Studies have revealed that the mobile gaming market broke several records in 2021, especially in-app spending. Reports state that users spent 116 billion USD on mobile games in 2021. Additionally, the total app store expenditure was 170 billion USD, a 19% increase from 2020.
Experts had initially claimed that the gaming industry would register a CAGR of 12.6% in the forecast period of 2021-2026. So, why is the mobile games industry performing exceptionally well? What are the factors behind the growth?
Smartphones Play a Key Role
Some of the reasons why the mobile gaming industry is continually on the rise are smartphone penetration and technological advancements. The mobile gaming industry has significantly benefited from the adoption of emerging technologies.
The gaming industry is growing globally, and smartphones are vital to this growth. The development of mobile games has given the industry an element of scalability. For example, social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook have been motivated to begin developing innovative games as a way to boost their advertisement strategies.
Mobile Casinos Are Also Trendy
Studies have shown that many online casino fans prefer accessing their favorite games from their mobile devices. This trend has encouraged online casinos to keep developing mobile casino apps to keep up with the trends. Moreover, statistics show that many people have gone for these apps to enable them to wager on the go.
Government Support Is Also Critical
Governments worldwide have also thrown their weight behind the gaming industry to help make it better. These government interventions have also created more space for mobile games. For example, in 2019, the German authorities set aside 50 million EUR to help create a games fund. Additionally, in Sweden, The Sweden Game Arena, a public-private partnership, helps students develop games supported by the government.
Such initiatives have helped boost the mobile gaming industry, making it better. For example, game developers are more motivated, and the games they develop are more entertaining. This helps to attract more players hence increasing the industry’s revenue.
Innovative Revenue Channels within Games
Studies have also shown that in-game purchases have become trendy among mobile gamers. This is an innovative way for game vendors to make more money. Players can buy additional privileges within games to boost their chances of winning.
These in-app purchases have been reported as a significant revenue-generating channel for mobile games and the gaming industry at large. Moreover, there is flexibility in how players can make in-game purchases thanks to a myriad of payment options. This has also been reported as a factor that has facilitated the dramatic growth of the mobile gaming industry.
Technological innovations have played an essential role in making the mobile gaming industry what it is. Here are the areas in which technology has influenced the mobile gaming industry:
- Hardware: as mentioned earlier, smartphone penetration is at an all-time high. This trend can be attributed to the availability of more affordable yet powerful mobile devices. Technological advancements have enabled mobile manufacturing companies to produce cheaper phones that more people can afford.
- Better graphics: advanced graphics enable game developers to make more immersive games. This, in turn, encourages more people to download the games making the industry grow further.
- A thin line between virtual and real-world: technologies such as Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality have enabled game developers to make games that feel more “real.” For example, mobile casino games offer live games which offer a more immersive gaming experience.
The Lockdowns Also Played a Part
Many countries around the globe were under lockdown to curb the spread of the virus. The lockdowns resulted in considerable growth in the consumption of digital entertainment, including mobile games. As a result, there was an increased number of mobile game downloads hence increased revenues for the industry.
Key Market Trends
Free-to-play games continued to grow in their popularity. Developers also discovered that there is unlimited potential when they offer the games to be downloaded freely. This gives the players time to test the game before putting their money in it.
As a result, in-app purchases became the main channel for mobile games to generate revenue. Additionally, the introduction of cloud gaming was also a boost to the mobile gaming industry. Experts argue that the continued spread of the 5G network will also make mobile gaming even better.
Studies show that gamers downloaded casual games more than any other type of game. Of all the mobile games downloaded in 2021, 78% were casual games.
In terms of regional growth, Asia Pacific witnessed the highest growth. For example, research shows that India is among the fastest-growing smartphone markets. Moreover, the number of smartphone users is expected to double in 2022. This trend has made the country a leading market for mobile games.
The 116 billion USD gamers spend on mobile games will probably increase in 2022. This is based on several factors, which show the industry is still growing. Moreover, game developers have discovered innovative ways such as free-to-play games with in-game purchases, which encourage players to spend more.
Phoneia.com (January 27, 2022). $116 Billion Was Spent On Mobile Games In 2021. Recovered from https://phoneia.com/en/116-billion-was-spent-on-mobile-games-in-2021/