From Nokia Snake to PUBG Mobile
Mobile games have grown from the simplest and earliest days of Snake on a Nokia 3310. To see how far games on the mobile platform have come, look at Snake, and then look at PUBG Mobile. At GDC 2019, Tencent made an announcement that will have a direct impact on all mobile game developers. Tencent has a means to streamline the production process, saving on both development time and of course money.
Profitability of the mobile platform
We recap the state of the global game industry and what proportion is from the mobile gaming industry. The industry is worth approximately 137.9Billion in 2018 and mobile gaming accounted for 70.3Billion – more than half of 2018’s revenue. The proportional of mobile revenue will grow in proportion to the rest of the industry. The industry is expected to grow by approximately 30% over the next three years.
Who is Tencent?
Tencent is one of the world’s largest and most valuable conglomerates. It combines venture capital, investment corporations, social media, cloud computing, storage services and game development under one roof. It is the first in China to be certified as a Cloud Infrastructure Services Providers in Europe (CISPE). Tencent covers 25 geographic regions and operates in 53 high-speed interconnection zones globally.
Tencent has announced the release of the “Common R&D and Operating System” (CROS). CROS is a one-stop suite of support systems to streamline AAA mobile game development and operations. The CROS bundle includes, but is not limited to the following:
- WeTest: A system that uses AI technologies to conduct concurrent testing on up to 500 mobile devices. This covers 90% of the mobile phones used for mobile games. This will reduce testing time by 90%, allowing developers to prototype quickly and test new content, patches, and fixes accordingly.
- Intelligent Network Optimization (INO): a Network transmission and optimization support service designed for multiplayer real-time mobile games. INO ensures smooth data transfer between players, reducing lag by up to 90% which meets eSports gaming requirements.
- Mobile Tencent Protect (MTP): – This is a cohesive anti-cheat system. It will track, trace and monitor against the use of hundreds of potential cheat tools. MTP allows for easy identification of cheat tools, cheat tool mutation and effective quarantine of active cheat tools.
Developer Benefits of using CROS
Testing is one of the most expensive and time-consuming tasks in game development. The CROS suite will cut test time by 90%, and provide extensive support in live game management, and customer support. Other modules available to developers include “plug-and-play” modules such as voice chat, and multi-channel chat rooms.
With development time and attendant costs reduced, this means increased productivity for the development team across the board. Current CROS partners include a number of well-known names in mobile game development such as Epic, Garena, Supercell, and Miniclip. Such partnerships are a clear indication that CROS is a development tool worth giving serious consideration too.
The toolset is already providing support to over 200 top quality mobile games including PUBG Mobile and Arena of Valor. Once globally available to mobile game developers, CROS will address numerous mobile games developer pain points. This includes issues that revolve around budgets, manpower, security, testing, and network optimization. This could be the beginning of a new golden age of mobile game development, with Tencent at the helm.