How mobile game-play is contributing to the growth of online gaming

Johannesburg, 30 Nov 2018
Read time 4min 00sec

The online gaming industry has experienced some massive developments over the years, and it's definitely showing no sign of slowing down any time soon.

Two major trends that have greatly contributed to this growth are the legalisation of online gaming in several jurisdictions across the world, along with the rising popularity of mobile users who prefer to get their gaming thrills from the smaller screens.

As significant advances in mobile technology continue to develop, this trend only looks to get stronger, with more and more players bypassing laptops and PCs and going straight for their smartphone or tablet.

Mobile gaming's significant contribution to the global economy

According to Juniper Research's 2015 published white paper, the global online gambling industry was forecast to rake in $550 billion that year and subsequently skyrocket to $1 trillion by the end of year 2021, registering a 42% increase in revenue just over the space of six years.

It helps that the majority of Asian players, especially those from China and Japan, have increasingly gravitated towards portable devices while moving away from traditional PCs. Mobile gaming apps being more popular and readily available have undoubtedly contributed to this phenomenon, making it easier than ever before to access all your favourite casino games while on the go.

China alone makes up almost 28% of global mobile gaming revenue, while Japan makes up for its lower mobile gaming demography with higher spending habits. In fact, Japanese mobile players spend on average 50% more than American players and a whopping 150% more than European counterparts.

There's no denying that mobile gaming is heavily influencing this sharp increase in global online gaming revenue. In fact, Newzoo's 2018 Global Games Market Forecast clearly indicates that mobile gaming has been steadily contributing higher percentages to global online casino revenue, going from 18% in 2012 to a whopping 51% in 2018. The Newzoo report also predicted mobile gaming will continue to have a major impact on revenue percentage, expected to contribute up to 59% by 2021.

How technology paved the way for a mobile first experience

The mobile gaming revolution is due in no small part to the significant developments in mobile technology. Increased mobile Internet penetration, 4G, faster speed and a widespread drop in telephony cost prices has made all the wonders of mobile technology more accessible to millions of people across the world.

Similarly, gaming operators have been on the ball when it comes to developing apps for both Android and iOS users, investing heavily in research and development to provide users with an overall exceptional player experience. Meanwhile, payment providers have also made their services more easily available from all platforms, making it super-simple for mobile gamers to download a casino app, enter their banking information and place bets from their phones. The types of games being played vary by state and nation, but research has seen a particular increase in online sports betting and online lotto in certain parts of the world.

When it comes to the future of the industry, things are looking good. According to recent reports, more than 70% of the world's population will be able to own a mobile phone by the year 2020. On the African continent alone, more than 800 million mobile phones have been registered, making Africa the undisputed leader in mobile payment and banking.

Meanwhile, India, a country with over 1.3 billion people, has seen an increase in mobile Internet penetration from 18.5% in 2015 to 26.4% this year. Analysts expect the growth rate to continue. As India continues to develop, analysts have predicted the growth rate is set to continue on a similar course, with a 34.8% mobile Internet penetration expected by the end of 2022.

The situation in the UAE is also quite similar, with sites and games being optimised to this niche market on a more consistent basis.

Taking all of these figures into consideration, it's pretty clear that mobile gaming is the way forward, with an even larger contribution to global gaming revenue expected in years to come. Anyone wishing to grow their business in this industry would do well to keep up and, if possible, stay ahead of any and all upcoming mobile technology trends coming our way.

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