What makes Cross-platform game development popular in 2024?

Accessibility is crucial to building high-quality and popular games in today’s era. As the technologies evolve, there is a paradigm shift towards creating cross-platform games among developers to cater to the growing demand.

According to a report by Unity, 87% of multiplayer gamers have played cross-platform games and among them, 43% seek more such games to play. Developing cross-platform compatibility can increase revenue by 20-40%, according to a report by VB Live.

Needless to say, the trend is here to stay and grow as more and more players realize its advantages. With mobile platforms witnessing the most dynamic growth in terms of avid gamers, it is high time developers acknowledge and focus on the importance of cross-platform games.

Read on to learn in-depth about the importance of building cross-platform games in 2024 and how it can prove pivotal in a business’s growth.

What is Cross-platform Game Development?

Cross-platform development involves designing games in such a way that they can be played on various devices – PCs, consoles, and mobile phones – with minimal adjustments. The goal is to provide a consistent user experience, regardless of the device.

Such cross-platform games help develop a sense of community among players. By allowing gamers on different platforms to interact and play together, these games break down the barriers that previously segmented the gaming community.

As the gaming industry continues to evolve, cross-platform compatibility is becoming a standard expectation rather than a novelty. In essence, cross-platform game developers do not just build games; it’s about building bridges in the digital world, connecting diverse gamers in a shared, immersive experience.

Benefits of Cross-Platform Games in 2024

The advantages of developing and playing cross-platform games in this era are multifaceted, ranging from economic efficiencies to enhanced user experiences. Let’s delve into these key benefits:

Accelerated development process

The unified approach in cross-platform game development service allows developers to streamline their processes. By focusing on a single development project that spans multiple platforms, they can significantly reduce the time traditionally required to develop separate versions for each system. This efficiency accelerates the development cycle, enabling quicker game releases to the market.

Widespread accessibility

Cross-platform games are inherently more accessible, as they can be played across various devices. This inclusivity expands the game’s reach, allowing players with different preferences and hardware capabilities to enjoy the same gaming experience. Whether on a high-end gaming PC, a console, or a mobile device, the game remains within everyone’s reach.

Improved user-experience

In 2024, cross-platform games offer a consistent and high-quality experience regardless of the platform. This consistency is crucial in maintaining engagement and satisfaction among players who switch between devices. It ensures that the game’s feel, functionality, and performance are uniform, enhancing the overall user experience.

Cost-effective

By developing a single game for multiple platforms, studios can allocate their resources more efficiently. This approach reduces the need for multiple teams working on different versions of the game, leading to significant cost savings in development and personnel.

Minimized maintenance cost

Post-launch, cross-platform games are easier and less costly to maintain. Updates, bug fixes, and new content can be rolled out simultaneously across all platforms, reducing the time and resources needed for maintenance compared to managing multiple versions of the same game.

Effective Marketing

Marketing a cross-platform game is more straightforward and impactful. A unified marketing strategy can be employed across different platforms, maximizing reach and efficiency. Additionally, the broad appeal of cross-platform games makes them more attractive to a diverse audience, enhancing promotional efforts.

Economic benefits of cross-platform game development

From a developer’s perspective, the profitability of the project is a crucial factor. The growing demand for certain game genres means the ROI will also increase if it resonates well with the audience. At present, there is a growing demand for cross-platform games in multiplayer mode. The demand is particularly high for puzzle games, shooters, and sports. Here are a few perks of focusing on cross-platform game development from a business perspective:

Broadened Market Reach and Revenue Streams

Cross-platform games are accessible to a wider audience, as they cater to users across multiple devices and platforms. This expanded reach directly translates into increased potential for revenue generation. Whether it’s through direct game sales, in-game purchases, subscriptions, or advertising, developers can tap into diverse income sources across different platforms, maximizing their profitability.

Cost Efficiency in Development

Developing a single game that operates seamlessly on multiple platforms is more cost-effective than creating distinct versions for each system. This unified development approach reduces the need for multiple specialized teams and cuts down on the resources required for developing and testing on different platforms. As a result, developers can allocate their budgets more effectively, focusing on enhancing the game’s quality rather than duplicating efforts for platform-specific versions.

Streamlined Maintenance and Update Processes

Post-launch, the maintenance of cross-platform games is more efficient. Updates, bug fixes, and new content additions need to be implemented just once and can be deployed across all platforms simultaneously. This unified maintenance approach not only saves time and resources but also ensures consistency in the gaming experience for all users, regardless of their chosen platform.

Increased Longevity and Continued Revenue

Games that are accessible and consistent across multiple platforms tend to have a longer life cycle. They remain relevant and engaging to a broader player base over a more extended period, leading to sustained revenue generation through continued play, in-game purchases, and community engagement.

Enhanced Investment Appeal

Cross-platform games are often viewed as more attractive investments. Their broad market appeal and cost-effective development model make them appealing to investors and publishers. This increased interest can lead to better funding opportunities and partnerships, further boosting the economic potential of the development project.

Effective Resource Allocation

The efficiency of cross-platform development allows studios to allocate their resources more strategically. Savings in time and money can be redirected into other vital areas, such as marketing, customer support, and research and development, fostering overall business growth and innovation.

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Tips for cross-platform game development

Cross-platform game development requires a nuanced approach, balancing technical considerations with user experience to create a game that is accessible and engaging across various devices. Here are some tips that align with the points you’ve outlined, aimed at optimizing the process and outcome of cross-platform game development:

Integration of Social Features

Integrating social features such as multiplayer capabilities, chat systems, and social media sharing can significantly enhance the reach of your game. These features encourage community building and player engagement, making the game more appealing and retaining players across different platforms.

