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This guest post was written by Cathy Richmond, who specialises in tech themed content.

The mobile gaming industry has experienced a significant boost over recent years, with the advancement in smartphone and tablet technology and the increasing sophistication of app titles. With such a vast rise in popularity, the mobile platform is changing the way gamers interact with titles, and putting other more traditional game devices under threat.

A recent report by App Annie and IDC reported that game revenue by iOS and Google Play content was four times higher than that generated from gaming-optimised handhelds. Google Play content outsold that of handheld consoles alone this quarter, with mobile and digital content accounting for 36% of the 11.3 billion euros spent on games across Europe last year. Piers Harding-Rolls, the Head of

Games at HIS Screen Digest expects the platform to grow further, increasing to 44% this year.

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The PC gaming market is also being affected. According to market researcher NPD, tablet devices are set to outsell laptops at a rate of six to one by 2017. However, it is not all doom and gloom for the PC market. Due to companies such as MoneyGaming remaining competitive on both the online and mobile platform and the release of highly acclaimed PC titles, the PC gaming industry generated $20 billion last year.

DFC Intelligence analyst, David Cole stated: “DFC was surprised the industry still showed growth in 2012 with the decline of large subscription MMOs (Massively Multiplayer Online), heavy attention being paid to the impact of mobile games, and the struggle of many social network games. However, 2012 saw significantly increased distribution of successful titles that positively impacted the market, including Diablo III, Guild Wars 2, Minecraft and the Mists [of Pandaria] expansion to World of Warcraft.”

Although other sectors of the gaming industry may be doing well, the free-to-play structure of the mobile gaming market is proving highly beneficial to both consumers and developers alike. Customers are able to play on titles for free before making any purchases, whilst companies are able to test their product with

real gamers without the need for large costs. Developers are therefore able to research market demand before spending millions in funding games up front, giving rise to a huge boost in game app developers.

“We like this new model,” stated Frank Gibeau of EA at Gamescom in Germany this year. “It’s a lot more like a life operation that you continuously build. It’s a lot more like a service.”

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