The 21st century is in full swing. Almost every self-respecting gamer has a gaming PC at home, and a pocket or bag carries a modern smartphone stuffed with mobile games. Maybe there’s a PS4 next to the TV, or even a PS5, if luck and initiative work together to overcome global scarcity.
As you’ve already understood, the hot topic of our today’s conversation is the confrontation between mobile vs PC games. So let’s dive in.
Mobile vs PC. Which Is the Better Platform for Gamers?
At first glance, it would seem, why try to compare the incomparable? PC and mobile games require a completely different approach, from controls and graphics to optimization and UX/UI. But it’s no secret that mobile games have been leading the gaming market for a long time and are seriously competing with both PCs and consoles, which cannot catch up with them, even if they combine their shares. The distribution of PC, console, and mobile market is as follows.
Let’s objectively evaluate PC and mobile games from the point of view of the average gamer.
|About PC games||About mobile games|
|A stronghold of reliability and the most comfortable secluded area where you can play the latest games (if the hardware allows).||Your smartphone is always with you – you can play in transport, during a lunch break, or while waiting for an order in a cafe.|
|A platform that allows you to improve your gaming experience with fancy devices.||Modern games are perfectly optimized and adapt to any device, so playing them is a pleasure.|
|Huge monitors, surround sound, and convenient controls remove all barriers between the virtual and real worlds.||Mobile devices and their RAM have become much more powerful – gaming smartphones are commonplace.|
|Improved graphics every year. It shows wonders of realism – lighting and weather effects, particle effects, ray tracing, reflections, and so on.||Famous games like Call of Duty recognized the incredible power of the mobile market long ago and brought their hit to mobile devices.|
|The presence of multiplayer, which only warmed the general fan more – the ability to play with real people, communicate, and work in teams immerses people in the game world with their heads.||You will find your favorite games, multiplayer, and everything your heart desires on your smartphone. The controls, of course, are significantly inferior to the PC, but you have to pay for portability.|
Be that as it may, mobile games cannot completely replace PC games.
The mobile processor and screen are powerless to showcase the latest graphics and 4K resolution in AAA games. Playing Metro: Exodus or The Witcher on a smartphone is out of the question – none of the existing ones at the moment have enough power for this. Therefore, the very concept of PC versus mobile gaming is inappropriate. Each of these areas has its own niche, accessible only to one of them.
Developers have long documented the promise of a cross-platform approach. This allows you to cover a large part of the audience of players. A prime example is Fortnite, available for mobile, PC, and consoles. This is not only a multiplayer game, but also a full-fledged universe constantly updated with new events and skins.
We also had a hand in increasing the popularity of Fortnite – you can learn more about it in our case study, or just enjoy a few skins concepts we created.
More often than not, developing a mobile game is cheaper than developing an entertainment product for a PC. But in the light of modern realities, this statement is rather ambiguous.
The cost of games for both PC and mobile devices always depends on many factors. The scale of the idea, the size of the team, and the technologies used are just some of the aspects that will shape the price.
For example, the famous hyper casual game Angry Birds cost Rovio $140,000 to develop, although it would seem that games of this direction should have a much smaller budget. At the same time, the indie PC game Night in the Woods, conceived by two people, raised $200,000 on the crowdfunding platform, although the guys were asking for only $50,000. Crowdfunding makes game creation more accessible even for a single developer and greatly equalizes mobile vs PC development options.
✔ Mobile Game Development Cost: Factors Influencing Price and Clear Estimates
The huge range of possible prices for mobile gaming vs PC gaming development often confuses and makes budgeting difficult. And while your competitors are groping, you can get a full calculation of your game and find out the purpose of every dollar spent. Tell us about your project and we will give you clear budget guidelines, detailing each expense item.
Just a Minute for Statistics
Let’s back up our reasoning with mobile gaming vs PC gaming statistics. Newzoo claims there are now 2.67 billion mobile gamers worldwide. And DFC Intelligence adds that the number of PC gamers is approximately 1 billion.
