For decades, gaming evolutions reflected bigger, bolder, and better. Bigger screens and speakers for more potent graphical, visual, and auditory experiences. It may seem counterintuitive that mobile devices are rapidly taking over the gaming industry given their small, restrained sizing.
But, alas, it’s happening. Mobile gaming is blowing up. And there’s seemingly no ceiling.
Inside Mobile Gaming’s Numbers
The numbers and data don’t lie.
In 2022, the global mobile gaming market was worth an estimated $116.4 billion, and it is expected to grow to $177.8 billion by 2025.
These beastly numbers are driven by not only revolutions in smartphones and tablets, but advances in mobile game development. Combine all of that with mobile’s superior convenience, and you have a formula for growth.
As more and more people own smartphones and tablets, the opportunity for mobile gaming to ascend remains high. There are now a wide variety of high-quality mobile games on the market. These aren’t simply games for casual play, their intense, narrative driven, first-person shooter, style games. Their the entire package.
And playing these games from anywhere has incredible, unrivaled advantages.
Because of this, gaming companies have a lot of pressure to develop top-of-class mobile gaming experiences.
Even adult mobile games are exploding in popularity.
The mobile gaming market is expected to continue to grow in the coming years. This growth will be driven by the increasing popularity of smartphones and tablets, as well as the development of new technologies, such as virtual reality and augmented reality.
Different Business Models in Mobile Gaming
There are a number of different business models in mobile gaming which are helping to usher in this rapid growth. More ways to access mobile games is a big reason for widespread adoption.
Let’s look at a few.
- In-app purchases: In-app purchases are a type of monetization where players can purchase virtual goods or services within a game. These virtual goods can give players a competitive advantage, such as new weapons or power-ups. In-app purchases are a very popular monetization model, and they generate a significant amount of revenue for mobile game developers.
- Advertising: Advertising is another popular monetization model for mobile games. In this model, games are free to download and play, but they contain ads. These ads can be displayed in a variety of ways, such as banners, interstitials, and rewarded videos. Advertising is a less intrusive monetization model than in-app purchases, and it can be a good way to generate revenue for games that are not as popular.
- Subscription fees: Subscription fees are a less common monetization model for mobile games, but they are becoming more popular. In this model, players pay a monthly or annual fee to access a game. This model is often used for games that are constantly updated with new content, such as massively multiplayer online (MMO) games.
- Freemium: Freemium is a type of business model where a game is free to download and play, but it contains in-app purchases. This model is very popular for mobile games, as it allows players to try a game before they decide to spend any money.
All of these business models serve to attract and enhance mobile gaming adoption.
The social and cultural implications of mobile gaming.
Mobile gaming is making impacts across our culture, even in ways we may not recognize.
For starters, they increase social interaction. Gaming as a whole drives connection and interaction between people. They can help foster friendships and built networks and inspire a sense of community.
Mobile gaming also expands the map of play. In other words, people are playing games in more locations, more freely, than any time in history. Sure, in the 80’s you could pack up your Nintendo and take it to your friend’s house in Texas for your vacation. But that wasn’t convenient, and you couldn’t play the game on the roadtrip in a bevy of locations.
Mobile gaming has also been shown to have an impact on mental health. Some studies have shown that mobile gaming can help to reduce stress and anxiety, while other studies have shown that it can lead to addiction and other problems. More research is needed to better understand this aspect.
Mobile gaming is showing no signs of slowing growth. Heavier adoption through increased mobile device ownership and various mobile gaming business models will continue to propel the industry. Gaming developers will continue to beef up their mobile game production value as a priority.