If there is one entertainment sector that is currently surpassing all others, it’s the mobile games market. Last year, it generated more revenue than the global movie box office, which is no easy feat by any means. Indeed, according to information gathered by SuperData Research and Unity Technologies, the global gaming market pulled in $40.6 billion during 2016, while the cinema industry accrued a “paltry” $38 billion by comparison. The mobile gaming industry grew by 18 per cent while the global movie box office fell $1 billion short of the previous year’s success. Experts had been predicting such a takeover for many years, but the mobile industry is finally reaping the rewards of its hard work and determination.
Here is a look at some of the reasons for the mobile gaming industry’s surge.
Mobile use and app downloads
More people than ever own a mobile phone or smart device and are making the most of that technology to download apps and games, with 13 billion apps being sold in the last year alone. Mobile gaming is currently riding on the crest of a wave of hype whilst benefitting from accessibility and convenience. While a trip to the cinema costs a small fortune and can take hours to organise, gaming is available in an instant for a fraction of the cost. It’s little wonder, then, that gaming is replacing the cinema as one of this country’s go-to forms of entertainment.
Ever since the day in 2013 when Rockstar Games’s Grand Theft Auto V managed to reap more profit in a single day than any other film, record, or game had achieved, the experts’ eyes have been keenly focused on the gaming industry. The mobile gaming industry is an incredibly sociable one, encouraging interactivity and engagement on a grand scale. No longer passively entertained by a single screen, gamers are installing more apps than ever and discovering a world that is noticeably smaller than it seemed in the past. Indeed, fans of mobile gaming can now interact with one another on a far grander scale, eliminating the solo element of gaming that became such a stereotype in the past.
Spoiled for choice
Mobile gamers are spoiled for choice now more than ever. While 58 per cent of gamers profess to prefer puzzle games, there are also logic, action, simulation, and casino games available, not to mention indie games and titles released to a cult following. The increasing popularity of cross-platform gaming has introduced whole new audiences to mobile play, while improving technology continues to push the boundaries of what is deemed possible. For example, the introduction of virtual reality, 3D graphics, and live dealer casinos have revolutionised gaming, while the sheer choice of titles ensures there is something for everyone.
Mobile games developers understand their audiences
The movie industry is still receiving criticism for its inherent sexism, but the mobile games industry, and wider video games universe has expanded to include audiences of every age, sex, and race. It appears to understand who its players are and how to fulfil their deepest desires and expectations. Mobile gaming has been embraced by people from all walks of life, overruling the niches often implied by films’ plots, characters, and themes. Games, it would appear, appeal on a far wider scale.
The future of mobile gaming
Mobile gaming is enjoying unprecedented annual growth and now accounts for half of the global games market. Early forecasts have predicted that the video games industry will be worth approximately $108.9 billion by the end of 2017, with the mobile games industry accounting for some $46.1 billion of that figure. By comparison, the global movie box office is expected to generate $41.2 billion, falling several billions of dollars short of the games industry’s accomplishments. It is appearing increasingly more likely that mobile gaming will indeed surpass the global movie box office once more.
Where does that leave gaming as a genre? SuperData Research Vice President Stephanie Llamas said that “the sustained growth of the global mobile games market is helping to legitimise games in the traditional media landscape”. The rise in popularity of mobile gaming is creating a sustainable future for games of every kind, transcending all expectations of the genre. This is great news for the industry and gamers alike.