after the release of the TI-83 plus, TI-83 Plus/TI-84 Plus series, among TI's first graphing calculators to natively support assembly. TI-BASIC programming also rose in popularity after the release of third-party libraries. Assembly language, Assembly remained the language of choice for these calculators, which run on a Zilog Z80 processor, although some assembly implements have been created to ease the difficulty of learning assembly language. For those running on a Motorola 68000 processor (like the TI-89 series, TI-89), C programming (possible using TIGCC) has begun to displace assembly. Because they are easy to program without outside tools, calculator games have survived despite the proliferation of Handheld device, mobile devices such as
mobile phone A mobile phone, cellular phone, cell phone, cellphone, handphone, or hand phone, sometimes shortened to simply mobile, cell or just phone, is a portable telephone A telephone is a telecommunication Telecommunication is the tra ...

mobile phone
s and
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s.


Industry structure

Total global Total revenue, revenue from mobile games was estimated at $2.6 billion in 2005 by Informa Telecoms & Media, ''Informa Telecoms'' and ''Media''. Total revenue in 2008 was $5.8 billion. The largest mobile gaming markets were in the Asia-Pacific nations
Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an in ...

Japan
and
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere ...

China
, followed by the United States. In 2012, the market had already reached $7.8 billion A new report was released in November 2015 showing that 1887 app developers would make more than one million dollars on the Google and iOS app stores in 2015. Mobile gaming revenue reached $50.4 billion in 2017, occupying 43% of the entire global gaming market and poised for further growth. It is expected to surpass the combined revenues from both PC gaming and console gaming in 2018.


Different platforms

Mobile games have been developed to run on a wide variety of platforms and technologies. These include the (today largely defunct) Palm OS, Symbian, Adobe Flash Lite, NTT DoCoMo's DoJa, Sun Microsystems, Sun's Java (programming language), Java, Qualcomm's Qualcomm Brew, BREW, WIPI, BlackBerry, Nook and early incarnations of Windows Mobile. Today, the most widely supported platforms are
Apple An apple is an edible fruit In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in this fie ...
's iOS (Apple), iOS and Google's
Android Android may refer to: Science and technology * Android (robot), a humanoid robot or synthetic organism designed to imitate a human * Android (operating system), Google's mobile operating system ** Android (operating system)#Mascot, Unnamed Androi ...

Android
. The mobile version of Microsoft's Windows 10 (formerly Windows Phone) is also actively supported, although in terms of market share remains marginal compared to iOS and Android. Java (programming language), Java was at one time the most common platform for mobile games, however its performance limits led to the adoption of various native binary formats for more sophisticated games. Due to its ease of porting between mobile operating systems and extensive developer community, Unity (game engine), Unity is one of the most widely used engines used by modern mobile games. Apple provide a number of proprietary technologies (such as Metal (API), Metal) intended to allow developers to make more effective use of their hardware in iOS-native games.


