COVID-19 was initially discovered in China at the end of 2019. It was at the beginning of 2020 that it started spreading globally and is still creating havoc on the global level owing to the health risks that it carries with it. Many countries are still continuing a state of lockdown to curb the spread of this deadly virus. People are being forced to work from home for their safety. They are venturing out only when it is absolutely necessary, and this has led them to find entertainment in sources such as mobile games, in the comforts of their homes.
Reasons for a boom in the mobile gaming market owing to COVID-19
- People have more time on their hands – As mentioned above, the whole world is more or less in a state of lockdown. People are confined to their homes for most of their time and therefore, have more free time. Since going out is not advisable, they resort to trying different games on the mobiles for relaxation.
- It is a cost-effective means for relaxation – Freemium games are quite popular as they can be downloaded from popular play stores for free. So, this incentivizes people to try them out in their free time.
- Multiple genres of games for all age groups – Some of the genres that are pursued by mobile gamers are puzzle, casual, match 3, combat, arcade, simulation, and battle royale. So, people of all ages can enjoy games of their choice.
Let us now discuss the 3 different components of the mobile gaming industry:
- Gaming industry growth
The number of hours that people now spend on mobile games has grown by 35% when compared to the figures of 2018. This is about 300 billion hours spent on playing games on portable devices. There were close to 80 billion mobile game downloads in 2020 as per the global statistics.
We can speculate that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on this because of the prevalent work-from-home culture. There are other reasons such as the availability of hundreds of casual games such as Spots Connect, Candy Crush, etc. These games are progressively challenging and engage players from the start to the end.
Another reason is that mobile game development companies are focused on creating inclusive games. This means creating games that are specific to their target demographic. The current trend shows that people in the age group of 33 to 46 years are the ones that are playing these games the most. And, these players do not shy away from spending money on in-app purchases.
- Gaming industry trends
Most game development companies are investing in marketing their games and creating a larger user base. Social media platforms, localization strategies, and engaging content are some of the factors that help them in their endeavors. Another gaming industry trend is the growth of in-game apps. This leads to enhanced monetization and creates revenue for the company that offers games to be downloaded for free.
Innovations in the mobile devices and software used in games are yet other trends to look out for. Using Artificial Intelligence, immersive games are being introduced and these offer the best experience to the players worldwide. Some other technological trends include Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Face Recognition, Cloud gaming, etc.
- Gaming industry outlook and forecast 2021-2026
The penetrating market of smartphones is creating the ground for an increased number of mobile gamers. Even children are being exposed to these portable devices and their usage has been enhanced over the years. With the current COVID-19 crisis, our dependability on these has grown even more. Free games are being pursued by players of all ages and this gives rise to huge competition in the mobile gaming industry. Investors are showing interest in putting their money in this sector owing to the revenue statistics.
According to the Gaming Market Research Report, the mobile gaming industry takes up 50% of the entire video gaming market share. With more people gaining access to smartphones and reasonably priced data plans, the revenue from these games is expected to cross over $100 billion in the next 2 years.
Looking at the global analysis of the gaming market, the revenue is expected to touch a value of US$ 287.1 billion by 2026, exhibiting a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 9.24% during 2021-2026.
As the world is getting ready for the impending normalcy post the COVID-19 pandemic, mobile games continue to hold the interest of people worldwide. The above are some of the growth trends, perceptions, and statistics of the global mobile gaming industry for the upcoming years which speculate the same.