Mobile gaming has grown enormously over the past few years. In 2017, it accounted for 43% of the total revenue of the games industry. It was the single largest platform for gaming, with console gaming on 29% and PC gaming on 28%. For a far less powerful platform, it’s very impressive. It’s no surprise, however, since the number of mobile game players is pretty staggering. This chart shows the proportion of smartphone owners in the US who are also mobile gamers over the period 2013 to 2020. You can see the rise, and by 2020, this is projected to rise to an enormous 77%. Why is mobile gaming so popular?
Compared with console and PC gaming, your smartphone goes with you everywhere. This opens up greater possibility for gaming, such as on the train to and from work, on your lunch break, and even on your toilet break.
The low price is another great reason why mobile games are for everyone. The average price of games in the Apple Store, as of May 2018, was only $0.49. If you compare this to the $60 price of a new PS4 or Xbox One game, then it’s easy to see why mobile gaming is so popular.
A quick distraction
No one can spend all day concentrating on work or tasks around the home – sometimes you need to switch off, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Your smartphone is always in your pocket, so a quick game is always close to hand. Puzzle games such as Monument Valley and other casual games such as Angry Birds let you pick them up for a few minutes and then put them down again. You can also play casino games – Stakers online games are very popular – for a few minutes, and these few minutes could be very profitable.
For longer experiences
As well as quick pick-up-and-play thrills, you can also play games that offer immersive stories and longer-lasting experiences. For example, publisher Bethesda has just announced a new full game in The Elder Scrolls series on smartphones, which offers a similar experience to that of Skyrim. Game developers see the potential for success in such a growing market, and so are beginning to make high-quality titles that will take advantage of smartphone features while offering immersive experiences to rival that of consoles and PC gaming.
The variety of games available on mobile is another factor behind their success. It’s no surprise that gamers of all ages and demographics are playing them. One important demographic that mobile games are appealing to, in comparison to console and PC games, is women. Mobile games are the biggest reason why women are taking up games in increasing numbers. Mobile games are played by 51% of men and 49% of women aged 13 and up. In comparison, 65% of console gamers are men. Additionally, older gamers are drawn more to mobile gaming. The average age of seventh and eighth generation console gamers is 34 and 31, respectively, whereas the average age of mobile gamers is 36.