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Global mobile gaming market to grow to $420bn by 2026

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The global mobile gaming market is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.59 percent over the next five years, according to new data from ResearchandMarkets.com. Having been valued at $95.448bn in 2019, this forecasted growth is expected to see the mobile gaming industry worth $420.386bn by 2026.

The research cites multiple key drivers for the surge in the development of mobile games. One of the biggest factors has been the increase in demand for free social games played via popular social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. The addition of social features in mobile games is certainly one of the biggest trends in the fast-expanding mobile gaming market.

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Global mobile gaming market to grow to $420bn by 2026


The global mobile gaming market is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.59 percent over the next five years, according to new data from ResearchandMarkets.com. Having been valued at $95.448bn in 2019, this forecasted growth is expected to see the mobile gaming industry worth $420.386bn by 2026.

The research cites multiple key drivers for the surge in the development of mobile games. One of the biggest factors has been the increase in demand for free social games played via popular social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. The addition of social features in mobile games is certainly one of the biggest trends in the fast-expanding mobile gaming market.

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Mobile games built for social beings

This is particularly apparent in casual mobile titles, which are increasingly built to incorporate co-op gameplay and guild mechanics. More than half of the leading 100 mobile games for iOS devices, as ranked by GameRefinery, feature co-op gaming opportunities with friends, family or even total strangers online. Aside from co-op gameplay, many mobile games also feature guilds – massively multiplayer online (MMO) communities of gamers that can work together to achieve a common goal.

GamesIndustry notes “World of Tanks” as a prime example of the successful use of guilds in a mobile game. The emergence of a new guild-style mission dynamic at the end of 2020 saw gaming revenue surge 57% in the first week alone. These weekly and daily clan missions enabled players to earn Guild Honor points for their overarching clans. Specific missions needed multiple players to cooperate in a ‘platoon’, with gamers receiving “instant rewards for social interaction”.

On the flip side, some mobile games are simply built to be played socially from the start, as opposed to incorporating social features mid-game. Twitch streamers of mobile and online games will have almost certainly crossed paths with the stream involving members of US Congress doing battle on the multiplayer social deduction game, Among Us. This game was launched so successfully on Android and iOS that, by the end of 2021, it will be out on PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S – such is the power of mobile social gaming today.

The global mobile gaming industry doesn’t just span social titles, it also includes those mobile games designed and built for the ever-expanding iGaming industry. Thanks to advancements in HTML5 technology and native app development, the iGaming industry’s leading operators now make it possible for casino players to take their action with them on the go. Betway’s online casino is optimized for responsive browser-based use whilst offering native apps for iOS and Android devices using the same consistent user interface as its desktop platform.

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The leading mobile gaming genres and the titles that drive the big bucks

Mobile games built for the iOS platform appear to be the most dominant on the market. In 2020, 25 percent of all iOS app downloads in 2020 constituted mobile games, compared with 21 percent of all Android downloads. Although social mobile games have been a key driver of mobile gaming revenues, recent data analysis suggests many other mobile gaming genres continue to contribute. SocialPeta found that more than a quarter (25 percent) of all ad and marketing creative published for mobile game releases was reserved for puzzle-based mobile games alone in 2020. Role-playing and arcade mobile titles followed a close second and third as the most marketed genres. There’s also the emergence of niche genres like martial arts, such as the ONE Super App’s ONE Fantasy martial arts game which is also built for competitive global gaming.

Although casual mobile games made up more than three-quarters (78 percent) of all mobile game downloads in 2020 according to SLA Digital, core mobile games that involve a higher level of time and gaming commitment from players are the bedrock of mobile game revenues. In fact, core mobile games yielded two-thirds of all mobile gaming revenues in 2020, which is hugely impressive given that it’s derived from a cluster of titles that comprise just 20 percent of all mobile game downloads. It’s these games that have also given rise to eSports and competitive gaming in Asia and beyond. Competitive gaming is projected by Newzoo to generate $1.084bn in 2021, with some popular mobile titles fundamental to the eSports scene.

Honor of Kings” from Tencent was rated the leading mobile game by consumer spending with in-app purchases like battle passes and consumables designed to drive player longevity and revenue. While casual mobile games have a pick-up-and-play appeal, it’s these more serious core mobile games that will continue to bring home the bacon for app developers worldwide.

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