We’ve been bombarded with stories from industries around the world that are struggling during the global pandemic as uncertainty around whether or not many businesses will be able to survive coming through the other side of the coronavirus – but where many businesses have struggled and will continue to struggle going forward, the mobile gaming industry has been one to perform extremely well, and see growth during the uncertainty – but how has a market that previously could be considered niche found so much strength.
In large part, much of the growth should be attributed to a changing attitude toward mobile gaming – up until very recently games had primarily been marketed to a younger audience which limited the options available to publishers, but as methods to capture players have changed, so has the audience. The new target audience is older, with a disposable income, and with this efforts to keep this audience has also changed – puzzle games still capture a large part of the audience as integration with social media has changed how players interact with these games – to progress through levels or to gain lives it has become increasingly common that players rely on this social media interaction to progress and improve, and as social media use has grown through an older audience the growth with gaming has went hand in hand.
This has also doubled down on the growth for online betting and casino services – although there have been initiatives launched aimed at slowing the growth and use of them, there are still an abundance of slot sites not on gamstop and an increasing audience with a disposable income utilise these sites – this change in audience combined with an increased amount of time at home as businesses close has provided a catalyst for a surge in growth and traffic and has been a large part in to why mobile gaming has not only survived the coronavirus but also performed better than many expected.
Technology has also played its part here – smartphones are reaching a point in which it’s difficult to differentiate other than the shell and brand name that goes with them, the hardware is extremely similar that the games developed on them will largely perform in the same way regardless of device, this may also go hand in hand with our increasing connectivity, 5G is just around the corner for some and already available on many active devices providing an opportunity to find use wherever you may be playing from.
Initial projections suggested that the mobile gaming market could reach a value of $165 million in 2020, however these projections were made before the coronavirus became known and before the lockdown measures were put in place, there are many who will be looking how the market is shaping up toward the back end of the year to see if the lockdown impact on mobile gaming has been as positive as many feel it has been – it is clear however that many publishers and gaming operators have reported much higher traffic numbers throughout this period.