Following the most successful year in the mobile gaming industry yet, 2020 profits in the mobile market are expected to exceed $94 billion at year-end. More than double the expected revenue from traditional PC games, the continuing success of this market has longstanding implications for the future of smartphone gaming, and interactive entertainment as a whole.
Over the last decade, mobile’s contribution to the overall market has increased drastically. In 2012, mobile systems made 18% of the overall $70 billion market. In 2020, this proportion had risen to 57% of a $165 billion market, according to dotcominfoway.com. Seeing continual growth, we’re still far from finding an inevitable plateau, and predictions that this trend will hold through the next ten years are common.
Growing the Mobile Market
While it might be tempting to put the success of the mobile market on mobile games alone, there are various reasons. With contributions from other gaming sectors, as well as technological and socio-cultural changes, the new market’s state reflects more the overall environment of factors than one sole contributor.
Probably the most important of these factors is the position which mobiles now hold in our daily lives. Formerly just a means of voice and person-to-person text communication, mobiles developed enormously to find the ubiquity they enjoy today. This was best illustrated through the smartphone. Though only 30% of people in the western world owned these devices in 2010, in 2020 more than 80% of people carry a smartphone. With this increase in customer base, a growth of gaming revenue might only be natural.
Running parallel to increasing popularity is that of mobile hardware capability. In 2010 the iPhone 4 represented an average level of performance. With a single-core 1GHz CPU and 512 MB of DRAM, the possibilities for gaming software on this system were low. By comparison, a 2020 iPhone 12 has a six-core 2.99 GHz CPU, and 4 GB of much faster LPDDR4 RAM. For gaming, this meant that from simple 2D games came immensely impressive 3D experiences.
Further contributing to the growth of the mobile gaming market was the entry of developers formerly confined to the console and PC gaming space. Though the concept of multiplatform games has been around for decades, for whatever reason, many of these existing developers avoided approaching mobiles. While some would at least focus on smaller mobile spinoffs, it wasn’t until the success of online multiplayer games that traditional developers took notice. As we note at tme.net, this is only scratching the surface in comparison to the potential of mobile gaming, and what modern devices can achieve.
Tying into this are developments of the mobile casino market. While separate and distinct from the regular video games, the success of games on these platforms was similarly revealing. Games like baccarat on asiabet.org, for example, didn’t just prove that translations from PC to mobile could be highly successful. They also went a step further in illustrating that, by existing on a more convenient platform, new players could be found. This transition also included additions like promotions, bonuses, and tutorials which, again suited the platform, and set the stage for video game success.
Given the current trends of the mobile market, it seems a safe bet that the next decade will continue on an upward trajectory. Though involvement is starting to plateau in the western world, there are still billions of potential users in developing nations which allows immense room for growth.
It might be that in 2030 we could be looking back, considering today’s mobiles as quaint, the same way we consider phones from 2010 today. Until then, the larger market will continue to provide countless opportunities to both players and developers. It’s a wide world, and it’s only going to get bigger.