23 May 2024 19:46

Mobile & Digital

Mobile gaming revenues won’t quit soaring- Major companies like Disney and Marvel fuel the growth

It’s happening: The mobile gaming market is set to surpass that of the traditional console to become the largest gaming segment by revenues next year. According to Q3 2014 estimates released by Newzoo in October 2014, revised upward from Q1 2014, mobile game revenues will rise 42% year over year to hit $25.0 billion in 2014. Next year, the total will come in at $30.3 billion.

As the game industry continues to grow in the mobile and social media market, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) have become one of the strongest growth regions. 

The mobile games sector, a relatively new outgrowth of the entertainment software industry, makes an important contribution to overall computer and video game sales. Thanks to the popularity of smartphones, mobile games have received a burst of attention, driven by strong consumer demand, focused on producing innovative new technologies and creative new products. In fact, PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates that the global wireless games market will reach $14.4 billion by 2017.

Newzoo forecast that mobile gaming revenues would reach $40.9 billion in 2017. Smartphones will account for the majority of the total throughout the forecast period, but tablets are increasing their revenues at a faster pace. Mobile gaming revenues on the larger-screen devices will rise at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 33.3% between 2013 and 2017, compared with a 19.2% CAGR for smartphones.

However, the smartphone gaming audience will see faster growth in 2014 and all the way through 2018. This year, eMarketer expects the number of US smartphone gamers to rise by nearly 20% to 116.0 million, representing 70.2% of smartphone users. Meanwhile, following impressive 47.8% growth in 2013, the US tablet gaming audience will increase just over 14% to hit 106.5 million, or 72.4% of tablet users.

Mobile players spend an average $4.58 monthly on games, according to data released in October 2014 by Everyplay. Those ages 35 to 44 were the biggest spenders, dropping over $6 each month on games, while the youngest adults held back on purchases the most.

While mobile gamers were most likely to use Android phones and tablets (46% of respondents), average monthly spending was higher on iOS devices, used by 40% of total players. In fact, mobile gamers on iPhones and iPads spent nearly $2 more on games each month than Android users, on average. The real spenders, though, were the 14% of users who gamed on both operating systems.

Younger gamers may spend the least each month, but that doesn’t mean they’re not downloading games. The 18-to-24 age group downloaded the most games on a monthly basis, with an average of 2.87. Still, this wasn’t a huge lead, with other age groups coming in at 2.61 or above. Males and females were pretty close in monthly downloads, at 2.92 and 2.64, as were Android and iOS users (2.56 and 2.69). But once again, combo users were way ahead, downloading an average 3.81 mobile games every month.

Even major companies such as Disney, Viacom, USA Network, and Marvel Entertainment have launched mobile games in an effort to engage their respective target audiences. Disney Interactive Studios developed a collection of mobile games based on popular Disney movies such as “Finding Nemo” and “Tron: Legacy,” while Marvel Entertainment launched Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty to celebrate the 2011 release of the “Captain America: The First Avenger” film.

The enterprising business model that now characterizes the mobile games sector has set the stage for additional innovations in the years to come. Analysts anticipate that the next generation of mobile games likely will include more multiplayer titles, in-game advertising, and downloadable content. With major game publishers once again rethinking their relationships with the sector, mobile games will play no small role in the computer and video game industry’s continued evolution.

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