An increase in the time we spend indoors entails an increase in the time we spend on digital games. Online games come in all shapes and sizes. From the new, next-generation consoles like the Playstation 5 to the Xbox Series X which were released in Q4 of this year, gaming plays a huge role in our lives.
Mobile gaming, however, still trumps both console and PC in its share of the market. It’s not difficult to see why. We use our phones for everything. Pocket computers that have become so powerful they can run quite demanding games. Just think – 15 years ago, if we wanted to play the latest casino games or slots, we’d have to sit at a desktop or a laptop for the luxury of doing so. Nowadays we can enjoy these games from our phones and use comparison sites like New Casinos UK to find the best new online casinos so we don’t have to search and compare them ourselves. A huge leap forward in technology, which has no doubt added to the overall value of the mobile gaming market.
The release of the Global Mobile Gaming Industry report has been announced, and it indicates that the value of mobile gaming is projected to reach US$153. 3 billion by 2027.
The health crisis that hit the world in 2019 and 2020 has inspired some huge gains for the gaming industry, due to an increase in user engagement. While many other industries out there are witnessing some form of gloom, the gaming industry has witnessed a huge positive change as a result of the present condition of the world. The popularity of video games has risen, as many people have taken to it as a favourite leisure activity while on furlough. Also, as the traditional socialization practices were suspended due to the self-isolation and social distancing rules, there has been a very huge increase in the number of people that indulge in social gaming. The live streaming of video games have skyrocketed because of the cheap and easy access to high-speed home internet and bandwidth, and this has boosted the cloud video gaming sector in a huge way.
The mental and emotional stress that people go through as they struggle to live with the present health crisis is making many of them to take to virtual entertainment and other forms of distractions. The first two quarters of 2020 have witnessed a very huge growth in user engagement in video games. When compared to months before the self-isolation and stay at home orders, up to 40% increase have been witnessed by the industry in the time spent playing games on mobile devices. Because of lack of outdoor activities like social meetings, sports and travel, users discovered the distraction that helps them to pass time in video gaming. The increase in mobile gaming downloads was huge. Lower CPIs and an overwhelming increase in video games traffic recommendation lists were witnessed in the first few months of the year. The estimate is that the average number of hours that people spent on their smartphones every day is up to three.
Users are given a variety of options as it concerns in-game purchases when they play video games on smartphones, Xbox and PlayStation. In March 2020 alone, there was a 30% increase in mobile games’ weekly downloads, against the average for the same time the year before. A total of 13 billion games were downloaded by users of mobile devices in the first quarter of 2020. Mobile gaming is also driven by other factors like the increase in the usage of smartphones and easy access to high-speed internet. The influence of social and societal trends on the gaming industry is very strong, presenting an activity that gets users engaged and entertained.
As the number of people in self-isolation increases, an ideal means of socializing is presented to online gamers. The games are the best platform through which individuals get connected through fun, purpose, and meaning. That is why a total of 18 video game companies including Twitch and Activision Blizzard came together to promote a campaign known as “Play Apart Together”. This campaign involves firms making use of guidelines from the World Health Organization to underline the innate capacity of gaming for physical distancing. People are advised to take to gaming, so as to help them cope with the lack of socialization and its resultant anxiety due to the health crisis. The availability of sophisticated mobile phones with advanced features keeps inspiring people to enjoy online games on their mobile devices. The engagement rates of online games have grown significantly, with more sessions than conventional videos experiences at the moment.
Many online multiplayer games like Fortnite, Call of Duty Mobile and PUBG are designed with some social elements that help players to team with others and carry out tasks in larger groups, with an option to interact with each other through chat while playing games. The free time that the crisis hands to people are expected to push them to experiment with new gaming platforms, giving players in the mobile gaming market more opportunities.
This is the scenario that gave Nintendo, Tencent and other Asian giants the opportunity to experience huge growth in sales in the first quarter of 2020. The gains that both platforms have experienced in the online sales of their titles have been very massive. There is a projected increase in the demand for new gaming apps, as people seek to get hold of innovative ventures. The suspension of physical sporting events have also engineered an increase in people that play online baseball and basketball games named the Major League Baseball (MBL) and NBA 2K. Also, as education is also shifting online, the demand for gamification and mobile apps for edutainment on students’ smartphones is also increasing.
The gaming industry has been resilient, though not completely exempt from the challenges of the health crisis. One of the first gaming establishments to encounter challenges is Nintendo, as it was affected by the unavoidable suspension of manufacturing in China early on. Because of this, key events were cancelled by the firm, including the Game Developers Conference and Electronic Entertainment Expo. In the UK, there is a possibility that the National Videogame Museum will be closed permanently. China will continue to dominate the gaming market at least for the foreseeable future, both in terms of the number of players and the revenue.
The major segment in the gaming market in China is currently the mobile segment, which generates 57% of the entire revenue. China has a pronounced influence on the gaming market of the world, as shown in the fact that the leading video games with the highest revenue in 2020 in the entire world were all created in China. This is against what happened in the first month of 2019, when PUBG mobile which is a very popular video game of Chinese origin, generated a quadruple of the revenue in one month. A major chunk of the revenue in question came from China, while the US and other nations came behind.