Why Mobile Gaming will be the Dominant Force in 2016

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Worldwide mobile gaming revenue reached US$30.1 billion (£19.7 billion) in 2015, up from US$24.5 billion in 2014. Media commentator have been predicting the rise of mobile gaming for years now. And while mobile currently constitutes one third of the total gaming revenue, it is on course to become undisputed as the dominant force next year. What are the reasons for this meteoric rise?

The Chinese market

There were 137 million mobile gamers in the US during 2014, but there are 383 million Chinese mobile gamers. As one of the world’s fastest growing economies, China holds the key to the continued growth of the mobile gaming industry. In fact, the Asia-Pacific region as a whole is by far the largest mobile market in the world in 2014, with more than 760 million mobile gamers generating US$13.6 billion in revenue.

But whereas the US remained the largest single-country market in terms of revenue with US$5.2 billion, China is expected to overtake the US in 2016.

Angry Birds

Since the dawn of the video game era in the 1970s, every decade has had its standout title. In the 1970s it was Pong, in the 1980s it was Super Mario Bros, in the 1990s it was Sonic the Hedgehog. And in the naughtiest it was Angry Birds – a mobile game that changed mobile games from a gimmick into serious business. Quite simply, Angry Birds is the Mario of the early 21st century.



There are now hundreds of thousands of games available for the iOS and Android platforms, from puzzle games, to shoot ‘em ups, to latest mobile slots at Europalace. There is now more variety than ever before.

All of these games are available online and users can download them in mere seconds for much less than they would have to pay for the physical discs or cartridges required by consoles. The aforementioned Angry Birds, for example, has been downloaded more than a billion times since it was first released in 2009.

Improving technology

Anyone old enough to have owned one of the early Nokia phones from the early 2000s will remember the game Snake. Looking at it now, it’s hard to believe that this game was a popular feature on 350 million mobile phones across the world.

In 15 years, mobile games have improved immeasurably. With the news that Apple now allows app developers a binary size of 4GB (compared to the previous 2GB), it seems games are set to become ever more complex as we move through 2016.