In order to answer the question of why mobile gaming has grown far faster than its online counterpart, we will be looking at the United Kingdom as a practical case study. The United Kingdom has been making outstanding video games that are nothing short of illustrious, for quite some time now. The global games audience market is currently estimated at a worth of approximately $101.1 bn – and growing. This includes the full spectrum: eSports, VR, AR, artificial intelligence and more. No small wonder when considering that more than 32.4 million people in the United Kingdom alone play games.
2016 was the best year ever for games software sales – estimated at a whopping $3bn in sales revenue. Not surprisingly, taking into account boxed software, digital and online sales, eSports – the whole spiel – mobile games were the driving force behind one third ($1bn) of all sales.
In order to answer the question of why, it’s imperative to take a look at the profile of the typical gamer living and moving around in the UK today.
The Rise Of The Smart Phone
70% of adults living in the United Kingdom own a smart phone and 59% of households own a tablet. Of these, 47% of smart phone owners use their smart phones to play games – surprisingly enough beating the use of online banking applications as well as news apps.
The widespread availability and affordability of mobile devices – compared to the cost of game consoles and computer systems – certainly has a lot to do with the growth of mobile gaming, and at a speed that far exceeds that of the growth of online games. Again in the same vein, traditional online systems such as personal computers and consoles able to connect to the internet, are far more costly than their mobile counterparts.
The Drag Of The Lag
Another contributing factor to the immense growth of the mobile gaming market is the steady moving away from graphic-intense applications dragging a system to its knees to the simpler visual displays found on mobile systems. This makes for a much faster refreshment rate – something that is crucial when following blow-by-blow live action eSporting events, to name just a single example.
The size of the traditional hand-held has become increasingly smaller – making it the ideal take-me-anywhere accessory. This, coupled with our growing need for constant, non-stop entertainment, has really hit the mobile gaming ball home. At first we enjoyed the perk of not having to head down to the local casino in order to enjoy a night of fun and games, by accessing the games online instead – in the comfort of our homes. Now there is a new kid on the block – accessing the games that we love to play literally anywhere.
Our work and social landscapes have evolved to such an extent that most of us spend considerably more time travelling to and from work on public transport, and as far as social interaction goes – most of what we share as friends revolves around social media and constant connectivity in any way. Being huddled together in a group, accessing our games of choice on our individual hand-held devices, whilst offering insightful commentary and making friendly banter, is about as normal as dusting down the old game of Monopoly around the dining room table.
It then stands to perfect reason that mobile games and the mobile device have been shaping everything from following that score to finding common interests among friends – revolutionising our lives in ways that the online gaming arena can only dream of.