As every year sees the release of even more sophisticated and powerful smartphones and other mobile devices, it was only a matter of time before the mobile gaming market experienced a boom. With more and more gamers joining every day, mobile gaming continues to rise – but how far can it go?
Why has mobile gaming become so popular?
Mobile gaming is the perfect solution for accommodating both the growing numbers of casual gamers and the hectic pace of modern life. Mobile devices increase portability, while constantly rising internet penetration rates ensure continuous availability. In other words, it is easier than ever to play a round of your favorite game while commuting to work or at your doctor’s waiting room – and people are catching on. In order to provide a seamless experience, most studios have developed dedicated mobile apps for gamers, departing from browser-based games. This focuses on user-friendly features for commands and adapts graphics to better fit on a smaller screen, thereby providing a smoother experience. However, many of the most popular gaming titles have still to be released in mobile app format. Developed by Valve as a sequel to the first ‘Defence of the Ancients’ game that sprung up as a fan-based mod to Warcraft III, Dota 2 has become one of the most popular eSports, boasting of some of the biggest prize pools in the industry. A multiplayer online battle arena game that is very strategy-focused, Dota 2 loses many of its most appealing features when transferred to a mobile device – but a mobile app seems so far to not be on the cards. The same holds true for other incredibly popular games like ‘Counter Strike: Global Offensive’.
Rise of gaming apps shows no signs of decline
Even though you can play some of these beloved titles through third-party apps that act as an intermediary channeling the web-browser game on a mobile device, the experience is not the same as with games that have a tailored gaming app developed with involvement from the original studio. Yet, after the immense success of mobile-based games like Fortnite or PUBG, more and more developers are keen to tap into the potential of the mobile market. Riot Games, the studio behind League of Legends, have already announced that a mobile app for the game is in development and is scheduled to launch in 2020. The upcoming ‘League of Legends: Wild Rift’ will heavily resemble the main version of the game, offering MOBA gameplay, but slightly tweaked to accommodate mobile gamers. According to research published on KnowTechie, the mobile gaming market is set to rise even more in popularity over the next couple of years. It is estimated that by 2021, 25% of the world’s population will be actively playing games on mobile platforms, while consumer spending in the market will grow to a staggering $90 billion. Every year, mobile games engagement goes up by 10%, while in terms of digital gaming time a whopping 81% is dedicated to mobile apps. Examples of revenue generated by some of the most popular mobile games is extremely telling for the future of the industry: as per KnowTechie, from March 2018, when Fortnite was launched on iOS, and until December 2018, the game saw over 80 million downloads. And while it is free to play, it enjoyed an impressive $64 million in profit per month.
Another beloved mobile title, Clash of Clans, saw daily revenue of over $1.5 million and quickly claimed the first spot in terms of downloads in the App Store. As the same source reports, 25% of all titles across the App Store are currently gaming apps, which only indicates how quickly the market is growing – and explains why leading brands like Riot Games are eager to get a slice of the pie as soon as possible.