2015 over, and so is the mobile games market.
Just kidding. Mobile games are stronger than ever.
Granted, some interesting trends came out of last year - like paid apps gradually finding themselves unable to compete with free-to-play games - but we can expect 2016 to begin the way 2015 ended: With tons of mobile games to choose from on the App Store and Google Play.
2016 will also usher in Nintendo's first stab at mobile game development (outside of some Pokémon apps that are more the work of the affiliated but still somewhat independent Pokémon Company).
Its first "game" is actually more of a social app called Miitomo. It should be out in March. Beyond that, Nintendo's plans for mobile aren't very clear, except that it plans to release at least four more apps by year's end.
I'm very curious to see what else Nintendo has in store for 2016's mobile market. I know, it's highly unlikely we'll see a fully-fledged Super Mario or Legend of Zeldaon our phones (a fact Nintendo's investors can't wrap their heads around), but I believe we'll see apps and games that compliment similar experiences on the Wii U - and Nintendo's mysterious NX system, which we'll also learn more about in the upcoming year.
After all, Nintendo's in a very unique position as a game-maker. Microsoft and Sony have other industries to lean back on - including phones and tablets! - whereas everything Nintendo makes is strictly centered around its software and hardware.
The company's properties are still beloved by kids, but there's a heck of a lot of competition now from free / cheap games likeAngry Birds and Minecraft. Nintendo has to stay relevant.
So, again, while I don't expect to see a full Super Mario game on phones and tablets, I do believe we'll see Mario there in some capacity. Maybe as part of a match-three game that exists to pitch something meatier on the Wii U and / or NX.
Or, maybe just to remind kids that no matter how many mobile mascots surround them, Mario's #1! Woo-hoo!
Here's to a cool 2016.