Mobile Gaming Dominates in 2017
We have officially entered the mobile gaming era, with Super Data reporting that gamers are spending over $14 billion more on mobile games in 2017 compared to 2016. This increased spending, buoyed in part by the release of wildly popular games such as Arena of Valor and Fantasy Westward Journey, helped spur a 31% year-over-year growth for the worldwide mobile market, which would mean some $46 billion in revenue for the industry per a Games Industry report.
The same Games Industry report also notes that mobile gaming has been dubbed by game market researcher Newzoo as the “most lucrative segment” of the bigger global games market, which had been projected to rake in an eye-popping $108.9 billion in 2017. Mobile devices—smartphones and tablets—are expected to account for 42% of this total revenue, or a little over $46 billion as mentioned already.
Mobile gaming is scaling unprecedented heights in large part due to the steady growth of China’s gaming market, which in 2016 earned $11.2 billion for the mobile games sector and has been estimated to rake in some $14 billion for 2017. Japan, Korea, and the rest of Asia are expected to be prime movers as well, even as North America remains the second largest gaming market in the world.
The fact that mobile games are fast taking over the entire gaming industry is understandable, thanks largely to a confluence of factors, including games being available from a cloud, where gamers, according to a Global Market Insights feature on the global gaming market, “can play, pause, change device, find a friend to play, and speak the local language.” The same Global Market Insights feature also points out that the “low barrier for new entrants” is another factor fueling the steady rise of mobile gaming. In other words, mobile games are relatively easier and more cost-effective to develop compared to traditional console and PC games. Creating a mobile game also involves less time compared to making a console game, which often takes years before completion. It is not much of a surprise then that EA and Gameloft, traditionally linked to console and PC gaming, have ventured into mobile gaming, too, where they have become major players, along with Glu Mobile, Tencent, Sony Computer Entertainment, NetEase, GAMEVIL, Ubisoft, I-play, MocoSpace, DeNA, GREE International, and Nexon.
An industry report by Edison on Gaming Realms, suggests that the UK-based company has also benefited greatly from the rise of both social gaming and casino gaming, with the former growing by 189% in 2016, which translates to some $3.5 million in revenue, and the latter increasing revenue by 113%, or roughly $8.2 million in earnings. Along the way, Gaming Realms’ leading platform Slingo with its vast collection of mobile-friendly games, laid out the blueprint for mobile gaming success. This is because it successfully crossed over from social gaming to casino gaming, and in the process attracted blue chip licensing partners that helped boost the company’s already rising revenue.
Finally, there are matters of convenience and accessibility. Simply, more and more people have mobile devices now, and anyone of these smartphone or tablet owners can easily play any game they like, pretty much whenever they want to and wherever they are in the world.