A Comprehensive Guide on Game Development: From History to Modern Game Development Practices

by ameliaava19

From addictive puzzle games like Tetris to real-time strategy games like Call of Duty and PUBG mobile, the mobile gaming industry has come a long way!

Mobile companies have been progressively building overpowered smartphones for the last decade. As a result, the mobile gaming community has grown larger than both console and PC gaming communities combined.

This article will go over a brief history of mobile gaming and how it became a $100+ billion market. Moreover, it will cover mobile game development practices and the hottest gaming industry trends this year.

Let’s get started!

Mobile Gaming: A Brief History

Most people don’t know the name of the first-ever mobile game. And if you’re thinking of that Snake game, you are wrong too.

The first mobile game, Tetris, was launched in 1994 on MT-2000 phones. Three years later, Nokia capitalized on the opportunity and introduced Snake in the realm of mobile gaming. Snake became an instant hit and laid the foundations of this billion-dollar industry.

Snake introduced the hyper-causal genre in the mobile gaming industry. The smooth gameplay and intuitive design captivated thousands of people and became popular among both children and adults. Almost three decades have passed, but millions are still playing both Snake and Tetris.

Games like Space Invaders followed the legacy of their predecessors and kept people enthralled for years. However, the mobile gaming industry took a big turn after the successful launch of iPhones! Poker games became popular among adults, and people started taking mobile gaming seriously.

2012 was the year a new era of mobile gaming was born. Games like Clash of Clans and Candy Crush entered and completely transformed the mobile gaming industry. Game app development companies started making huge profits, and the competition increased. People started spending money on luxurious items like special characters, skins, and several other in-app purchases.

The technology evolved, and so did the mobile gaming industry. AR games like Pokemon Go came into action and captured a significant market share. However, battle royale and strategy games have kept the audience entertained for the last couple of years.

Seeing the unprecedented rise of the mobile gaming industry, console gaming companies started paying attention to it. Today, mobile games like PUBG and COD are among the most played games with millions of active players. And it is not surprising that these games have been around for years in the console gaming industry.

Simply put, the mobile gaming industry is at its prime. Gaming franchises, sponsors, developers, and now even players are making substantial money from mobile games.

Modern-Day Mobile Game Development Practices

As the mobile gaming market grew unprecedently, the competition became ferocious. Thousands of mobile games make their way to their respective stores. However, most of them fail even to break even.

Most indie game developers and even game development companies invest heavily in game development but fail miserably. Conversely, gaming franchises like Supercell, Tencent, etc., follow a particular set of predefined steps and strategies to ensure the success of their mobile games.

Here’s a complete breakdown of game development practices of successful gaming franchises:

An Out-of-the-Box Idea

Every successful game starts with a fascinating idea. Game development companies like Supercell focus a lot on the idea. They don’t start building the game if they feel their idea isn’t something out-of-the-box and extraordinary.

If you are truly passionate about making a name in the mobile gaming industry, come up with something exceptional. And it doesn’t have to be totally unique! You can take inspiration from other popular games too. But don’t invest in it unless you feel it has the potential to become the next big thing in the market.

A Captivating Story

Successful games revolve around intriguing stories. Following the story, a gaming franchise can add new characters to the arc and even build new games around it.

If you think your gaming idea is spectacular, try to connect it with a story and forge an emotional connection. This way, you will be able to keep players intrigued for long.

Strategy & Planning

The third crucial phase is to devise a game development strategy and create a roadmap for the game. In this phase, game development companies set up their budgets and finalize their technology stacks and game development platforms. Moreover, they create a marketing plan and a strong monetization strategy for the game.

Most games fail due to a lack of marketing plan or improper monetization strategy. Make sure you do your research if you want your game to be in the market for long.

MVP Testing

Building a mobile game is much more expensive than getting web development services or even mobile app development services. Therefore it’s crucial to build a minimum viable product first and test the water before spending all your budget on the final product.

MVP testing is a standard procedure among mobile gaming giants like Supercell and Tencent. Since their games require substantial investments, they prefer cross-checking everything before starting the design and development of their mobile game.


Once your MVP is tested successfully, the last step is to initiate the development process. The game development includes everything from designing the user interface and game screens to setting up backend functionalities and character features.

The development part can take between 4 – 12 months and sometimes even more. It’s directly proportional to the number of characters and functionalities involved in the game. Once the final product is tested for bugs and errors, it’s ready for deployment.

Final Verdict

Thousands of mobile games get deployed on game stores every month, but hardly 3 -5 games manage to top the ranking chart. Make sure you follow this guide if you have a fantastic game idea and a passion for converting it into a successful mobile game.

The key is to plan the monetization before starting the development process. Figure how your game will reap benefits and implement the strategy to ensure your game stays longer in the market.


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