In 2017, mobile gaming accounted for 43% of the entire revenue of the games industry. This made it the single largest gaming platform, outperforming console gaming, which had 29%, and PC gaming, which had 28%. However, given the enormous number of mobile gamers in the US, it is not that much of a surprise that mobile gaming is doing so well. It is projected that by 2020, 77% of all smartphone owners will also be mobile gamers. Given that the number of smartphone owners in 2020 will be 2.87 billion, it’s clear that mobile gaming can go even further. Why has mobile gaming become so popular?
A quick session
Gaming is a great way to escape from the stresses of work or the boredom of your commute for a few minutes. Many people will have a quick session on the game of their choice just by whipping their phone out while they’re out and about. You can play puzzle games for a quick exercise of the brain or you could play something such as Angry Birds for a few flicks. There are also opportunities for casino and live table games through your smartphone browser if you want to have a more profitable experience.
For longer, more immersive experiences
As well as quick distractions, mobile games also now offer what console and PC games do – longer and more immersive gaming experiences. The publisher of the Elder Scrolls series of games just announced a new entry in the series for mobile that will emulate the experience of the PC and console games, including exploration and combat. Game developers are seeing the potential in the mobile gaming market for success and are beginning to make games of real ambition for the platform.
It’s no surprise that more people play mobile games than console or PC games, given how easy it is to carry mobile games around. You have your smartphone on you at all times of the day, so it’s easy to play on the train, on your lunch break or even in the bathroom stall.
One huge advantage mobile gaming has over console and PC gaming is the price. You likely already own a smartphone, so you won’t have to pay hundreds of dollars for expensive hardware. On top of that, the difference in price between mobile game and console games is enormous, with smartphone games costing less than $1 and new console games costing as much as $60.
With the sheer variety of games available on mobile, it is not surprising that mobile gaming is so popular. In comparison to console and PC games, mobile gaming appeals to more American women. In the US, mobile games are played 51% by men and 49% by women, which is a much more even split than with console games, where 65% of players are men. Older gamers are also drawn to mobile games – the average age of mobile gamers is 36, compared to 31 for eighth generation (Xbox One and PS4) console players.