Conceptually, the modern idea of video gaming is dominated by the image of the newest iteration of gaming consoles and the cost of high-end gaming PCs.
However, research conducted by consumer market experts IDC and mobile app analytics company App Annie has shown that it is mobile gaming, not console or PC gaming, that has risen to dominate the gaming market.
According to research, gamers spend vastly more time playing video games on mobile devices than on gaming consoles or PCs. In addition, 80% of all purchases made on the Apple Store or Google Play Store were related to video games.
With this massive explosion in the popularity of mobile devices as the go-to gaming platform, more and more startup companies are looking to access this lucrative space.
Why Mobile Gaming Is on the Rise
The primary reason why mobile gaming has become so popular in recent years is the massive leap forward in the size and performance of mobile devices.
The inherent portability of mobile phones has made gaming-on-the-go a viable possibility, allowing players to game where they want and when they want. This desire for accessibility may also have contributed to the massive success of the Nintendo Switch.
Also, the quality of the graphics capability on modern mobile devices now rivals that of early-generation gaming consoles. While graphical fidelity has never been a critical driver of game popularity, it allows developers a more extensive toolkit to work with when developing games.
While consoles and PCs also have VR accessories, these can often be expensive compared to the VR options available for mobile devices. This makes mobile VR platforms a far more cost-effective option for VR game developers.
Why the Mobile Gaming Market Suits Startups
The console gaming market is primarily dominated by individual annual franchises, and the cost of development is a significant barrier to entry for newer companies. Since a lack of cash flow is a common hurdle encountered when starting a small business, heavy cash consumption can render the console market inaccessible to startups.
While this isn’t quite the case for PC gaming, with Steam and the Epic store representing a reasonably-priced home for indie gaming startups, it is still a fairly saturated market.
By comparison, one of the most prominent benefits of mobile gaming is the sheer choice on offer compared to console or PC gaming.
Because of the relative ease of creating an Android or iOS platform, a far larger range of companies has entered the mobile gaming space. This means that players have a much more comprehensive range of options, from playing a mobile port of a AAA game to taking advantage of a slotomania hack to double their coins.
A broader range of options and a larger number of players and publishers is the norm in the mobile gaming space. This is beneficial to startup companies, as the player base is not yet tied to certain developers or gaming franchises.
This booming but underdeveloped market offers the opportunity for gaming startups to access a large and demographically-diverse customer base without the massive upfront investment of developing for the next generation of home gaming consoles.
New Markets to Explore
Not only has mobile gaming become the dominant force in the gaming industry, but also it has shaken up the traditional demographics of the video game industry’s customer base.
While console and PC gaming remain primarily dominated by males in the age range of 20-30, according to data provided by Google Play, the demographic of those playing mobile games is significantly more diverse.
The released data indicates that 49% of all mobile gamers are female, and 64% of women prefer mobile games to those on consoles. It also suggested that the age range for mobile gaming was also wider, with players as old as 60+ making up a statistically significant portion of the buying market.
This expansion of the market into demographics previously unconnected with video gaming both increase the attractiveness of startups creating for the mobile gaming space and creates a broader market that can support an influx of new companies.
We only have to wait and see new exciting startups emerging in the space that will shake up the game and create the next multimillion-dollar gaming app. It will also be exciting to see how the emerging 5G technology will revolutionize what’s possible for mobile gaming devices.
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