High fidelity games had, quite literally, changed the game for the entertainment industry ages ago. But what used to be exclusive to game consoles and desktop PCs are now the norm for mobile devices.
Gone are the days when players solely relied on the latest console technology to fulfill their immersive gaming needs. Today, they can access video games with high frame rates and resolutions on the most accessible device — their phones.
In fact, there are over 155 million mobile gamers in the US alone, Statista reports. If you think that’s impressive, Asia’s stats will blow your mind.
Statista says “Asia accounted for 1.29 billion mobile gaming users.” This number represents only more than 48% of the total mobile gaming audience in the world.
Clearly, the mobile gaming market is pretty big and will continue to expand in the coming years. It comes as no surprise that major game companies are targeting mobile for high fidelity gaming, which is expected to be one of the most crucial trends in the video game industry in 2022.
So in this article, we’re going to define high fidelity mobile games, taking a closer look at the trend set to grow rapidly this year.
What are High Fidelity Mobile Games?
High fidelity games are for gaming consoles, and 8-bit games are for mobile devices. This notion might have been true nearly two decades ago, but it certainly isn’t today. Today, high fidelity games aren’t synonymous to games for big, bulky devices.
The potential for high fidelity gaming on mobile could even be greater in the future because of mobile gaming’s growing prevalence. So what does a high fidelity mobile game look like? How do we spot them among the billions of mobile games flooding app stores?
Elements of High Fidelity Mobile Games
Market insights platform Newzoo says high fidelity mobile games or HFMGs must contain:
- Advanced 3D graphics
- Sophisticated gameplay
- AI-enabled characters
- A sustained and high level of GPU demand
They’re essentially high fidelity games tailored to mobile devices. While the top-tier HFMGs of today are still rather different from the ones played on PCs and consoles, they’ve come a long way since their beginnings.
A Brief History of HFMGs
In a 2018 panel discussion on mobile gaming by PocketGamerbiz, the panelists briefly discussed the origin of HFMGs, attributing their rise to multiplayer online battle arena games or MOBAs.
In a 2014 article, editor Mike Minotti Venturebeat says the original blueprint for the MOBAs we have today is Aeon of Strife, which was a fan-made map or mod for Blizzard Entertainment’s Starcraft (1998).
However, what really set the stage for the genre was a mod of another one of Blizzard’s real-time strategy games, Warcraft III (2002). The mod in question? Defense of the Ancients or DotA. In this mod, players combat one another in the battlefield, Minotti reports.
Then, from a predominantly PC-oriented genre, MOBAs would later transition to mobile in a couple of years. One of the pioneers of this trend was reportedly Vainglory (2014), a report in Pocket Gamer says.
Because of their great accessibility, smartphones and mobile devices became acceptable platforms for high fidelity gaming. This trend spread like wildfire in eastern countries and then later caught on in the west, Vincent Gao of Tencent said during the panel discussion.
So how are HFMGs doing today? What’s making this trend possible? And how do current mobile technologies fare in the demands of high-fidelity graphics?
The Mobile Trend of High Fidelity Games
In April 2018, the popularity of the HFMG Fortnite by Epic Games rose to the point where its earnings were a match for Tinder and Netflix. Presently, the numbers for mobile gaming continue to soar much higher.
To understand the state of HFMGs today, we need to look at the technologies supporting and advancing them. Of course, there are many in place, but these are the primary advancements that shape the field of high-resolution, high fidelity mobile gaming:
- Artificial intelligence
- 5G technology
- Advanced processors and GPU
Research and insights website Arm Blueprint says AI will influence high fidelity mobile gaming by enhancing non-player character interactions, enabling user-developed adventures, and creating an overall immersive and personal gaming experience.
5G is the fifth-generation wireless network that will aid in powering HFMGs, taking players to a whole new level of seamless gaming experiences. According to an article in the tech website CNET, the key characteristics of 5G are high bandwidth (greater transfer data), low latency (quicker response times), and dense connections (wider device reach). This, along with advanced processors and quality GPUs, will process and display AAA mobile games with high frame rates easily.
Examples of HFMGs or High Resolution Mobile Games
With all this being said, you’re probably curious about what HFMGs actually look like. Let’s take a look at some of the best examples of this trend.
- PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) Mobile: PUBG Mobile is a battle royale game published by Tencent Games. With over 1.2 million reviews, it scores 4.5 out of 5 stars on Google Play as of this writing. PUBG Mobile was built using the Unreal engine for games, so expect high-quality graphics.
- Genshin Impact: Published miHoYo, Genshin Impact is an open world role-playing game with elements of action and magic. It scores 4.4 out of 5 stars on Google Play with 3.2 million reviews as of this writing. Genshin Impact was developed on the game engine Unity.
- Call of Duty Mobile Season 2: This classic shooter game was published by Activision. Out of the 14.8 million reviews, Call of Duty Mobile garnered a score of 4.3 out of 5 stars on Google Play as of this writing. Its stunning graphics and gameplay are a result of Unity development.
- Brawl Stars: Like PUBG, Brawl Stars is a battle royale game. It features stylized or cartoonish characters combatting in different game modes. Out of 21.6 million reviews, it scores 4.3 out of 5 stars on Google Play as of this writing.
- Alien Isolation: Among the games mentioned here, Alien Isolation is the only one with a price tag. It’s an atmospheric survival game with near-cinematic graphics and animation. It averages 4.3 out of 5 stars in the 1,560 reviews it received on Google Play as of this writing.
High fidelity mobile games (HFMGs) are mobile games generally with advanced 3D graphics, AI technology, and high GPU demand. They reportedly stem from MOBAs like DotA and Aeon of Strife, mods of two of Blizzard Entertainment’s games.
Today, HFMGs continue to grow because of technologies such as 5G, advanced smartphones, and AI. Strong examples of HFMGs are PUBG Mobile, Genshin Impact, Call of Duty Mobile, Brawl Stars, and Alien Isolation.
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