Now let’s move on to mobile games vs PC games revenue. In 2022, revenue from the global PC games market was estimated at nearly $40 billion, while the mobile games market generated a revenue of over $92 billion. If we consider the full picture of mobile vs PC vs console statistics, then we must also mention that the consoles segment came in second with $51 billion. What is important now is that the first generation of gamers has already grown up and has significant purchasing power.
The gaming market is projected to reach $211 billion by 2025. Already, mobile games bring in more than 60% of the income of the global video game market.
The size of the global mobile games market was estimated is expected to reach $214.61 billion by 2028 at a CAGR of over 11.88%.
Best Games 2022: Which Platform Give a Taste of Its Quality
Every year, everyone in the gaming industry looks forward to The Game Awards, an awards ceremony that celebrates achievements in the video game industry. The last one took place on December 2, 2022, and highlighted the most notable games of the past year.
Elden Ring by the Japanese company FromSoftware became the Best Game of the Year. This action role-playing game has also garnered several awards in other nominations: Best Game Direction, Best Art Direction, and Best Role Playing.
For convenience, the rest of the winners are given in the form of a table.
|Game of the Year||Elden Ring||PS4, PS5, Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S||FromSoftware|
|Best Game Direction||Elden Ring||PS4, PS5, Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S||FromSoftware|
|Best Narrative||God of War Ragnarök||PS4, PS5||Santa Monica Studio|
|Best Art Direction||Elden Ring||PS4, PS5, Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S||FromSoftware|
|Best Score and Music||God of War Ragnarök||PS4, PS5||Santa Monica Studio|
|Best Audio Design||God of War Ragnarök||PS4, PS5||Santa Monica Studio|
|Best Performance||Christopher Judge as Kratos – God of War Ragnarök||PS4, PS5||Santa Monica Studio|
|Games for Impact||As Dusk Falls||Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S||Interior Night|
|Best Ongoing Game||Final Fantasy XIV||PS4, PS5, Windows, OS X||Square Enix|
|Best Independent Game||Stray||PS4, PS5, Windows||BlueTwelve Studio|
|Best Mobile Game||Marvel Snap||Android, iOS||Second Dinner|
|Best Community Support||Final Fantasy XIV||PS4, PS5, Windows, OS X||Square Enix|
|Best VR/AR Game||Moss: Book II||PS4, PS5, Windows, Meta Quest 2||Polyarc|
|Innovation in Accessibility||God of War Ragnarök||PS4, PS5||Santa Monica Studio|
|Best Action Game||Bayonetta 3||Nintendo Switch||PlatinumGames|
|Best Action/Adventure Game||God of War Ragnarök||PS4, PS5||Santa Monica Studio|
|Best Role Playing Game||Elden Ring||PS4, PS5, Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S||FromSoftware|
|Best Fighting Game||MultiVersus||PS4, PS5, Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S||Player First Games|
|Best Family Game||Kirby and the Forgotten Land||Nintendo Switch||HAL Laboratory|
|Best Sports/Racing Game||Gran Turismo 7||PS4, PS5||Polyphony Digital|
|Best Sim/Strategy Game||Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope||Nintendo Switch||Ubisoft Milan, Ubisoft Paris|
|Best Multiplayer Game||Splatoon 3||Nintendo Switch||Nintendo|
|Best Debut Indie Game||Stray||PS4, PS5, Windows||BlueTwelve Studio|
|Most Anticipated Game||The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom||Nintendo Switch||Nintendo|
|Best Adaptation||Arcane: League of Legends||Windows, macOS||Riot Games|
|Players’ Voice||Genshin Impact||Android, iOS, PS4, PS5, Windows, Nintendo Switch||miHoYo|
|Best Esports Game||Valorant||Windows||Riot Games|
Did you know? The Best Game of the Year Elden Ring was twice the most anticipated game in 2020 and 2021 before taking its honorable first place in 2022.
It is important to note that the number of games released each year for PC and consoles is about the same. And despite the fact that the console market often generates exclusives that are not available on other platforms, we remember that the console segment’s revenue is second only to mobile and significantly exceeds PC revenue.