Monetization

With the introduction of the iOS App Store and support for in-app purchases by October 2009, the methods through which mobile games earn revenue have diverged significantly away from traditional game models on consoles or computers. Since 2009, a number of models have developed, and a mobile game developer/publisher may use one or a combination of these models to make revenue. ;Premium :The premium model is akin to the traditional model where the user pays for the full game upfront. Additional downloadable content may be available which can be purchased separately. Initial games released to the App Store before in-app purchases were available used this approach, and still common for many types of games. ;Freemium :The
freemium Freemium, a portmanteau A portmanteau (, ) or portmanteau word (from "portmanteau (luggage) A portmanteau is a piece of luggage, usually made of leather and opening into two equal parts. Some were large, upright, and hinged at the back and enabl ...
or "free to try" model offers a small portion of the game for free, comparable to a game demo. After completing this, the player is given the option to make a one-time in-app purchase to unlock the rest of the game. Early games shortly after the introduction of the in-app purchase feature used this approach such as ''
Cut the Rope ''Cut the Rope'' is a Russian series of physics-based puzzle video games developed by the Russian entertainment company ZeptoLab ZeptoLab is a Russian video game developer based in Moscow. It is best known for developing the ''Cut the Rope'' se ...
'' and ''Fruit Ninja''. ;Free-to-play :A free-to-play game requires no cost at all to play, and generally is designed to be playable from start to finish without having to spend any money into the game. However, the game will include gameplay mechanics which may slow progress towards completing the game. Commonly in mobile games, this is some form of energy or stamina that limits how many turns or actions a player can take each day. By using in-app purchases, the player can immediately restore their energy or stamina and continue on. In-app purchases can also be used to buy power-ups and other items to give the player a limited-time advantage to help complete the game. While free-to-play games had been common on computers prior to mobile, the method was popularized in mobile gaming with ''
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'' and ''
Puzzle & Dragons is a puzzle video game with Role-playing video game, role-playing and strategy games, strategy elements, developed and published by GungHo Online Entertainment for the iOS, Android (operating system), Android, and Amazon Fire platforms. ''Puzzl ...
''. ;Advertising-supported :A Ad-supported software, ad-supported game will be free to download and play, but periodically or persistently, the game will show an advertisement to the user which they will have to watch through before they can continue with the game. The Developer (software), developer earns revenue from the advertising network. In some cases, an in-app purchase allows the player to fully disable ads in these games. ;Subscription model :A Subscription business model, subscription-based game will offer a base version with limited features that can be played for free, but additional premium features can be obtained if the user pays a monthly subscription fee. If they terminate their subscription, they lose access to those features, though typically not any game progression related to those features, and can pick up those features later by restarting their subscription. Many game apps are free to play through a combination of these models. Over time, mobile developers of these types of apps have observed that the bulk of their players do not spend any funds on their game, but instead revenues are generated from a small fraction, typically under 10% of their total players. Further, most of the revenue is generated by a very small fraction, about 2%, of the total players, who routinely spend large amounts of money on the game. A similar split on revenue had been seen in
social-network game A social network game (sometimes simply referred to as a social media game, social video game or online social game) is a type of online game An online game is a video game that is either partially or primarily played through the Internet or any ...
s played in Internet Browser, browsers. These players are known as "whales", inspired by High roller, same term used for high rolling gamblers. The social nature of a mobile game has also been found to affect its revenue, as games that encourage players to work in teams or clans will lead to increased spending from engaged players.


Common limits of mobile games

Mobile games tend to be small in scope (in relation to mainstream PC and console games) and many prioritise innovative design and ease of play over visual spectacle. Storage and memory limitations (sometimes dictated at the platform level) place constraints on file size that presently rule out the direct migration of many modern PC and console games to mobile. One major problem for developers and publishers of mobile games is describing a game in such detail that it gives the customer enough information to make a purchasing decision.


Location-based mobile games

Games played on a mobile device using localization technology like Global Positioning System, GPS are called
location-based game A location-based game (or location-enabled game) is a type of pervasive game in which the gameplay Gameplay is the specific way in which players interact with a game with separate sliding drawer, from 1390–1353 BC, made of glazed fai ...
s or location-based mobile games. These are not only played on mobile hardware but also integrate the player's position into the game concept. In other words, while it does not matter for a normal mobile game where exactly the player is (play them anywhere at any time), the player's Coordinates, coordinate and movement are the main elements in a location-based mobile game. A well known example is the treasure hunt game ''Geocaching'', which can be played on any mobile device with integrated or external GPS receiver. External GPS receivers are usually connected via
Bluetooth Bluetooth is a short-range wireless Wireless communication (or just wireless, when the context allows) is the telecommunication, transfer of information between two or more points that do not use an electrical conductor as a medium by which ...

Bluetooth
. More and more mobile phones with integrated GPS are expected to come. Several other location-based mobile games, such as ''BotFighters'', are in the stage of research Prototype, prototypes rather than being commercial successes.


Augmented reality games

Augmented reality games, while not limited to mobile devices, are also common on newer mobile platforms where the device includes a reverse-facing camera. While playing the game, the player aims the device's camera at a location and through the device's screen, sees the area captured by the camera plus computer-generated graphics atop it, augmenting the display and then allowing the player to Interaction, interact that way. The graphics are generally drawn as to make the generated image appear to be part of the captured background, and will be rendered appropriate as the player moves the device around. The starting location may be a special marker that is picked up by the camera and recognized by the software to determine what to present, or may be based on the location through GPS. While other augmented reality examples exist, one of the most successful is '' Pokémon Go'' where the player, using the game app, travels to locations marked on their GPS map and then uses the augmented reality mode to find Pokémon to capture.


