The Covid-19 pandemic has affected every industry around the world, meaning businesses have to rethink their strategies for the year ahead. While most industries have suffered at various stages of the outbreak, some have actually benefited from the behavioural changes resulting from the global health crisis.
The gaming industry is a good example, benefiting from more time being spent at home and online. This has been particularly beneficial for the mobile gaming market where more people are turning to their smartphones for entertainment. By the end of Q1 2020, game downloads surged by 39% YoY with player spending also increasing by 16% to $17.5 billion (£13bn).
So what does the market look like for 2021 and how should game developers react to the lasting impact of Covid-19?
Mobile gaming expected to surge even further ahead
According to data from Newzoo, the mobile games market will generate revenues of $77.2 billion (£57bn this year, representing a healthy year-on-year growth of +13.3%. All game segments saw growth as a result of Covid-19 measures and changes in consumer behaviour but mobile stands out as the biggest winner.
Newzoo attributes several reasons to mobile’s standout growth:
- Mobile gaming has the lowest barrier to entry: more than two-fifths of the global population owns a smartphone — and many mobile titles are free to play.
- Mobile gaming as an alternative to PC cafes: the closure of these cafes has led many to (temporarily) turn to mobile gaming.
- The mobile development process is less complex and, therefore, less likely to suffer delays from COVID-19-related disruption.
This combination of reasons has facilitated growth at both the industry and consumer level. With a lower barrier to entry, people who don’t own gaming computers or consoles can always enter the market through mobile gaming, while the lower demands of mobile gaming development mean fewer delays have prevented titles hitting the market.
From a production and game localisation perspective, the deliverability of mobile games is easier, especially with Covid-19’s disruption on large-scale development and hardware production.
As we have learned from this pandemic, mobile gaming is less vulnerable to industry-wide disruption and remains accessible through times of crises. Not only that, but the demand increases as people are unable to go about their lives as normal.
As a result, mobile gaming is expected to achieve its first $100 billion year in 2023, thanks to increased demand and the likelihood of increased supply as the industry responds.
What does this mean for 2021?
The key takeaways from 2020 are that a larger number of people are now playing games, spending more time playing them and also spending more money on in-game purchases. This is true for all gaming niches, too, even if mobile is stepping even further ahead in the growth race.
Game developers and publishers also need to be aware of how industry trends vary across different territories.
For example, Southeast Asia and Latin America are the fastest-growing mobile games markets so the growth spurt resulting from Covid-19 is likely to have an even greater impact in those regions. Meanwhile, the US is set to overtake China as the world’s biggest gaming market – a trend that has been in motion since before the pandemic hit.
Game developers can expect greater opportunities in their existing markets throughout 2021, but should also be on the lookout for new opportunities as they emerge or gain strength elsewhere.
- Posted by admin
- On 8th January 2021
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