The mobile games market is expected to register a CAGR of 14% during the forecast period, 2020-2025. According to VentureLab, the number of active mobile gamers has reached to 2221.9 billion by September 2019. This is because smartphones are handy, and it can be used for various activities. As per VentureLab, playing games account for 43% of all smartphone users. This supports the growth of the market.
- Additionally, virtual reality and augmented reality are expected to play an increasingly important role in the gaming market. Games like Niantic Lab's Pokemon Go and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite are the location-based games and which relies on augment reality and uses Google Maps to augment a mythical world filled with characters from the Pokemon and Harry Potter universe, in the physical world. Gamers hunt for hidden characters on their mobile screen, and in the real world, they end up walking several miles, which is then it is reflected in their Google Fit app, which helps the players to keep track of distance and steps. This development is expected to have a positive impact on the overall market growth.
- Additionally, over 55% of mobile gamers are around 55 years of age, and only 8% are teenagers, as said by VentureLab. This is mainly because of the popularity of hyper-casual and casual games, which don't require many skills and can be played by any users. Hyper-casual and casual games like Candy Crush and Angry Birds were among the most downloaded games in 2018.
- However, the mobile gaming market is seasonal in nature, which means the popularity of the games fades away with the passing days; therefore, the demand for new games is difficult to forecast, which is retraining the market growth.
Scope of the Report
Mobile Games are the driving force behind revenue generation for the entire gaming industry. The mobile games market reports include information about the different kinds of gamers, genres of different mobile games, and their promotion methods. In terms of regional analysis, the report is segmented into North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. Also, the reports include information on upcoming trends and challenges that will influence market growth.
Key Market Trends
Free-to-play Pricing Model Offers Potential Growth
- Free-to-play is the pricing model that is preferred by most of the mobile game developers because of its unlimited potential and can be downloaded without any charge. This allows players to sample a game before deciding whether they want to commit time or money, and tend to accrue higher revenues.
- Games such as Pokémon GO are following a free to play game model, and according to Bank of America, in the United States in 2016, 27 million users were playing this, and it is estimated to cross 67 million by 2020. And in the Asia Pacific region, the number of players is set to expand from 84 million to 311 million in the same timeframe. Therefore the increasing number of users is expected to have a positive outlook on the market.
- Further, Hyper Casual games mostly monetize through advertising and captured more than half of all gaming app downloads by 2017. Seeing the future in such games, Zynga acquired Gram Games for USD 250 million in 2018, and in the same year, Goldman Sachs also invested USD 200 million in Voodoo.
- Moreover, this model is expected to evolve with the development of technologies such as augment reality and 5G. With the deployment of 5G, coupled with faster download speeds, it is expected by the advertising videos to increase in quality and engagement.
- For instance, in April 2019, Hatch, together with Samsung, launched 5G cloud gaming to the United States with the launch of the Hatch for Samsung app. With Samsung’s first flagship 5G phone, the Galaxy S10 5G, customers were able to play popular games like Hitman GO, Monument Valley, and Arkanoid Rising instantly over streaming.
- Therefore, due to the factors mentioned above, the free-to-play pricing model is expected to drive the market for mobile games in the future.
China to hold Largest market Share exhibits
- With the increasing investment in the private sector, strong government support, and availability of young talent are the primary factors that are supporting the growth of China's mobile gaming market.
- Additionally, China is a home for many mobile game publishers, such as Tencent Holdings Ltd. Tencent Holdings is one of the world's largest gaming company and is mostly present in the mobile gaming domain. In March 2019, the company invited developers to create games on its messaging and social media app WeChat.
- Moreover, WeChat debuted its Mini-Games program in 2018, which included opening access to current API and localizing developer documentation to help publish titles in China. And companies like Google have also joined the Mini-Game ecosystem with Guess My Sketch game. Currently, WeChat has more than one billion monthly active users, and because of the increasing popularity, it is expected that it will have a positive impact on the market.
- Further, with the increasing number of 5G connections in the country, the market is expected to witness further growth. For instance, in June 2019, Qualcomm Technologies announced a joint demonstration with ZTE of the 5G-powered cloud gaming on a live 5G network. This utilizes the cloud gaming solutions from Tencent instant play on 5G smartphones and aims to demonstrate that console-quality mobile gaming experiences are achievable over live 5G networks.
- Hence, all the above factors make China a global leader in the market.
The mobile game market is competitive in nature because of the presence of major players like Tencent Holdings Limited, Activision Blizzard, Inc, and Zynga, Inc. amongst others. Major companies are developing advanced technologies and launching new products in order to stay competitive in the market. Seeing the growth opportunity in the market, companies are entering the market. For example in India, the number of game-developing companies grew from 25 in 2010 to over 250 in 2018. Few recent developments in the market are:
- November 2018 - Rovio Entertainment Corp. has acquired PlayRaven Oy. This acquisition strengthens the Rovio's expansion into mobile strategy games.
- November 2018 - Jam City announced a multi-year mobile games development partnership with Disney. Through this partnership, Jam City has the right to develop new mobile games based on iconic characters and stories from Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios. The first game Jam City and Disney plans to develop is a mobile game based on Disney Animation’s Frozen sequel.
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