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With the December madness (traction, iterations and huge amount of data pouring in) settling down a bit, it is a great time to look back and think about the gaming trends for 2013.

Mobile has taken the gaming industry by storm and consoles are having a hard time being sold with mobile devices getting better each day. Time spent on mobile devices playing games exceeds time spent in other applications and internet browsing. According to Flurry, smartphone users play games 39% of their time on device then tablet users play 67% of their time. Mobile has lead to rise of a new breed of games- casual gamers. These “casual gamers” will continue to grow the market size for gaming industry for a few years to come at an unprecedented rate. Users are shifting from costly consoles to mobile devices where games are offered for free or less than 1$.

Social has been the game changer gaming industry was looking for. People who never played anything beyond a few games in arcade suddenly receive invites from their real life friends and start playing again. Thanks to social graph data from Facebook and twitter, game developers can easily find all the socially connected people on the networks and invite them to play their games. Social connectivity is definitely going to be even bigger in 2013. More and more games will have this socially connected services and ways to make social multiplayer gaming possible.

Monetization is the holy grail of game developers as the traditional model of selling a game for upfront money is declining. Free-to-play or very cheap ($1-$5 a pop) games are a norm and are not going anywhere. Developers are relying on in-app purchases to monetize rather than selling the games upfront.

Ever reducing popularity-lifetime of games is a trend that is going to continue. This is a good news for indie developers and a bad one for gaming giants like EA, Zynga, Rovio etc. This is leading to what we can call is democratizing the gaming industry. Indie game developers have a better chance than ever to make it big if their games are really great and stand out.

These trends are changing the way games were distributed and marketed. Today digital distribution and socially connected games mean that viral social sharing is the best way to market games rather than putting millions of dollars in a marketing campaign.

So, what are your takeaways if you are a gaming studio or an indie game developer? Focus on making your games addictive, socially connected and with viral marketing tools built in and innovative monetization while keeping the user experience amazing.

You too can monetize from casual and social games targeting the new breed of gamers i.e. Casual gamers. Click Labs provides you best-in-class Mobile Game Development Services that comprise of addictive game design and development leading to user acquisition. We also help you viral market your game app. Speak to us to know more.

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