Over half of global online gaming revenue is now attributed to mobile gaming.
That is according to Newzoo’s 2018 Global Games Market Forecast, which has found that the size of mobile gaming, in terms of global online gaming revenue, has grown from 18 per cent in 2012 to 51 per cent in 2018. The report also expects the mobile gaming sector to grow to 59 per cent by 2021, indicating more players will bypass their desktop and laptop PCs, and instead game on their smartphone or tablet.
Gaming on the go
The online gaming industry has experienced some significant developments and growth in recent years. According to Juniper Research, the global online gambling industry brought in approximately $550 billion in 2016, and it's showing no sign of slowing down.
The legalisation of online gaming in some regions across the world has greatly contributed to this trend. So has the rising popularity of mobile users, who prefer to game from their smaller screens while on the go.
With an average user picking up a mobile device more than 1,500 times a week, it’s no surprise that mobile devices have been a popular format for accessing content and entertainment. Significant developments in mobile technology have also enabled users to switch from their Internet-connected desktop and laptop PCs.
The introduction of smartphones, and speed improvements to mobile networks, has meant that people have access to fast and affordable Internet access even while on the move. This is a technological revolution that has disrupted and created opportunities for many industries, particularly for online gambling.
Gaming operators have been quick to respond to this trend and developed apps for leading smartphone platforms like iOS and Android. They have also invested heavily in research and on a constantly evolving user experience that focuses on both usability and performance improvements.
Payment providers have also reacted to the smartphone revolution and made their services more accessible from mobile platforms. If someone wants to start placing bets, all that’s needed is to download a casino app and provide banking information during sign-up.
Gaming operators are now increasingly starting to accept cash alternatives. These include coupons or in-game credits, and more recently in markets such as Nevada in the US, virtual money and cryptocurrency.
Some of these alternatives carry reduced risks in comparison to cash transactions, and come with additional benefits. For example, by distributing prize money in the form of redeemable credits, the gaming operator can gain valuable insights into customers' spending habits, which in turn can help in targeting and personalising the user experience.
Growth in Asia
Mobile gaming has made significant inroads in the Asian market. Users in China and Japan have readily moved away from the traditional PC setup towards portable devices, leading to a scene where online gaming apps are both readily available and popular.
No doubt helped by the nation’s large population, 28 per cent of global mobile gaming revenue is attributed to China. Japan also stands out for its higher spending habits, with players spending on average 50 per cent more than Americans and 150 per cent more than Europeans.
The proliferation of smartphones has led to an increased interest in mobile gambling among a younger demographic, with the average age of a mobile gambler being 32 years. Attracting a younger audience has typically been a problem for brick-and-mortar casinos, with their average visitor age registering at 48 years.
As Millennials come of age and become eligible to gamble, gaming operators will need to find ways to attract and capitalise on this emerging segment. Having grown up with smartphones as their device of choice, Millenials are already coming into mobile gaming with high expectations of creativity, engagement and genuineness.
More gamers to come
Juniper Research predicts the global online gaming market will reach $1 trillion by 2021. Mobile gaming, which Technavio expects to grow at a CAGR of 19 per cent until 2021, will likely capture a big piece of that market.
That’s a significant leap from where mobile gaming is today, though this forecast is no doubt driven by the expectation that more than 70 per cent of the world's population will own a mobile phone by the year 2020. Mobile Internet penetration in India, a country with over 1.3 billion people, reached 26.4 per cent this year, and this is expected to pass 35 per cent by 2022.
As mobile technology continues to proliferate and advance, mobile gaming will play an even larger role in global gambling revenue in years to come. Anyone involved in this industry will not only need to keep up with this rapidly evolving marketplace, but also try to stay ahead with mobile-friendly interfaces and responsive features that meet user expectations.
We’ve already assisted gaming companies such as RWWA, Sportsbet, Tabcorp, and many others with their digital transformations. Visit our Gaming and Wagering page to see what our industry-specific services and solutions are, and how we used them to improve our clients' business and processes.
If you are looking for guidance with improving the usability and responsiveness of your gaming experience, or perhaps you need assistance ensuring security and stability of your systems, we can help. Contact us to find out how.