Predicting which mobile games will hit it big is a rather difficult prospect. Who would have guessed, after all, that an out-of-nowhere game like Clash Of Clans would be the one to take the world by storm? Or that of all the online games adapted to mobile, Plants vs. Zombies would become a household name? We just never know with certainty what to expect. But a difficult prospect is not an impossible one, so there’s no harm in taking a stab at predicting some future hits…
1. Mario Kart Tour
We’ve seen Mario try his hand in the mobile market twice now, with mixed results. Super Mario Run committed the cardinal sin of not being free-to-play, immediately cutting its potential install base, and as a result, achieved only middling success. Dr. Mario World, on the other hand, took the free-to-play route – but suffered from a surprising lack of advertising (and the Dr. Mario series not being as strong a brand within the Mario universe).
Though perfectly enjoyable, both games missed out in one way or another. But we think the titles that will ultimately nail it will be Mario Kart Tour. The Mario Kart franchise is an incredibly beloved one, always among the best-selling on Nintendo’s consoles, and as a free-to-play mobile title, it would be a virtually certain hit. Let’s just hope Nintendo makes it happen.
2. Poker Stars
Gambling and casino games are reentering the limelight in a big way lately, thanks partly to improved gaming based on better tech, and partly on changing (which is to say increasingly lenient) gambling laws. And with these games now entering the giant U.S. market (through New Jersey for now, but with more states lining up to join in), there’s no reason to expect anything but an app boom. This will likely involve a lot of different games over time, but Poker Stars is a long-established company, and one of the top sites operating in New Jersey already. In-app form, with a U.S. player base, Poker Stars would be a very likely hit, and could in fact become the go-to option for those who enjoy mobile casino games.
3. Minecraft Earth
This is an announced, upcoming mobile AR game, and honestly, the biggest surprise would be if it didn’t become a huge hit. Minecraft is one of the most successful video games of all time, and combining its low-res digging and construction DNA with the real-world immersion of Pokémon Go could be as close to capturing lightning in a bottle as you can get. The ability to build structures all around the world with virtual, AR elements is an absolutely fascinating idea in and of itself, and more than justifies the idea of this game. Throw in the ability to collect resources and virtual creatures from Minecraft’s bestiary though, and this really starts to sound like a game that could print money. And that’s without even considering how much more impressive it will be if and when it’s playable through mobile-linked AR glasses.
4. Apex Legends
We’ve seen two other high-profile battle royale games, PUBG and Fortnite, achieve incredible success on the mobile market. Therefore, we’d be very surprised if Apex Legends, EA’s late-to-the-party entry into the fledgling genre, didn’t make the leap sooner rather than later. Given its solid base of players and consistent Twitch numbers day in and day out, Apex Legends has the look of a juggernaut, and that should translate fairly seamlessly to the mobile medium. It may not be quite as sure a thing as, say, Minecraft Earth, but it’s still one we’d bet on.