Mobile gaming dominance expected to continue; revenues to skyrocket from $5 to $16 billion in 2016
We've all known mobile gaming to be a big market for a while now. But I don't think any of us were fully aware just how big. As it turns out, according to a recent analysis by Five Star Equities, as picked up by The WSJ's MarketWatch, the gaming industry itself has undergone a transformation, and we've seen a very gradual, but nevertheless pronounced, shift towards an industry dominated by mobile and social games, free to play / 'freemium' titles, and pick-up-and-plays, rather than the large, multi-billion dollar blockbuster's that have defined the industry for so long.
The reason, suggests the report, is the rather hefty price tag carried by many games today (which, one might argue, is entirely unnecessary given reduced manufacturing costs and digital distribution.) Rather than spend upwards of $50 or $60 on a console game which they might not enjoy, consumers can simply toss out $5.00 for a game on their smartphones. If they don't like it, they're only out five bucks, right?
With this in mind, revenue from the mobile side of gaming is expected to shoot from $5 billion to $16 billion by 2016, says Activision Blizzard's research division. Other firms report similar findings, with console hardware sales plummeting, and the legendary Nintendo reporting its first loss in thirty years. Don't pronounce console gaming dead just yet, though.
There's a great many reasons hardware sales could be plummeting, not the least of which is the fact that, well… most people have consoles by now. We've not seen any new machines come out in over half a decade; is it any wonder that fewer people are buying the 360, which has been around for seven years, or the PS3, which has been around for six? As for Nintendo, they've not exactly been doing well for some time since the novelty of motion controls has seemed to wear off.
Still, mobile gaming's actually turning into a blockbuster business, much like the industry that spawned it. It'll be interesting to see where we stand a few years from now, no?
Source: Five Star Equities
A gamer at heart, Nick started writing when he was a child. He holds a BA in English, works as a freelancer, and loves every minute of it. One day, he hopes to net himself a career in game design - but that's something for the future.
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