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In the past few years, the mobile gaming market share has grown so dramatically that it has taken over the conventional console and PC gaming put together. In 2019 global market gaming revenue was 152 billion, by the end of 2020 it is expected to reach $165.9 billion. As per estimation in the next 2 years, i.e by 2021 mobile gaming is going to represent almost 59% of the global gaming market. What are the reasons mobile gaming has become such a money puller? Why games like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG), Call Of Duty, DOTA, Candy crush saga, Clash of Clans are popular among all the age groups across the globe. In this case study, we try to figure out these answers along with possible new avenues of mobile gaming and trends.
Why is mobile gaming so popular?
Hardcore gamers are known to like games with heavy graphics, extensive, and complex and detailed gameplay. But mobile games are generally much smaller, cheaper, simplistic, lacking the spectacular graphics and depth of play. So, here comes the million $ question, why are they growing enormously in popularity? Here are the few reasons :
Convenience of access : One of the prime reasons mobile gaming is becoming so popular because it suits our busy lives in the modern world. When time is less, having a mobile game to play in a break at work, on the bus, while waiting for someone, or at home has become a habit of most of the people. Mobile games are immediately accessible on most modern devices, just a tap on the screen away.
Cost : This is absolutely no brainer; cost is always a factor behind a successful business model. Let say the latest release on PS 4 costs around £55 in the UK, at the same time you can buy a top-quality mobile game on your tablet or mobile device for around £3, not only that one can play many free versions of the top games, making it much more pocket friendly.
Ease of Use : Mobile games are much simpler when it comes to playing because of their simple and limited user interface, this makes them much easier to use and accessible for all players, not just seasoned gamers.
Social Gaming : Long gone those days when gaming used to be a solitary pursuit. The integration of social media with mobile games boosted its popularity in real big time. The best mobile games have a large social gaming factor associated with them. whether that is playing against other individuals or friends, or just comparing scores on the leaderboard. Undeniably social gaming is one of the fundamental keys to its success.
Innovation : In the early 80’s when small programming teams started developing 8 bits of video games for less powerful machines. Later, some of those small teams got restructured in large game production studios and compromised with the innovation part because the introduction of innovation now and then at such a monstrous level is not at all cost-effective. Today due to open-source nature mobile app development has somewhat recreated this phenomenon. Small groups and individuals coming up some cool ideas for benefitting the industry.
Future trends in Mobile Gaming Industry
Hyper-casual gaming :
The idea behind hyper-casual gaming is “beauty lies in simplicity”. As the name goes, hyper-casual games are very lightweight games with simple mechanics that offer the tap to play with no tutorial required at all. they are highly addictive and engaging. Players can directly jump into the gameplay and get on the roll. Moreover, Hyper-casual games require very little time for development and production.
Many gaming companies are working aggressively in the hyper-casual gaming domain. Some companies intend to do it independently, while others focus on acquiring smaller competitors. The competition for the acquisition of new users of casual games will be fierce. Game developers who do not have the money to stay competitive will have to transit to publishing deals or sell their business to stay competitive.
AR as a future trend in mobile gaming :
Augmented reality is now the best way to provide users with a “wow” factor, and many brands are counting on AR to stay relevant on the market. All of the board games, toys, and even coloring books that were popular in the last decade are now finding new life thanks to AR. A phone and a mobile app is everything that we need to play games and enjoy all of these things. So, in the next few years, the market is going to grow, especially considering the continuation of global 5G adoption which can work as a fuel for further growth of AR and VR gaming.
Mobile Game Monetization Trends :
Since every developer is looking for the opportunity to make money off their game, they find new ways to monetize an app apart from charging the fees for downloading. Some of the key monetization methods are In-App Ads, Rewarded Ads/Videos, In-App Purchases, Paid Apps, In-game Brand Placements, Offer walls, etc.
All of the mobile gaming trends that were mentioned above highlight the fact that the industry continues to grow. All kinds of new technologies are being created to engage the users and immerse them into the gameplay. Mobile games have something to offer to everyone in the world let it be learning or sharpening skills or entertainment.
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