Multipurpose games

Since mobile devices have become present in the majority of households (at least in the developed countries), there are more and more games created with Educational technology, educational, Lifestyle (sociology), lifestyle and, health improvement purposes. For example, mobile games can be used in speech-language pathology, children's Rehabilitation (penology), rehabilitation in Hospital, hospitals (Finnish startup Rehaboo!), acquiring new useful or healthy habits (Habitica), memorising things and learning languages (Memrise). There are also apps with similar purposes which are not games per se, in this case they are called ''gamified apps''. Sometimes it is difficult to draw a line between multipurpose games and gamified apps.


Multiplayer mobile games

Many mobile games support multiple players, either remotely over a network or locally via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or similar technology. There are several options for playing multiplayer games on mobile phones: live synchronous Tournament, tournaments and Turn based, turn-based asynchrony (game theory), asynchronous tournaments. In live tournaments random players from around the world are matched together to compete. This is done using different networks such as Game Center, Google+, and Facebook. In asynchronous tournaments, there are two methods used by game developers centered around the idea that players matches are recorded and then Broadcasting, broadcast at a later time to other players in the same tournament. Asynchronous gameplay resolves the issue of needing players to have a continuous live connection. This gameplay is different since players take individual turns in the game, therefore allowing players to continue playing against human opponents. This is done using different networks including Facebook. Some companies use a regular turn-based system where the end results are posted so all the players can see who won the tournament. Other companies take Screencast, screen recordings of live players and broadcast them to other players at a later point in time to allow players to feel that they are always interacting with another human opponent.


Distribution

Mobile games can be distributed in one of four ways: * Over the Air (OTA): a game binary file is delivered to the mobile device via wireless carrier networks. * Sideloading, Sideloaded: a game binary file is loaded onto the phone while connected to a PC, either via USB cable or
Bluetooth Bluetooth is a short-range wireless Wireless communication (or just wireless, when the context allows) is the telecommunication, transfer of information between two or more points that do not use an electrical conductor as a medium by which ...

Bluetooth
. * Pre-installed: a game binary file is preloaded onto the device by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM). * Mobile browser download: a game file is downloaded directly from a mobile website. Until the launch of Apple App Store, in the US, the majority of mobile games were sold by wireless carriers, such as AT&T Mobility, Verizon Wireless, Sprint Corporation and T-Mobile US. In
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Europe
, games were distributed equally between carriers and off-deck, third-party stores. After the launch of Apple App Store, the mobile OS platforms like Apple
iOS iOS (formerly iPhone OS) is a mobile operating system A mobile operating system is an operating system An operating system (OS) is system software System software is software designed to provide a platform for other software. Examples o ...

iOS
, Google
Android Android may refer to: Science and technology * Android (robot), a humanoid robot or synthetic organism designed to imitate a human * Android (operating system), Google's mobile operating system ** Android (operating system)#Mascot, Unnamed Androi ...

Android
, and Microsoft Windows Phone, the mobile OS developers themselves have launched digital download storefronts that can be run on the devices using the OS or from software used on PCs. These storefronts (like Apple's iOS
App Store An app store (or app marketplace) is a type of digital distribution Digital distribution (also referred to as content delivery, online distribution, or electronic software distribution (ESD), among others) is the delivery or distribution of di ...

App Store
) act as centralized digital download services from which a variety of entertainment media and software can be downloaded, including games and nowadays majority of games are distributed through them. The popularity of mobile games has increased in the 2000s, as over US$3 billion worth of games were sold in 2007 internationally, and projected annual growth of over 40%. Ownership of a smartphone alone increases the likelihood that a consumer will play mobile games. Over 90% of smartphone users play a mobile game at least once a week. Many mobile games are distributed free to the end user, but carry paid advertising: examples are ''
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'' and ''Doodle Jump''. The latter follows the "freemium" model, in which the base game is free but additional items for the game can be purchased separately.


See also

*iPod game *Handheld electronic game *Handheld game console *Handheld video game *List of highest-grossing mobile games *List of most-played mobile games by player count *List of most-played video games by player count *Mobile software *Mobile gambling *Mobile development * Screen protector *N-Gage (device) *Scalable Network Application Package *Transreality gaming


References

{{Pervasive games Mobile games, Mobile software, Game Video game platforms Video game terminology