Mobile games are expected to generate $99.6 billion in global revenue this year, with no sign of slowing down. In fact, 2016 has already seen some fantastically successful mobile games, including Miitomo, Nintendo’s first entry into the mobile market, along with EA’s Bejeweled Stars and SimCity BuildIt. So it’s little wonder why publishers were showcasing their big mobile titles at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) last week. According to the ESA, over 90 exhibitors presented mobile games (70 more than the previous year), shown at the show’s Online and Mobile Game Pavilion.
Here are the mobile games that were announced at E3 2016 that will get audiences hooked this summer.
The Elder Scrolls: Legends
Bethesda surprised fans last year with the announcement and sudden launch of Fallout Shelter last year, the publisher’s first mobile game. Fallout Shelter has gone on to enjoy tremendous success on both iOS and Android, spurred on by the release of Fallout 4 last year, and will be releasing on PC in July with additional features. Now Bethesda is looking to repeat that success with The Elder Scrolls: Legends, a strategy collectible card game coming to mobile devices and PC, based on the longstanding The Elder Scrolls series. The game is currently in beta with no official release date, but the timing might coincide with the release of Skyrim Special Edition—a fully remastered version of the 2011 game, launching later this year for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC—which was announced last week at the Bethesda pre-E3 press conference. Alternatively, the game could also include a tie-in with The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited, which recently boasted a huge surge in player numbers.
Deus Ex GO
Releasing this summer, Deus Ex GO takes some of the gameplay from the main series (stealth, cybernetic augmentation, and combat) and presents it as a living board game. Longtime fans of the Deus Ex series may be very pleased with the straightforward yet challenging gameplay that was showcased during E3 last week, and the game will help stir up excitement as we draw closer to the August 23 launch of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. The team at Square Enix Montreal also won the Apple Design Award for Lara Croft GO last week, so if that game is any indication, we can expect great things from this Deus Ex-inspired mobile entry.
Final Fantasy Brave Exvius
Although Square Enix put most of its promotional attention toward Final Fantasy XV at E3 last week, Final Fantasy Brave Exvius is the first game in the longstanding series to be built from the ground up for mobile devices for a worldwide audience. The free-to-play game gives fans what they’ve come to expect from a Final Fantasy game, including a deep story and a compelling combat system. Topping it all off is a pixel art style mixed with 3D graphics, which resembles some of the classic games in the franchise. Brave Exvius has already had over six million downloads in Japan and is looking for even greater success when it releases for Western audiences this summer.
Kingdom Hearts Unchained X
Similar to Final Fantasy Brave Exvius, Kingdom Hearts Unchained X [pronounced Unchained Key] is the first game in the series to release for mobile devices and lets players enter a magical world where Final Fantasy and Disney characters team up to protect different worlds from a dark force called the Heartless. The free-to-play game released last year in Japan, the US in April, and in most parts of Europe last week. Best of all, Unchained X‘s story has a tie-in with the upcoming Kingdom Hearts III.
Batman: The Telltale Series
Telltale Games has a strong reputation for developing deep and mature adventure games based on popular franchises such as The Walking Dead, which is entering its third season this fall. However, fans won’t need to wait long for a new Telltale game, since this summer will see the debut of The Dark Knight in Batman: The Telltale Series. In it, players take the role of the masked superhero, who is still early in his crime-fighting career, and must balance his life as Batman with being Bruce Wayne. About 30 minutes of the game was shown to attendees at E3 last week, and it promises to keep the experience fresh for longtime fans of both the comics and movies by taking familiar stories and turning them on their head. As expected, the game will feature Telltale’s signature decision system so that players can craft unique adventures.
Nintendo’s legendary game designer, Shigeru Miyamoto, surprised audiences last week when he revealed that the much-anticipated augmented reality mobile game, Pokémon GO, is expected to release at the end of July. Although the release will not coincide with the launch of the Pokémon GO Plus accessory, it will give thousands of excited players a chance to explore the real world in an effort to capture Pokémon on their smartphones.
Developed by Niantic (Ingress), the game is currently undergoing extensive field testing in the US, Japan, New Zealand and Australia. Tens of thousands of participants are averaging about “30 pokéball throws per second,” according to Tatsuo Nomura, Niantic’s senior product manager. One can only imagine what that number will grow to once the game officially releases.
If you’re looking for something a little dark and different, Severed could be the game for you. Developed by DrinkBox Studios (Guacamelee), the game launched for the PlayStation Vita in April, and will come to iOS, the Nintendo Wii U and 3DS this summer. In it, players take the role of a one-armed girl who wields a living sword and must knit together her story from disconnected memory fragments as she progresses.