Mobile Gaming Gets a New High Score

Mark Stephens

You would have had to be asleep for the past year to not notice the rise of mobile gaming on handsets.

That kid next to you on the bus frantically pressing his iPhone; the guy over in the corner of the café moving his iPad around at funny angles; the girl in the train station looking in disgust at her Android. They’re all a part of the mobile gamer clan and it’s on the rise.

It’s not necessarily that more people are playing games (though this could be the case); but they’re definitely doing it in different places in different ways than before.

With the rise of the internet-ready, large screen, high resolution, multi-functional handsets like iPhones and Androids, and the accompanying flood of apps written specifically for these devices, it’s not at all surprising that mobile gaming is on the rise too.

The Rise of the Mobile Handset

The phones can DO more than the older feature phones, where people played games but without the level of sophistication that smartphones offer.

The modern western lifestyle now demands freedom of movement and choice. We love to do what we want to do, when we want to do it; advances in technology now allow us to play games when we’re in the Gents or when we’re waiting for a bus.

This was previously “dead time” or it was spent reading a book or sending a text; it can now be spent in the worthy pursuit of our new high score!

Consequently mobile gaming has reached a new high score too!

The Rise of Mobile Gaming

mobileWhen Apple launched the iPad in April 2010 and proceeded to sell almost 15 million units last year, it had more games on it than all the other applications put together. Apple knew what was coming. Were they just providing a plate (iPad) loaded up with food (games) to feed our growing hunger? They could see the demand and provided the technology on a large scale pretty much before anyone else did.

Recently the good people at Geekaphone did some studies of the mobile gaming industry and they found the following:

  • The mobile entertainment industry was worth $33 billion in 2010; it is expected to be worth $54 billion by 2015.
  • Over 50% of the top 25 grossing games in App stores are FREE – revenue is made from ads, in-game purchases and limited time free offers expiring.
  • In-game purchases should overtake pay-per-downloads by 2013.
  • Developers made $87 million in ad revenue in 2010 – expected to grow 10 fold by 2015.
  • 84% of tablet owners play games.
  • 70 – 80% of all mobile downloads are games.
  • Angry Birds has been downloaded 140 million times and the FREE version earns an estimated $1 million a month from ads.

This is all pretty telling, showing some surprising stats on how much revenue the mobile gaming industry is generating, as well as user behaviour.

The clear message from all this is that this is just the start and it’s going to get much bigger very quickly.

So – Who Does This Affect?

The projections of growth probably affect you, me and the guys next door.

It has implications for many groups of people:

  • Cellphone network operators who will need to adjust their networks to keep up with gamer demand.
  • Mobile handset manufacturers who will need to develop new products that are optimised to meet expectations of the gamers as well as taking into account developers, fragmentation and compatibility issues.
  • Game developers who will need to adjust their business models to take into account ways of making revenue from mobile gaming, as traditional models change. What’s working and what’s not and what are the new gaming trends?
  • Businesses, large and small, wanting to market their products have to look at the huge possibilities of mobile marketing based within and around gaming. Forward-looking mobile marketing strategies are necessary because the window of opportunity may be relatively narrow until the big guys move in and take control.
  • This gets you up to date with where mobile gaming is going. Whether you’re a small business looking for marketing ideas, a gamer yourself, a developer or just an interested observer you can see how this will affect you in the future.

The team at Monkeybin is ready to help with anything you may need in this area and we will bring the latest trends and news to you as it happens; as well as fantastic new games and apps of course! :)