Sponsored Post: What's next for mobile and social gaming?

Spil Games' Jeroen Bouwman and Michael Louw reveal the opportunities in casual games beyond 2013
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Last week, we discussed how developers can take the bull by the horns in 2013 and navigate the gaming space to the biggest advantage.

We talked about life outside of Facebook, user acquisition, publicity and quality control - all major considerations for anyone trying to achieve cut through for their killer casual gaming title this year.

In this blog, we’ve put our ‘Tomorrow’s World’ hats on - what’s around the corner for social and mobile gaming and what we can expect to see, beyond 2013?

Going global - Lost in translation?

The world’s only going to get bigger. As we become more and more connected, the globe and its borders will continue to shrink. Thus, we’re reaching a point now where there’s no excuse to ignore the big wide world out there.

Don’t fall into the trap of focusing your work only on US/English speaking territories, because the opportunity to target other territories has never been greater. All it takes is the flexibility to allow localisation and culturalisation, avoiding idioms that will get lost in translation.

The tablet is the new TV

We’re pretty excited about hybrid mini consoles which have been emerging, such as Play Jam’s Gamestick Kickstarter success, which aims to ‘put big screen gaming in your pocket’.

The big gaming debut at this year's CES was without a doubt the NVIDIA shield, the new handheld gaming device capable of playing Android games and of streaming full PC titles.

As we enter into a new era of hardware, developers need to keep their fingers on the pulse of what’s just around the corner. What’s certain to become huge is the ability to transfer gaming between a TV and a mobile device so you can choose where your gameplay takes place.

Introduced by the Wii U, this technology gives greater flexibility and choice to the user. Game on the bus, game in the living room – it’s all good!

Escaping the 'bandwagon effect'

2013 is the year in which the casual gaming industry needs to break free from the ‘Bandwagon Effect’.

A few years ago, a wave of originality ushered in the popularity of casual gaming – the halcyon days when Farmville was new and fresh.

In the next year we’ll see new segments brought to the mix. One to watch for certain is U4iA Games who are leading the way with 3D browser based shooter title, Offensive Combat.

This is something you would have previously only expected to see on a games console.

The time is ripe for a new title to reinvent social gaming. We’d certainly like to see something new and exciting for female players in the next year.

Gamification & education

This year, we’ll see a tipping point for educational-based gaming that will usher in a new genre of game that more seamlessly blends education and fun.

In the past, educational games have focused too exclusively on learning when the opportunity really lies in greater subtlety.

Imagine the potential of a city builder game such as Sim City Social that has an extra aspect of education, such as human geography or mental arithmetic, carefully added in here and there.

In fact, EA recently announced the forthcoming launch of SimCityEDU, an education community which aims to promote the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects through the virtual reality gameplay of Sim City.

The potential for skills development to be incorporated into such scenarios is huge and we’ve seen the beginnings of it ourselves with titles such as Sara’s Cooking Class, which teaches basic cookery skills as part of the gameplay.

Later this year, it’ll be great to see the fruits of Trip Hawkins’ new educational venture, If You Can.

All eyes are on this edu-games start-up, who are way ahead of the curve when it comes to the next generation of edu-games in the UK.