Mobile gaming is no longer just an add-on, or console’s little brother. In 2020, mobile games made up almost half of the total revenue worldwide. It’s expected that revenues will pass $100 billion within two years.
In short: mobile gaming will soon account for the largest chunk of the market in the United States. Not the PS4, nor the XBox. Put away that PC gaming rig, it’s no longer #1. In just a few years, gaming out of a pocketable device will rule convincingly.
Don’t believe it? Here’s just how popular the mobile gaming market is in the United States.
Let The Stats Do The Talking
The numbers don’t lie. So let’s not beat around the bush and go straight to the statistics, which clearly show that mobile gaming is on a huge upward trajectory in the United States.
Let’s cover revenues first, the almighty dollar. In 2020, mobile gaming revenues went up to a record $10.73 billion. There were also over 80 billion downloads, with 18% year-on-year growth.
Think about it: you probably spend a big chunk of your day on your smartphone. The commute to work, the left-hand accessory while having lunch with your right, the guilty pleasure before you go to bed. That’s many hours; 4.2 per day on average, in fact.
And how do users spend most of that time? If we’re going to go by revenue share, it’s mobile games. Last year, App Store stats show that 66% of total revenue was made up of games. When it comes to Google Play, it’s a staggering 83%.
With an eager user base and improving tech, it’s no surprise that mobile gaming is quickly becoming numero 1 no matter where you turn.
The Genres That Dominate
‘Mobile games’ is a bit of a vague term, a catch-all that doesn’t really tell the whole story. These are the most profitable genres in the space:
Puzzle games. Simple, yet ridiculously profitable. The surprising thing? Many of the games are 100% free. Developers will often make their money by running ads in the background. They can be a little obtrusive, but gamers often don’t care as long as the game is free to download.
Casino. Currently, it accounts for just 2% of the overall user base, but very profitable indeed. And this trend is only promised to grow. Even with many land-based casinos, people still choose to get their gambling fill by going online. What is special about the best US-based casinos is that, according to CasinoTopsOnline, besides a plethora of games, and bonuses, all offer risk-free bets, which works well to build a reliable user base.
RPG. Accounting for just under 15% of total revenue, RPGs will never lose their popularity. As humans, we love escaping the drudgery of daily life, and role-playing games offer us the opportunity to go to another world, even if it lasts for just that 45-minute commute.
Not Just for Young Guys
You know, the standard meme: there’s a guy in a basement somewhere, playing video games. That’s the typical gamer, right? Not anymore.
These days, over 50% of mobile gamers in the United States are female. And when it comes to age, 54% are aged 35 and over. Not only that, 16% are over 64. In other words, the video game demographic is now more varied than ever.
Everyone plays video games. You’ve had a phone call from your mom asking about Candy Crush, or your friend sending you an invite to play Words with Friends. Younger children are playing educational games with the green light from their parents. There’s something for everyone.
And yes, the old-school first-person shooters are still very much a thing. Basement dwellers rejoice (disclaimer: this is a joke!).
Knowing that penetration rates still have a long way to go, even in the United States, it’s fair to say that there’s still plenty of room for growth here. And as prices for data usage still continue to tumble, things will move even faster.
Big Hitters Getting More Involved
The success of mobile gaming has piqued the interest of big-name companies. And these companies aren’t exactly known for their forays into the gaming market. Amazon, for example, penned a $1 billion deal for Twitch, which is primarily known for its live broadcasts of gamers playing their favorite titles.
Amazon invested in 2014, and it’s turned out to be one of their most savvy acquisitions. Since the purchase, Twitch has grown massively. It’s convincingly standing at the top of the gaming streaming wars, beating out traditional platforms like YouTube and Facebook.
What Does the Future Hold?
We’re going to say it again, the numbers don’t lie. The only sensible conclusion is that mobile gaming isn’t just here to stay, it’s going to take over. To a great extent, it already has. The potential for future growth is downright scary, especially if you’re Sony or Microsoft. Consoles will always have their place, but they may not dominate in the near future.