“Smartphone’s and tablets gaming will add up to 27.8% of the global games market in 2016 as compared to 17.4% in 2013,” according to the ISSUU Games Market Sector Report. The mobile gaming industry has witnessed rapid growth over the last couple of years. Even during times of economic slowdown, it appeared to have been invulnerable to the effects of the recession. With the increase in Smartphone sales, an expanding tablet market and advances in technology related to mobile devices and gaming, the mobile gaming industry is sure to get more interesting in the coming years.
Let’s take a look the top five trends prevailing in the industry:
- Decline in the Popularity of Paid Games: According to the DistimoReport for March 2013, paid apps accounted for 24% of the revenue generated in the Apple App Store while “In App” purchases accounted for 76% of the total revenue. Paid games ruled the industry by generating the major chunk of the revenue. But the latest numbers show a decline in the popularity of paid games. The freemium model has quickly become the standard for many of the most successful mobile games.
- Enhanced Engagement via Tablets: Sixty seven percent of the time spent on tablets by users is spent on playing games, according to the analytics firm Flurry. Tablets have bigger screen sizes, along with much more computing power, than smartphones, while still being easily portable. This potentially makes tabs the best fit for gaming among the mobile devices today. The growing tablet market is therefore expected to benefit the mobile gaming industry.
- Games with Multiplayer and Social Features Do Well: Games with strong multiplayer and social support sell well, implying that users are interested in such features. According to a survey conducted by PopCap in 2011, 81 million or about 68% of the respondents played social games once every day. Even mobile rummy is also available now.
- Word of Mouth Drives Game Downloads: Games like Farmville would not have been so popular without its “recommend to friends” feature. A lot of people download games on their mobile devices, after getting good reviews from family and friends who have already played it. Thus, word of mouth contributes a lot towards the marketing of a game.
- Successful Games can Come from Anywhere: While there were some top ranking mobile game publishers, a large number of independent game developers have released hit games in the past. For instance, Angry Birds got Rovio $106.3 million in revenues in 2011, a 963% increase over the $10 million the company reported in 2010. This proves that innovative ideas can take even a small gaming firm very far.
With large and small game developers focusing on making the experience better for the user, the mobile gaming industry seems all set to see huge growth.