Typically in recent years, for all that mobile changes, the more things stay the same.
Generally speaking it’s full of the same top grossers year-on-year, though there are some breakthroughs like Pokemon GO and Clash Royale - but notably Supercell is already a top grossing developer.
In Eastern markets like South Korea and China, new games like Lineage 2: Revolution, Lineage M and Honor of Kings have been storming the top grossing charts and shattering records - but still there are many shoe-ins for the top charts.
Despite a relative lack of movement at the top end, the mobile market continues to grow at apace. During his opening keynote, Rovio’s Wilhelm Taht cited App Annie forecasts that mobile game end user revenues could grow to $105 billion by 2021.
He put this down to the 2.6 billion smartphones in the hands of consumers, the free-to-play model, improving live operations expertise, and that players are spending more as mobile gaming becomes a culturally accepted form of entertainment.
The fact that Rovio, after a slow start in free-to-play, has reported record quarters as it gears up for its IPO shows in itself the potential for developers to generate higher revenues in the market.
During a talk entitled ‘Mobile Gaming’s Next Wave’ Facebook’s SMB Partner Manager for Global Gaming, Morgan Monnet, said new technology such as 5G will help drive the market forward too.
Discoverability remains an issue, though platform holders and tech companies are trying to alleviate issues for developers.
For its part Apple has revamped the App Store in iOS 11 for a much more curated approach, but whether this will help the thousands of developers releasing games remains to be seen.
Monnet said that outside the app stores, new platforms such as chat apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are becoming the top discovery points for many games, which could offer a new avenue for developers to take advantage of, particularly as they grow as games platforms in their own right.
Tech company Megacool meanwhile was at PGC to show off its new GIF sharing platform, recorded gameplay videos that can be shared across social networks and these chat apps.
And of course, as previously mentioned, influencers are playing an ever-bigger role in mobile marketing which could aid discovery.
There may not be many movers in terms of grossing positions at the top of key global markets, but the market is still seeing a couple mega blockbuster hits. And it seems there’s a rising tide that all developers could benefit from.