Hardcore PC gamers have long taken pride in PC being the ultimate gaming industry. However, last year for the first time ever casual mobile gamers managed to outspend not only hardcore PC gamers but also console gamers – combined!
With mobile gaming bringing in $41 billion in revenue compared to PC gaming’s $34 billion and console’s $6.6, it seems like mobile is the next king in town. While PC and console gaming’s revenue managed to grow considerably in the past year, it still was not enough to compete with the enormous rise of mobile gaming. With most of the revenue coming from in-game purchases on hugely successful games like Candy Crush, Clash of Clans and Pokémon Go rather than from purchasing games, mobile’s gaming micro-transaction model has opened up a multibillion dollar market targeting casual gamers who do not mind paying a few dollars here and there to skip levels or get extra lives.
Console franchises moving to mobile
While micro transactions are sure to be the bread and butter of mobile gaming for the foreseeable future, they are certainly not the only trick that mobile game developers have under their sleeve. With the huge success of last years Augmented Reality title Pokemon Go, Nintendo and other large game developers have taken an interest in bringing their AAA franchise titles to the mobile gaming market.
To that end Nintendo signed a deal with the Japanese mobile portal provider and game developer DeNA, pledging to bring Nintendo franchise games to mobile starting with the hugely popular 2016 release Super Mario Run. AAA titles like this one will not be available as free to play titles, but rather allow users to play a limited demo for free before they purchase the full game for a fixed price.
While this model is certainly a departure from the great success of the free to play game model, Nintendo have seen the need to adapt to the market and embrace mobile technology is the premier gaming platform is has become. Embracing the far reach of mobile over their own consoles, Nintendo is betting on gamers’ ability to play exclusive flagship AAA titles such Mario Kart, Legend of Zelda, and Donkey Kong Country directly on their mobile devices – regardless of brand or OS – being a big enough draw to bring in gamers by the thousands despite the price tag. So far, their bets are paying off.
Casino gaming goes mobile
Speaking of betting, it’s not just casual gamers that are flocking to mobile but also casino gamers as well. The iGaming industry, as the online gambling industry refers to itself, has been around now for over 20 years. Initially, players would have to download casino software on PC in order to play their favorite games, and as technology advanced throughout the years they were able to do so online via java, flash or HTML5 technology.
But once the mobile gaming revolution came along, a large amount of casino gamers started moving over to mobile as apps and mobile sites provided them with the ability to go wireless and play from anywhere. New casinos – like Royal Panda – emerged with an emphasis on mobile gaming, investing heavily on providing casino gamers with a flawless mobile interphase in order to lure them away from their PCs. Royal Panda reviews speak for themselves, as this relatively new casino has now become one of the industry leaders by betting big on mobile gaming.
Mobile VR outsells PC and Console VR
While it has long been expected that high end VR headsets like Facebook’s Oculus Rift, the HTC Vive and PlayStation VR would be the ones to usher us into the new era of virtual gaming, it has been mainly Mobile VR that has lead the conversation so far.
With high end VR experiencing several setbacks in 2016 that led it to underperform from the projected numbers, Mobile VR headsets such as the Google Daydream and Samsung’s Gear VR have been outselling their PC counterparts several times over. Despite official figures due most VR companies refusal to release sales numbers, it’s estimated by research group CCS Insight that a total of 11 million VR headsets were sold in 2016, out of which only approximately 1.2 million were high end headsets to be used with PCs or gaming consoles.
While it is expected for high end VR gaming to grow exponentially in the next few years as the first AAA titles requiring large processing power start to arrive, most consumers have turned to Mobile VR as a way of testing the virtual waters, as not only are Mobile VR headsets significantly more affordable than their PC and console counterparts, but they also don’t require users to purchase a high performance PC – they need only a smart phone.