The ESA has released it’s most recent industry report and it’s full of useful information for both developers, as well as marketing folks. In the US, 97% of households own a PC, while 81% own a smartphone. With the mobile gaming industry being bigger than the pc gaming industry worldwide, it wouldn’t surprise us if this percentage gap gets drastically reduced in the next couple of years.
As far as gamers go, reports from August 2016 has that Mobile phones are the go-to playing platforms for games. At 76% preference, they are followed close behind by PC users at 62%, followed by Social/online users at 40%. Consoles bring up the rear at a paltry 29% user preference.
So what’s the reason Mobile gaming has exploded so much the past couple of years? For one, there is a definite lower barrier to entry to gaming in the mobile market. Most companies offer payment plans for smartphones and thus more people can afford them.
Mobile games are also simpler to make and can be turned around quicker than pc or console games. One of our consultants was a studio manager for a mobile game studio, and they put out 3-4 projects in a year. Compared to one project taking years for PC or console.
The other reason why mobile gaming is exploding is because of microtransactions. Microtransactions rule the mobile gaming industry, and plenty of data has shown that there is a real backing for them in the US, but especially in Asia and the Middle East. Ultimately, if your game is free and entertains folks properly, you’ll cash out on microtransactions in the long run when your games are catered to a broader, more generalized audience.