Therefore, when talking about the gaming triumvirate mobile vs console vs PC in terms of return on development resources, it is safe to say that with the right skills and deep knowledge of the industry, you can succeed in any of the areas.
No less interesting is the ranking of the best games of 2022 from the largest review website Metacritic. It was compiled based on the best average scores. And here we have the following picture.
|Elden Ring||PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X and Series S, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows||FromSoftware||96|
|Persona 5 Royal||Nintendo Switch, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X and Series S, Xbox Cloud Gaming, Microsoft Windows||Atlus||95|
|God of War: Ragnarok||PS5, PS4||Santa Monica Studio||94|
|The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Complete Edition||Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows||CD Projekt||94|
|Dwarf Fortress||macOS, Linux, Microsoft Windows, Mac operating systems, Classic Mac OS||Bay 12 Games||93|
As we can see, mobile games do not compete on a par with desktop ones – they are too different from a technical and visual point of view. Mobile games have their ratings based on information from Google Play and the App Store.
The Best Mobile Game of 2022 is Marvel Snap, a free-to-play card battle game from the Californian indie company Second Dinner, released in October 2022.
However, the Players’ Choice fell on another game – this is the almost legendary Genshin Impact. Genshin Impact has been hailed as the most successful international launch in the history of the Chinese gaming industry. Here are some facts:
- The Genshin Impact stream on Twitch was watched by 110 thousand people a few hours after the launch. According to this indicator, the game has overtaken Fortnite.
- Genshin Impact earned over $3.7 billion in revenue in its first year.
- The largest gaming magazine Game Informer rated Genshin Impact 9.25 out of 10 points.
- The game had over 20 million pre-registrations worldwide.
- In 2022, around 50 million players played Genshin Impact every month.
- According to data provided by Active Player, Genshin Impact has approximately 63,265,014 active players, with an all-time peak of approximately 8,500,000 concurrent players.
This is further confirmation that the most advanced developers, aware of the huge prospects of the mobile market and striving to reach the maximum audience, are going cross-platform.
Expectations From the Gaming Industry
As part of the conversation about mobile and PC gaming, we can highlight several key expectations that have already largely been translated into reality:
- Cross-platform development of modern games: Fortnite, Dauntless, Bleeding Edge, etc.
- Mobile porting of old desktop games: Heroes of Might and Magic III, Tomb Raider, Dragon’s Lair, etc.
- Creation of mobile versions of famous titles: Need for Speed: No Limits, BioShock 2D, Lineage 2 Revolution, etc.
Mobile devices are expected to increase in performance and power, which will allow them to support even more advanced games. However, even with the progressive cross-platform trend, PC and mobile niches will remain largely separate, with their audience and specificity. They have their aces up their sleeves, and the game parties do not overlap. So there will be no winner in the mobile vs PC confrontation. There is simply no point in fighting.
As for the details about future changes and innovations in the industry, we have everything covered. You can see more technological, social, format, and genre trends common to all gaming directions in our game design special research.
All about game design trends that will be popular in 2023 and the main factors determining the further development of the gaming industryLearn more
Mobile gaming is a very promising area that is often used by resourceful developers to enter the market. Creating a mobile game often requires far less resources and time than developing a PC version. But at the same time, we must remember that there are many enterprising people. The mobile market is incredibly competitive, and the audience of players has long been fed up with monotonous mediocre products.
PC games require a more advanced approach. Even though indie games do not slow down and even one person can make their game, only a few achieve outstanding results. Therefore, the creation of high-budget games, to a certain extent, is even more justified in terms of the likelihood of making a profit.
Outsourcing has become the most popular way to create mobile and PC gaming products. With its help, both individual developers and large companies can delegate many tasks to professional teams and thereby significantly save time and resources. Artists, modelers, and programmers at Kevuru Games are ready to take on the full cycle development of a mobile or PC game, as well as individual art or animation tasks. At the same time, you do not have to worry about quality and deadlines – over 11 years of operation, the company has ideally adjusted all work processes and developed a perfect cooperation scheme that always adapts to each client.