The global mobile gaming market was valued at USD 119 billion in 2021 and is estimated to reach USD 338 billion by 2030. The market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12.3% during the forecast period (2022–2030). Gaming is described as playing and enjoying electronic video games on various platforms, including computers, mobile phones, game consoles, and other devices. The increased availability of high-speed Broadband connections, particularly in emerging nations, has made digital gaming more accessible to more individuals. Mobile gaming has surpassed console and computer gaming as the most common gaming style around the globe. Accessibility is among the factors for mobile gaming's appeal; practically everyone owns a smartphone that contains games.
The debut of Snake preinstalled on Nokia feature phones in 1997 marked the beginning of the wide acceptance of mobile gaming, demonstrating the utility of games on these devices. Infrared, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and 3G are among the many connectivity options available on mobile devices of the present day, particularly smartphones. These technologies enable wireless multiplayer gaming for two or more participants. According to mobile gaming gender data, 4.5 % of females who play smartphone games pay for in-app game material, while only 3.3% of males do.
The escalating proportion of young people who play various mobile/smartphone games on platforms such as play store and apple store is increasing the number of buyer units. This is because smartphones are becoming increasingly popular among customers.
The rising penetration of mobile application ecosystems can be attributed to the improved quality of mobile games, the enhanced user experience provided by touch-screen-enabled smartphones, the faster access provided by mobile broadband, and the successful distribution of models offered by nonmobile platforms.
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The primary causes in the development of the mobile gaming business are the increasing smartphone penetration, technological innovation, and the adoption of current technologies for game development. As per the Ericsson and The Radicati Group, around 80.69 % of the world's population had smartphones in 2021. This equates to 6.378 billion smartphone users worldwide and around 7.101 billion people, or 89.84 % of the world's population, own both a smartphone and a feature phone.
In several of the most populous nations, such as China and India, the mobile phone penetration rate is still less than 70%, indicating that the smartphone market has significant development potential in the future. Despite stagnant unit sales, the worldwide smartphone market's income has increased over the past few years due to a rising average selling price. Moreover, platforms such as Facebook and Instagram have begun to produce unique mobile games to assure high product distinction and strengthen their advertising tactics through engaging games.
In nations such as India, the expansion of hardcore gaming has been led by device makers. Smartphone manufacturers are continually concentrating on enhancing the performance of their devices, and any performance enhancement has a significant beneficial impact on the customer experience and gaming performance via enhanced resolution and frame rates, hence driving market expansion. The mobile gaming industry is likely to be bolstered by these factors during the projected period.
Cloud gaming is an emerging field in the gaming industry that enables users to stream high-end games on handheld devices, such as phones, with quick network connectivity, thus avoiding a constant hardware upgrade on gaming consoles, PCs, or laptops. These factors are expected to drive the expansion of the market. Cloud mobile gaming leverages cloud servers to remotely operate game apps and encode game images into a video stream for wireless transmission to Android or iOS client devices.
Emerging 5G networks have pledged to offer these streams dependably and with low delay, allowing smartphone users to experience AAA-quality gaming, the highest rating imaginable. Moreover, the launch of 5G presents various immediate revenue-generating options for service providers, including introducing new pricing plans. These new pricing levels might be coupled with cloud gaming services to enhance subscriptions and income. These most recent offerings can also generate new target audiences. Consequently, expanding market growth.
Mobile gaming industry designers and operators must acknowledge the existence of an obvious cybersecurity danger. Games with incredible popularity are more susceptible to reverse engineering assaults and malware infestation. Hackers can reverse-engineer the foundational art, game assets, code, and data assets of a game and repackage them to launch a clone on the market. The majority of these pirated games are also heavily contaminated with malware, which would indirectly harm the original game's reputation. In addition, unchecked code enables mobile malware to compromise application infrastructure. This generates security flaws in games, and developers frequently overlook them.
In addition, free-to-play games implement in-app purchases of particular things that assist players to compete better or overcome barriers more quickly. Memory hacking only identifies the storage location of these goods and grants the hacker infinite in-game cash or gold. In most mobile games, the player's actions are recorded on the local device and then communicated to the server in bulk. This eliminates network slowness and improves the gaming experience. This allows scammers to use memory hacking tools, target item batches, and attach an alteration tool to access the app's memory and sometimes in-app purchases. As such forces push the business in a negative direction, several game publishers are alarmed.
Artificial intelligence (AI) has been a critical growth indicator for enhancing the overall gaming experience. Multiplayer game formats have been added to the portfolios of gaming industry stakeholders. Moreover, AI can assist game designers in analyzing how players interact with their games and customizing their experiences accordingly. Telltale Games is an excellent example of a game studio that collects data to include it into the experience. Their games, such as The Walking Dead, illustrate how players' decisions differ from those of other players. Happy Draw is an AI-powered drawing game that features single-player and multiplayer modes. In this software, a user draws drawings, and other participants have a limited time to guess what it is. If a user competes individually, the AI will accurately and swiftly estimate what he draws.
The desire to have AI establish squad composition based on individual preferences has enticed gamers to utilize innovative and engaging gaming. Therefore, the widespread application of real-time modification of gaming circumstances is anticipated to have a massive effect on how games are played while also increasing the number of players. This also allows the mobile gaming industry to experiment with revenue structures, such as the free-to-play (FTP) model. In addition, individuals are asking that their experiences be individualized, localized in time, geography, and language, then documented, shared, and cherished. It is not just about the tools necessary to build an infinite variety of worlds; it is also about the resources necessary to record, replay, and relive the memorable experience in those worlds. The data flow for content distribution is from the cloud to the edge.
