That's why we at TabTimes think it's about time we started covering the tablet games that we love and play every day.
Who would have predicted, when the iPad launched just a few years ago, that tablets would work their way so thoroughly into our lives? That we'd use them for everything from checking Facebook to documenting family vacations? These computers-without-keyboards, these giant-iPod-touches, these unnecessary devices that couldn't possibly serve a purpose—we can no longer live without them. Tablets games have set themselves apart from the console and smartphone games markets, and the critical among the masses have been proven wrong.
That day has arrived for gamers, as well. As a group, we're stubbornly resistant to change. We dig in our heels, braying and spitting, when pundits so much as suggest that the tides may be shifting. For years we swore that tablet games could never match "real" video games. Games need physical controls; games need better graphics; games need bigger budgets; and surely touchscreen games will never have those things.
Where are the detractors now, when the Google Play and App Store game sections are topped by games from the likes of Electronic Arts, LucasArts, Sega, and Activision? These games are pulling in millions of dollars. Candy Crush rules our routines. The Hunger Games Adventures may be a better tie-in game than many console titles with ten times the budget. Angry Birds sells more merchandise than Mario. Gamers these days don't even balk at in-app purchases anymore.
A lot can change in a couple of years, eh?
As TabTimes' "State of Tablet Games" highlighted last month, there are almost five times as many people playing tablet games in 2013 than in 2011. By 2017 that number is expected to have grown by another 50 percent. And just about one out of every three people in the U.S. plays tablets games of one kind or another.
Almost half the apps downloaded on iPads are games; in second place is the "entertainment" category, with just 8.9 percent. Of the top 400 highest-grossing apps in both Apple's App Store and the Google Play Android app store, roughly 50 percent are games. But on iOS games draw in almost 75 percent of the revenue, and on Android that number is a mind-boggling 92 percent.
Tablet games run the gamut from the ultra simple to the incredibly complex. They cover every genre, from first-person shooters to physics simulators. They're made by game developers all over the world, from teams of 2 and budgets of $25 to multi-million dollar publishers throwing things to the wall in the hopes that something will stick.
And you know what? It's working. We play tablet games on the train. We play them when we're watching TV. We play them when we're nursing our children. We play them when we should be working.
Speaking of which…
Welcome to TabTimes Games, where I plan to produce the same kind of focused, high-quality content that TabTimes is known for in the tablet world. TabTimes Games is a daily guide to the best and most interesting games on tablets, with added perspective on the booming business that tablet game developers are building.
You can keep up with TabTimes Games in an array of easy ways. In addition to coming to this section of the TabTimes website, you can also follow us on Twitter at @TabTimesGames, or on Google+, Facebook, and LinkedIn, and sign up for our two free newsletters: Tablet Games, delivered every Saturday (sign up for it before January 7, 2014, and you’ll automatically be eligible for a free one-year membership to our launch sponsor the Entertainment Consumers Association – a $20 value), and Tablet Game Business, delivered every month.
Tablet games continue to separate themselves from the other games on the market, and deserve to be followed in a category unto themselves. As the quality of tablet games continues to grow and the amount of people playing them increases, we'll be here to help you monitor which games are worth your time and keep you up-to-date on industry. This is going to be fun.
Post a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know what type of content you'd like to see on TabTimes Games, what kind of tablet games you like to play, or anything else that comes to mind.