There have been application games since smart phones were emerged. The early application games were simple. They did not require many things, but also they did not offer many things. At that time application games were downloaded mainly through your computer because the smart phone game market was not big enough to gather the attention of game application inventors. The smart phone was not a common product because of limitations to their use. People could not use smart phones’ utilities even if there were no big difference between smart phones and other types of phones. However, a big wave came to the cell phone market and also the smart phone application market. After, Apple Inc. made the iPhone and agreed to application inventors to make applications for the iPhone they created the Apple App. Software Store. This led to a huge change in both smart phones and the application game markets. This event does deserve to be called innovative. Smart phones became much more popular and sold really well. Especially, the iPhone sold grandiosely and because of Apple’s new policy which agreed to make applications for their cell phone many inventors started to make applications and application games. However, this did not affect the game industry all that much. Most early application games were light game s like motorcycle racing games and casual games and it was still hard to download heavy games due to the fact that there was lack of wide spread network services and importantly this boom happened only to iPhone users and not to other companies’ phones. In addition, even this iPhone boom was not all that strong because in many foreign countries, including Korea, people still used feature phones.
Suddenly, things began to change. Apple Inc. dramatically took charge in the cell phone market and owning a large share of the cell phone market and Samsung, one of the biggest companies in the phone market, made the Galaxy S1 with Google’s android operating system. Other companies tried to catch Apple, but failed except Samsung. Samsung was different. Samsung showed aggressive marketing through its own cell phone distribution network with Google. It sought to use better hardware in its phones. It also used noisy advertising to gather peoples’ interests so that a lot of people started to buy smart phones and this triggered the growth of Wifi networks because people wanted to enjoy their smart phones that telecom service providers to expand their networks.
Everything which happened has its own reasons. The smart phone game application market also grew rapidly at that time after Galaxy S1 and networks expanded the games becoming more delicate, vivid and sophisticated. Roll playing games, simulation games and other games were briskly made. In addition, games started to support multi playing. For example, in Korea, “Tap Sonic” became popular based on network service expansion. In this game, players could pay money to download music to play this game and after playing they would get grades with scores which were posted on the internet so that they could compare their scores with others. To play this game conveniently, players should have a stable network service to download their music to play the game. Around this time, networks were not sufficient to support all players because only a few network supporting facilities existed and the facilities were not located widely around. If people did have access, they would have to go somewhere that had good network service. Some games became really popular, earned much money and kept their rank. It was hard to overcome the games which already existed because people downloaded games which they saw first. There was a little change in game application rankings.
At that time, when rankings change so little, Kakao Talk put their first game services with seven game companies’ 10 different games on July 31st, 2012. These games led to a new wave of smart phone games in the application market. Two games exceeded the sales of “Rule the Sky” within two months and in the case of “I love Coffee,” it became the top two in sales within a month. Especially, “Ani-Pang” has become the most downloaded in Apple’s Application Software store within a day in Korea. In addition, other games which can connect with Kakao Talk became popular and 7 games out of 10 became the top 10 games in the Google play store application game market. These games are becoming popular for a few reasons. First, games meet social network via messenger. In these games, they have a reward system when they invite their friends on their friends list. Therefore, people try to invite as many people as they can and this allows companies to advertise their games cheaply and more efficiently. Second, these games are offered by Kakao Talk so that they do not need to compete with other games which are already ranked at the top of other application stores. Rankings are different from store to store, but these games are all shown on Kakao Talk no matter what they are ranked in other application stores and they are easily shown on Kakao because there are only a few games in the place where a huge amount of people spend their time. Also, multi player games usually need ID’s so that people must make ID’s through complicated processes, but people can use their Kakao Talk IDs in these games making them easy to join.
Like the games which are connected to Kakao Talk in Korea, there are those that try to connect mobile application games with messenger that can act like social networks in other countries such as QQ Messenger in China. These games, which are based on social networks, especially messenger applications , look to be keeping this boom going and will be recorded as successful cases in the game application history. Can game applications continue to develop even more so in the future? This is the question left for the people.
Kim Du-hyeon firstname.lastname@example.org
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