In contrast, the gaming industry is characterized by the bidirectional flow of time-sensitive, high-volume data and complex topologies of players and spectators. These advancements in gaming are intrinsically linked to emerging technologies such as AI, 5G, and ML. It is anticipated that the future rise of these technologies and the future growth of mobile gaming will go hand in hand, advancing the way people live, work, and play.
The global mobile gaming market share is bifurcated based on monetization, platform, and region.
Based on monetization, the market division is done as In-app purchases, paid apps, and advertising.
The in-app segment is projected to grow at a CAGR of 13.3% and command the largest share of USD 188 billion during the forecast period. Freemium or in-app purchases (IAP) games can be installed and played free. These are paid in-app transactions that provide game-play perks. Consumers spend money for additional features or things when playing mobile games, depending on the type of game. It might be anything from extra lives to gold to weapons to level unlocks. Based on Business of Apps data, 79% of gaming apps and 50% of non-gaming apps presently monetize via in-app purchases. In addition, convincing a customer to pay for something is difficult, particularly for the first time. Finding consumers who make substantial in-app purchases is difficult. Such consumers are known as mobile game whales. Obtaining them is the most important for IAP-driven games since they account for up to 90% of mobile gaming revenue.
The advertising platform is envisioned to grow at a CAGR of 11.6% and reach USD 143 billion. The proliferation of in-app advertising began with the emergence of hypercasual games. These games generally feature in-app purchases; nevertheless, most of their money comes from in-app advertisements. The issue of monetizing a price-sensitive audience is complicated. Prioritizing in-game advertisements is the simplest method, particularly for games with passive audiences. The majority of viewers may be non-paying, but they may generate two successful revenue streams. if they can attract a few paying customers.
The segments are Android, iOS, and other third-party stores based on the platform.
iOS is expected to generate the largest share of USD 171 billion at a CAGR of 11.9% during the forecast period. Apple Inc. stated that there are more than one billion active iPhones, a monumental achievement for the corporation that points to the sustained success and durability of the phones. In 2021, there were approximately 1.65 billion Apple devices in use worldwide. According to PocketGamer.biz, the App Store featured over one million game applications in 2021. Less than a third of mobile gaming apps are typically paid downloads, with advertising and in-app purchases generating most of their money. Clash Royale, Candy Crush Saga, casino games, and Clash of Clans, the highest-grossing iOS game, are among the most popular gaming apps available in the App Store.
Android is expected to grow at a higher CAGR of 13.9% during the forecast period. Android is the world's most popular operating system, with more than 2.5 billion active users in 190 countries. Google Play has expanded significantly over the previous decade. In 2020, the app store offered approximately 2.9 million apps installed 108 billion times. Android is the leading platform in the majority of countries. As per Business of Apps, the number of game downloads from Google Play went from 32.9 billion in 2019 to 46 billion in 2020. In the Google Play Store, there were roughly 477,877 mobile gaming apps available in the first quarter of 2021, a rise of 11.9% from the previous quarter.
The regional segments are North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East and Africa.
Asia-Pacific is envisioned to project at a CAGR of 13% and reach USD 179 billion during the forecast period. The major country contributing to the large share of the region is China. China is one of the largest countries in Asia-Pacific, whose mobile gaming industries have grown because of Covid. Mobile games have radically transformed the gaming industry by offering consistent enjoyment via cloud-based and offline applications. Millions of individuals are expected to remain attracted to on-the-go entertainment, especially in growing economies like China. The rapid proliferation of minigames played within mobile applications, such as WeChat, without downloading a separate application contributes to the expansion of the Chinese gaming sector. These minigames, which typically contain significant social features, are simple to play and have drawn many followers around the nation. This growth was partly attributable to the pragmatism of cellphones, which were less expensive than gaming PCs and sometimes provided Chinese consumers with their only internet access.
The North American region will have a revenue share of USD 80 billion at a CAGR of 12% during the forecast period. The United States contributes enormously to the region's share. In the U. S., smartphone gaming is a rapidly growing sector, and one of the top game companies is headquartered there. More than 8,797 of the 161,440 game developers on Google Play are American, according to 42Matters. The smartphone gaming industry is no longer the small subsector it once was.
Today, it is defined by a variety of gaming genres that appeal to a worldwide diverse population of gamers. The mobile gaming industry is almost invariably associated with hundreds of billions of dollars, with significant markets like the United States driving the business. It is expected that the tendency will persist. Additionally, the COVID-19 epidemic enhanced the desire for people to engage in immersive experiences at home. And, affordable VR gear and the introduction of 5G enabled numerous people in the country to participate in mobile gaming, driving the gaming sector's expansion.
Latin America is estimated to advance at a higher CAGR of 14.5%. Brazil contributes enormously to the region's growth. Brazilian console and gaming PC prices are one of the highest globally, despite Brazil's prominence as a global games market. As a result, most Brazilian gamers are going to mobile, where the barrier to entry is far lower. The segment's low barrier to entry is a significant contributor to the mobile industry's exceptional player, profit, and growth figures in the region. And throughout Latin America, mobile accessibility is expanding.
The major players in the global mobile gaming market are Tencent Holdings Limited, Nintendo Co. Ltd, Activision Blizzard Inc., Zynga Inc., Gung-ho Online Entertainment Inc. (SoftBank Group), and Electronic Arts Inc., Kabam Games Inc., Rovio Entertainment Corporation, NC soft Corporation, NetEase Inc.