Mobile Gaming: A Lucrative Market for Publishers in 2017

Last November, gaming intelligence specialist Newzoo has released its quarterly update for the Global Games Market Report, the most comprehensive overview of the entire gaming industry. In it, the company raised its estimates for the revenue of the entire gaming market, with a special attention to mobile gaming. That’s because the growing popularity of smartphones has boosted not only the number of devices people can use to play but also the revenue of game publishers in the segment.

Last year has seen many popular mobile games for Apple iPhone and Android devices, yet none of them came even close to the Pokémon GO craze of 2016. The game of this year, Super Mario Run, did perform well on both major smartphone platforms but it didn’t have the explosive growth of Nintendo and Niantic’s 2016 title. Yet the growth of smartphone gaming has remained constant, prompting the analytics company to revise its estimates upward on both mobile gaming segments (smartphone and tablet) to a total value of $50.4 billion in 2017.

According to Newzoo’s estimates, smartphone and tablet games will be responsible for 44% of the entire gaming industry’s revenues. Smartphone games will generate 34% of said revenue, more than PC games (23%) and console games (29%). For the first time, the market share of mobile gaming will exceed that of console games, and the gap between the two is expected to continue to grow until at least 2020, when smartphone games are expected to generate 41% of the global gaming market’s revenues, and together with tablet computers, grab more than half of the entire market.

According to Newzoo CEO Peter Warman, gaming has entered a new phase of accelerated growth, resulting in a market worth an estimated $50 billion last year from virtually nothing just a decade ago. But gaming is also crawling out of its traditional place. Today, live streams of video games exceed the number of users of “traditional” video streaming services – PC Gamer even goes as far as putting gaming streams above Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Go combined when it comes to the number of active users. Besides, professional gaming has also become a thing of the last couple of years, with major international events with a massive attendance and millions following the events online.

The advent of the smartphone has transformed mobile gaming from a non-existent industry into a massive, multi-billion dollar business. New smartphone owners usually install at least one game on their smartphones within a week from buying it (sometimes even sooner). And mobile gaming will continue to grow in the future as new games are released and new markets are conquered by smartphones.

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