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Mobile gaming’s prowess endures in a shifting global market

Mobile gaming’s prowess endures in a shifting global market

A deep dive illuminates various challenges and opportunities on the horizon

In the 2023 Gaming Spotlight Review by data.ai[1], the mobile gaming market has claimed its throne as the industry leader, becoming the preferred choice for gamers after a decade of significant growth. Recent data reveals that global consumer spending on mobile gaming has skyrocketed to an impressive $108 billion[1], surpassing the combined totals of home consoles and PCs.

However, amidst this success, the mobile gaming industry grapples with challenges. The report anticipates a staggering 3.8 billion gamers worldwide by 2030[2], emphasizing the need for ongoing innovation and competitiveness. Factors like evolving privacy regulations, economic uncertainties, and intensified competition pose hurdles to user acquisition and revenue growth. The report not only paints a comprehensive picture of this changing landscape but also provides crucial insights for distributors, developers, and investors seeking success in this dynamic market.

The Evolution of Mobile Gaming

The mobile gaming market, renowned for its knack for embracing tech innovations and creative strategies, is no stranger to adaptation. From the iconic ‘Snake’ on early Nokia phones to today’s sophisticated games, it has evolved with technology. Key milestones include the adoption of Wireless Application Protocol (WAP), enabling online multiplayer gaming. Advancements like colour screens, touch screens, and the advent of app stores have empowered developers to sell games directly to users.

Recent years have seen mobile gaming integrate with social media, especially during the pandemic when people turned to gaming for social connections. This trend has boosted user engagement and market growth. The industry has also seen a surge in free games with innovative monetization, allowing users to pay for ad removal, extra lives, or power-ups, shaping a dynamic and evolving landscape.

The Rise of the Mobile Gamer

The booming budget smartphone industry has transformed the gaming landscape, making technology accessible to everyone, regardless of age or location. Mobile games are now a breeze for your five-year-old brother or even your grandmother – convenient and playable anytime, anywhere, unlike PC or console gaming.

This shift in smartphone user demographics is democratizing gaming, opening doors for every type of gamer. Whether into highly specific subgenres or top-selling survival shooters, the mobile gaming market is reshaping the perception of a ‘gamer.’ It’s a complex shift but presents massive growth potential for companies that grasp the dynamics and needs of this diverse group.

A New Era, with New Challenges
As the mobile gaming industry faces increased competition and consumer spending levels off, it’s becoming susceptible to its own success. Developers and publishers must now stand out in a crowded market, and staying ahead of trends is crucial.

Navigating these trends is challenging due to regulatory hurdles like App Tracking Transparency (ATT) and crackdowns on fingerprinting, complicating the identification of spending ‘whales’ for In-App Purchases (IAP). The prediction of a 2% year-on-year spending decline, especially in China’s vast market due to stringent regulations on young gamers, adds to the industry’s challenges.

In this landscape, creative optimization has become more impactful than ever. It’s essential for developing an effective asset and network strategy to foster optimal growth. The report’s analysis reveals key observations and strategies, emphasizing the overall decline in sentiment towards in-game ads. Staying informed about top-performing ad networks and formats becomes critical for fresh outreach to potential new users. Diversifying ad types and formats is vital to stand out, especially with the predicted oversaturation for games primarily monetizing through ads. Additionally, using demographic information to tailor ads for a game’s targeted user base helps avoid “ad fatigue” and improve user retention.[1]

The Future of Smartphone Gaming
In 2023, the global gaming landscape witnessed the success of simulation games, team battle RPGs, and core games. Diverse user demographics contributed to the rise of emerging game genres. Cloud Stream Gaming (CSG) gained traction, claiming a 26% share of gaming hours on tablets and phones, marking a 10% increase since 2019. The Asia Pacific region emerged as the primary driver of growth in the gaming market.

Anticipating these trends, an influx of gaming-focused affordable smartphones is on the horizon, promising enhanced gameplay experiences. New smartphone models position themselves as gaming powerhouses, boasting robust engines with multiple powerful processors. High refresh rates on phone screens aim to provide gamers with quicker reactions and improved signal performances, eliminating potential game delays.

In this landscape, the emerging brand Infinix takes the lead with its innovative HOT 40 Series. Beyond cost-effectiveness, this series excels in gaming capabilities, enhancing the overall mobile gaming experience. In a strategic collaboration with Garena Free Fire, Infinix introduces the HOT 40 Series Free Fire Limited Edition, showcasing advanced gaming features and offering an immersive experience. Customized wallpapers and icon widgets infused with the vibrant essence of Free Fire make it a standout choice for gamers and fans alike.

In the future, the growing synergy between mobile gaming and smartphones will shape their evolution, ushering in an era of aligned design, shared goals, and impactful business partnerships. This transformation will pave the way for innovative monetization strategies, especially for developers fostering robust collaborations and staying ahead in the ever-evolving landscape of entertainment.

[1] Data reporting source: https://www.data.ai/en/go/gaming-report-idc-2023/

[2] Data reporting source: https://www.midiaresearch.com/reports/midia-research-2023-2030-global-games-industry-forecasts-life-post-peak