Is Mobile gaming the future of the gaming industry?


The role of mobile gaming in the growth of the gaming industry far into the future is in large dispute, but the consensus suggests that, with the improvement of mobile phone technology comes the potential for more complex and mainstream AAA games to be playable on phones. Although it is still a relatively new segment of online gaming compared to its console and PC counterparts, mobile gaming has been developing at an astonishing rate. Perhaps because as the ‘limiting factor’ of technology keeps getting stripped away, mobile gaming can quickly catch up to console and PC gaming because of the actual games infrastructure is already there – the problem is about actually transferring popular games on the mobiles.

In 2019, it was estimated that around 2.4 billion from around the world played mobile video games. Mobile gaming was introduced in around 2007, when mobile phones became ‘smart mobile phones’ and became widely accessible, and online gaming started visibly shifting to mobile. In 2009, Apple announced that it is going to introduce in-app purchases for all iPhone apps, and since in-game purchases are a major part of the gaming industry today – heavily used by users, and relied on for revenue by developers – it is clear how important that introduction was for the growth of the gaming industry and its travnsition into mobile gaming.

Mobile gaming can also be a big part of the future of gaming, not only because 2.4 billion people play it now, but the customer base is also quite diverse and equal. Around 50% of mobile gamers are women, as well as men, meaning that the consumer base is an equal split. This means that developers should cater to both genders in terms of producing games which may be seen as an issue on other platforms. Console gaming has around 67% of gamers being male, whereas 33% are female, this matches with figures from FindBettingSites that show 42% of US women owned a console. This means that the larger and thus more profitable customer segment is male, and so developers cater their gamers towards a certain audience. Because mobile gaming has an equal split, the future production of games, being mindful of both audiences (in their differences and similarities) may lead to more profits and therefore growth in the mobile gaming industry. Moreover, around 50% of mobile gamers open their apps at least once a week, so this is a customer group who is equal and active.

The biggest advantage mobile gaming has for its future growth is that it is online and mobile. Everyone now has mobile phones and, with connection to the internet, you can play anywhere at any time – everyone has their mobile phones in their pockets. Especially for younger audiences, such as 18-20 year olds, mobile gaming is the second most popular app type, after social media apps. However, even when time is spent on social media apps, or video streaming devices, there is a certain chunk of that time spent being engaged with gaming content either way, be it engaging with gaming posts on Reddit, or streaming some e-sports tournament.

Clearly, mobile gaming is positioned for even more growth in the future and, because of this, may become the most popular form of gaming. The customer base for mobile gaming is an equal split between men and women, and because mobile gaming is (exactly that) played on people’s phones, it gives gamers the opportunity to be regulars of certain gaming apps. This revenue incentive gives developers the opportunity to create better and different games for phones, as well as improve mobile phone technology to access increasingly more advanced games, which require better technology.

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