Copycats FTW in Online Gaming

Let’s face it: media creators are running out of ideas. How many times can Nintendo revamp the same franchises? (We’re looking at you, Mario.) The movie industry is undoubtedly the most egregious offender. There are literally more than 100 reboots and remakes slated for upcoming release. That list doesn’t include 2017’s Baywatch, The Mummy, and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. All three of those reboots were released to largely negative reviews.

Movie studios plainly rely on the success and familiarity of previous franchises to bolster ticket sales. That strategy has not worked very well, as the movie theater industry has continued to experience significant losses. The sharp decline is due to several additional factors, including the prevalence of streaming and piracy. While the movie industry struggles to stay afloat with reboots and sequels, another industry is thriving: gaming.

Playing on the Go

Last year, the video gaming industry was worth $91 billion. That number is expected to increase in 2017, as mobile and free-to-play markets expand. Interestingly, game console sales have decreased over the past decade. But, unlike in the movie industry, the outlook here isn’t so bleak. That’s because mobile gaming is on a strong uptrend. Mobile gaming revenue increased 18% last year, breaking several records. This trend is especially strong in the US, where there are more mobile gamers than viewers of streaming video (e.g. Netflix, Hulu, YouTube).

The Cost

Mobile games generate revenue in several ways. In-game advertisements are a staple of free mobile games. These may appear as banners at the top or bottom of the screen during gameplay. On the contrary, full-screen ads often appear in between round of play. It’s hard to complain about advertisements in completely free games. After all, advertisers make free gaming possible. Recently, in-game mobile ads have become more interactive. Some make use of phone/tablet accelerometers, giving players a brief glimpse into the VR realm. Other mobile ads contain mini-games, which might be a sample of the game being advertised.

Entertaining, relevant ads are part of the mobile gaming industry’s booming success. It’s a self-sustaining method, as ads for games convince players to download additional titles. The newly downloaded games contain ads and/or in-game purchases that further fuel the gaming economy. Console games lack this win-win method, and that’s part of why they’re losing.

Winning Sequels

Millions of players spend countless hours at online gaming portals such as Poki. The market is mature, and most of the biggest games aren’t fully original. For example, .io games have dominated the free multiplayer space in the past couple of years. And every game other than the original,, is a spinoff.

The game Run 3 is one of the most-played games of 2017, and it is (obviously) the third in a series of single-player endless runners. Cut the Rope: Experiments is one of the first sequels in the award-winning Cut the Rope series. Experiments isn’t a new game, but it’s still one of the most popular. Little Alchemy 2 is one of the latest sequels to become a major hit. Its concept is many years old, but it’s entertainment value is as fresh as ever.

While sequels and reboots fail to revive the movie industry, they are performing exceptionally well in the gaming world. A multitude of factors are driving the gaming industry forward, and completely new IP isn’t one of them. Spinoffs are stronger than ever, and gamers across the globe are loving them.


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