It’s been a long time coming but 2016 saw the very first year when mobile gaming revenues overtook those for consoles and PCs. There are a number of reasons for this but the main one but surely be technological. The rapid development of mobile devices, including both smartphones and tablets, has meant that more and more sophisticated games can be played on them.
As a reaction to this the games developers themselves have been hard at work creating ever-more complex and involving games designed to be played on the move and for short periods of time – games like the Candy Crush Saga and Clash of Clans being a case in point. Also quick to react to the growing potential of mobile gaming have been the online casinos offering everything from big money slots to online poker, roulette and blackjack.
What’s more, the rise and rise of mobile gaming has been a worldwide phenomenon with five countries standing out from the rest.
As you’d expect from a country with a population of nearly 1.4 billion, China is the clear leader with an estimated 21.7% of global revenue. It’s been showing a steady increase over the last few years but there are signs that this growth may be slowing slightly as the market reaches saturation point. Role playing games are the big favourites, in particular Fantasy Westward Journey and Loong Craft.
Number 2 in the list isn’t much of a surprise either. Of the 324,000,000 population around 250,000,000 are active online and 6.4 million of them are recorded as spending more than $25 a month on online games. American players favour a wide range of games from the classic Game of War and Clash of Clans to other more mind-bending activities like Word Brain.
Japan may not be the technological leader it perhaps once was but its people certainly still like to take part in mobile gaming. With 2015 revenues topping $6,180 million and over 20% of the global market it’s an exceptionally strong performer. At 5.8% growth year on year between 2014 and 2015 it’s one of the slower developing markets but as it’s the country that brought us Pokemon Go! It may be that the country’s due a sudden spurt of activity.
- South Korea
There’s a big drop from the lading three countries to Number 4, South Korea. Its 2015 revenue, at $1,850 million, represented just over 6% of the global market but at 9% the growth rate was very healthy. As the home of Samsung it certainly has no shortage of mobile devices for its people to play on – and the annual spend per head on games is one of the highest in the world.
Coming in at Number 5, the UK boasts revenues of over $1000 million a year with over 3% of the global market. Although players spend highly on mobile games they also invest quite heavily in console games too. But with the trend for mobile increasing, as we mentioned at the head of the article, this could well be changing soon.