Develop Internal Tools

Sometimes, existing tools may not meet the specific needs of your cross-platform project. Don’t hesitate to invest in developing custom internal tools. These can streamline the development process, improve team efficiency, and can be tailored to handle unique challenges specific to your game.

Microservices Approach

Adopting a microservices architecture can be highly beneficial in cross-platform development. This approach allows different teams to work on separate game components simultaneously, facilitating easier updates and scalability. It also helps in managing complex systems by breaking them down into smaller, more manageable services.

Reuse Different Components

Reusing code and assets across different platforms can save time and resources. Identify components like game mechanics, backend services, and certain assets that can be shared. However, be mindful of platform-specific nuances and ensure that these reused components are adaptable to different platform requirements.

Unified Art Style

Consistency in art style is crucial in cross-platform games. It ensures a cohesive visual experience for players, regardless of the device they use. This unified aesthetic also strengthens the game’s brand identity and enhances the overall user experience.

What challenges can you face during cross-platform game development?

Cross-platform games are fun to play and profitable to develop. But they also come with their own set of challenges. Here are a few such issues cross-platform game developers must overcome to make their project a success:

Consistency in multiple platforms

Achieving uniform quality and experience across different platforms is crucial. This means the game’s graphics, performance, and user experience should feel similar, whether a player is on a PC, console, or mobile device. Developers must ensure that the game’s core mechanics and aesthetics are preserved across platforms, while also optimizing for each platform’s specific capabilities and limitations.

Console game development complexity

Developing consoles presents unique challenges due to their specific hardware and software ecosystems. Console development often requires adherence to strict guidelines set by console manufacturers, and developers must work within the constraints of each console’s processing power, storage capacity, and control schemes. Furthermore, the process of deploying updates and patches on consoles can be more complex and time-consuming than on other platforms.

Technical Limitations

Different platforms have varying technical capabilities, from processing power to display resolution. A game that runs smoothly on a high-end PC might encounter performance issues on a mobile device. Developers need to balance these technical disparities, ensuring that the game provides a stable and enjoyable experience on all platforms. This may involve scaling down graphics or simplifying certain features on less powerful platforms.

Streamlining game controls

Each gaming platform has its own method of input – PCs use keyboards and mice, consoles use controllers, and mobile devices use touch screens. Creating a game that feels intuitive on all these input devices is a significant challenge. Developers must design control schemes that are adaptable and easy to use across different platforms, often requiring creative solutions to ensure gameplay remains consistent.

Multi-Platform Compatibility

Each platform has its own set of standards and requirements, from technical specifications to content guidelines. Developers must be aware of and adhere to these requirements for their game to be approved and published on each platform. This compliance includes aspects such as age ratings, privacy policies, and platform-specific features. Navigating these guidelines requires careful planning and often involves liaising with platform representatives to ensure all criteria are met.

Best Cross-Platform Game Engines

Here are a few of the best game engines recommended by reputed game studios when you hire game developers for cross-platform games:

Unity 3D

Unity 3D is one of the most popular game engines, renowned for its versatility and ease of use. It supports a vast range of platforms including iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, Linux, and various game consoles. Unity’s real strength lies in its powerful editor, comprehensive asset library, and strong community support. It’s particularly favored for mobile game development and VR/AR experiences.

Unreal Engine

Unreal Engine, developed by Epic Games, is known for its high-fidelity graphics and is widely used in the creation of AAA games. It offers robust support for a wide variety of platforms including PC, consoles, mobile, and VR. Unreal’s Blueprint visual scripting system allows developers to create complex functionalities without deep coding knowledge, making it accessible for beginners and experts alike.

HTML5

HTML5 is not a game engine per se, but a technology that has enabled the development of browser-based games that can run on any device with a web browser. It is highly versatile and allows for the creation of lightweight games that are easily accessible without the need for additional software installations.

Godot Engine

Godot Engine is an open-source game engine gaining popularity for its user-friendly interface and flexibility. It’s suitable for both 2D and 3D game development and supports multiple platforms including iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, Linux, and HTML5. Godot’s scene system and scripting language (GDScript) are highly praised for their ease of use and efficiency.

Cocos2D-x

Cocos2D-x is an open-source framework primarily used for 2D game development. It’s known for its speed and efficiency and supports a wide range of platforms, including iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac. Cocos2D-x uses C++ and also offers support for other languages like JavaScript and Lua, making it a versatile choice for developers.

How Juego Studios can help build cross-platform games?

Cross-platform games are here to stay and are likely to evolve further in the coming days. This is the most feasible way to maximize the reach for any game today.

At Juego Studios we have the best cross-platform game developers working with us who are experienced and proficient with different tools and game engines for this service. Our portfolio showcases several cross-platform games designed by the team which have received global accolades.

The team approaches the project after thoroughly analyzing the client’s requirements and target platforms. We pride ourselves on efficiently maintaining the code structure and covering all aspects of streamlining a cross-platform game that is compatible with different devices.

Alongside cross-platform game development, we also provide game porting services to upgrade the existing game for different platforms.

Conclusion

The demand for cross-platform games in 2024 will rise steadily, despite being a costlier process compared to traditional game development. This is solely to tap the potential reach that cross-platform games promise.
Maximize your audience reach when you opt to hire cross-platform game developers who can design a game accordingly. Be it cross-platform games with multiplayer support or otherwise- witness consistent reach when your game is accessible on every device and operating system.

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