Technology researchers at Newzoo who specialize in the global gaming market have predicted that 2016 will be the year mobile gaming overtakes PC and console varieties. From social gaming apps to iPad pokies, games played on mobile devices like smartphones, tablets and even smartwatches are expected to grab the majority of the global market share.
Last week, Newzoo released its quarterly Global Games Market Report. According to their data, the industry will generate an all-time high of $99.6 billion worldwide in 2016. That figure represents an 8.5% growth rate compared to the $91.8 billion generated in 2015, with market share for mobile gaming increasing to a superior 37%.
“For the first time, mobile gaming will take a larger share than PC with $36.9 billion, up 21.3% globally,” reads Newzoo’s quarterly update report. Most of the glory goes to the Asia-Pacific region (APAC), which is expected to account for 47% of the global gaming market this year.
The report indicates that smartphones and tablets will combine to generate $36.9 billion, or 37%, of the total global gaming market, with smartphones taking the lead at 27% (up from 24% year-over-year), and tablets harvesting 10% (up from 9% YoY). In contrast, TV/Console games will drop from 30% to 29%, while PC/MMO (massive multiplayer online) games fall from 28% to 27% in 2016.
Casual web games and handheld games make up the smallest percentage of the market, coming in at 5% (down from 6%) and 2% (down from 3%) respectively.
Regional Domination of Mobile Gaming Market
Newzoo said that the APAC region will account for $46.6 billion, or 47%, of the world’s total gaming revenue; a growth of 10.7% YoY. The largest contributor to that projection is China.
“China alone accounts for half of APAC’s revenues, reaching $24.4 billion this year to cement its place as the largest games market in the world, ahead of the US’s anticipated market size of $23.5 billion,” said Newzoo.
The growth rate of China’s mobile gaming sector is expected to be staggering. While Newzoo predicted the PC market in China to slow to a 4% growth rate, compared to last year’s 16%, “the mobile segment in China is growing even faster than estimated and will reach $10.0 billion this year, up 41% from $7.1 billion in 2015.” The experts described the great contrast between the two as mobile’s inevitable ‘cannibalization‘ of PC games.
By 2019, Newzoo has estimated the global industry to climb to $118.6 billion, with mobile gaming accounting for $52.5 billion, or 45% of the overall market share. Tablets aren’t expected to become too terribly popular over the years, increasing from 10% to just 11%, but the experts say smartphones will jump to 34% by then, up from 27% this year.
So the next time you load up your favorite iPad pokies or social gaming apps like Vainglory, Clash of Clans or Summoners War, you can at least feel confident in knowing that the majority of the world will soon share your preference for mobile gaming.