More Time Spent Indoors Equals More Time Spent on Digital Games. Mobile Gaming to Reach $153.3 Billion by 2027
The global market for mobile gaming is projected to reach US$153.3 billion by the year 2027, trailing a post COVID-19 CAGR of 11.5% over the analysis period 2020 to 2027. The COVID-19 outbreak has enabled the gaming industry to post massive gains by increasing user engagement. While there is gloom across several industries, the current scenario has turned out into major opportunity for change for the gaming sector. With millions of people on furlough, video games are rising in popularity as a favorite leisure activity. With lockdowns & social distancing measures putting an end to conventional socializing practices, indulgence in social gaming is increasing. Easy & cost effective access to high-speed home internet & bandwidth is resulting in live-streaming of video games, giving cloud video games a significant boost. The stress of having to live with the virus is pushing people to seek more distractions and virtual entertainment. User engagement with video games has seen a significant growth during the first two quarters of 2020. As compared to pre-lockdown months, the industry witnessed a dramatic 40% increase in the time spent on online games on mobile devices. Devoid of outdoor activities such as travel, sports, and social interactions, video gaming provides users an engaging distraction to pass time. The industry witnessed a significant rise in mobile game downloads, lower CPIs, and unprecedented increase in traffic to video game recommendation lists during the first few months of 2020. It is estimated that on an average people spend around three hours every day with their smartphones.
Video games played on PlayStation, Xbox, and smartphones give users a number of other options in the form of in-game purchases. Weekly downloads of mobile games in March 2020 increase by 30% compared to weekly average previous year. In total, about 13 billion games were downloaded by mobile users during the first quarter of 2020. Other factors driving mobile gaming include rise in usage of usage of smart phones and availability of high-speed internet. The gaming industry is strongly influenced by societal and social trends, offering an activity that engages and entertains users. As more and more people self
isolate, online games are providing an ideal means to socialize. Games represent the ideal platform by connecting individuals through the lens of enjoyment, meaning, and purpose. For this purpose, a campaign called "Play Apart Together" is being promoted by 18 video game companies including Activision Blizzard and Twitch, the live-streaming major. As part of this campaign, the companies are utilizing guidelines from the WHO to underscore the inherent capacity of gaming for physical distancing. Gaming is recommended to help people cope with anxiety and depression due to lack of socialization amid the pandemic. The proliferation of advanced mobile phones with sophisticated features is encouraging people to enjoy games on their mobile devices. Online games have significantly high engagement rates with sessions that more longer than conventional videos.
Several online multiplayer games such as PUBG, Call of Duty Mobile and Fortnite, have a social element as players can team up with others and work in a larger group and also has an option to chat with each other while gaming. In addition, the free time is expected to drive people to explore new gaming platforms, offering new opportunities for participants in the mobile gaming market. The scenario enabled Asian giants including Ten cent and Nintendo to record notable growth in sales during the initial quarter of 2020. Both platforms have witnessed significant gains from online sales of their games. New gaming apps are expected to be more in demand with people seeking out innovative adventures. Cancellations of sporting events have led to increase in gamers playing online basketball & baseball games such as NBA 2K17 and Major League Baseball (MBL).With education migrating online, demand for mobile apps edutainment and gamification on student smartphones is witnessing a marked spike. The gaming industry remains resilient, although not completely insulated from the challenges presented by coronavirus outbreak. Nintendo is one of the first entities to face challenges early, with inevitable disruption of manufacturing in China. Subsequently, the company witnessed cancellation of key events, for example the Electronic Entertainment Expo and the Game Developers Conference. In the U.K., the National Videogame Museum is at the risk of a permanent closure. China will continue its dominance over the global gaming market, in the years ahead, both in revenue terms and in terms of player numbers. Currently, mobile is the major segment in the Chinese gaming market generating around 57% of the overall revenues. China’s influence on global gaming business is evident from the fact, that in January 2020 leading video games with highest revenue rankings worldwide were developed in China. In contrast to January 2019, PUBG Mobile, a prevalent video game developed in China, generated four times the revenue in a month. A major share of the revenue came from China followed by the US and other nations. Competitors identified in this market include, among others,
- Activision Blizzard, Inc.
- Electronic Arts, Inc.
- Glu Mobile, Inc.
- GungHo Online Entertainment, Inc.
- Kabam, Inc.
- Rovio Entertainment Corporation
- Supercell Oy
- The Walt Disney Company
- Zynga, Inc.