Hello there, and welcome to the world of tomorrow. Or, more accurately, to the world of today. It's 2019, we're back, and we thought we'd kick off the year by having a look at what we think are going to be the major changes in mobile gaming over the next 12 months. It's crystal ball-gazing time people.
You see we haven't been idle over the holidays, we've been on top of everything, pushing our brains to think about what mobile gaming might look like when 2020 rolls around. Obviously these are more than just guesses - our picks are all based on our deep understanding of the mobile gaming market. And maybe just a little bit of wishful thinking - but hey, it's the start of the year, and if you can't be wishful now, when can you be?
If you've got your own predictions for the year ahead, we'd love to hear them - so make sure you stick them in the comments sections at the bottom of the article. Oh, and click here to check out all of the other awesome lists we've been working on.
More AAA franchises
This one is pretty much set it stone - major developers and publishers are taking the mobile market more seriously. We've got Diablo coming, and Blizzard is working on other IP as well; we've got Mario Kart, and whatever else Nintendo is working on right now; and we've already seen PUBG and Fortnite smashing their way up the App Store charts.
2019 could well be the year when mobile gaming ceases to be viewed as a bit of a joke by the mainstream, spreads its wings, and shows just what it's capable of when the budget and talent behind an experience are just right.
Clash Royale clones were all the rage for a couple of years, but we've seen their arrival on the App Store slowed down to almost nothing over the last few months. Most of that is down to the fact that none of them really stuck - there were games good enough to take Clash's crown, but they didn't have Supercell's marketing oomph.
You're more likely to find new battle royale games hitting the App Store nowadays, as the slightly more unscrupulous devs try and cash in on the success of the genre. The MOBAs that have an audience are going to stick around, but don't expect to see many more making their way onto touchscreen.
Midcore moves to other genres
The midcore revolution has been something of a silent one, but it's going to continue at an even more furious pace in 2019. We've seen midcore shooters, puzzlers, action-adventures, and more, and that's not something that's going to be slowing down over the next 12 months.
You could sometimes suggest that the mobile world isn't the most creative when it comes to new ideas - being an iterative rather than a paradigm-shifting space - but sometimes those little changes result in something really special, and we're excited to see what comes next.
This one's a bit of a shot in the dark, but bear with us because we think the reasoning is pretty darn sound. Remember Google Cardboard, the DIY VR headset? Well we reckon you're going to be slotting your phone into something similar over the next few months - but instead of VR, we'll be getting AR for the masses.
Think about it - slip on a cheap headset and your phone and you can go out and play Pokemon GO in the real world. Find a room and some friends and you can have a real-life shootout without any deaths or clearing up. The possibilities are enormous, and we'd love to see someone taking advantage of them.
If only one of our wishes comes true, then we hope it's this one. 2019 has the potential to be one of the best years for mobile gaming in living memory - it feels like we're at that point in a games machine's lifestyle where devs really understand how to get the most out of the hardware they're working with.
That should mean we're going to start seeing the very best games - The Last of Us came out towards the end of the PS3's life, for example. Hopefully 2019 is going to be a watershed year for mobile gaming, and we're so excited to see how that pans out.