A decade has passed since the launch of the iPhone, the first smartphone as we know them today has opened up a brand new frontier for entertainment providers to explore. Over the years, the smartphone – along with its big brother, the tablet computer – has become the entertainment device of choice for billions of people all around the world. It is, after all, the perfect device to consume various forms of entertainment, from videos and music to pictures, social media updates, and lots of games of all kinds. Mobile gaming’s growth has translated into a lot of money for the publishers – today, mobile generates the most revenue among all the gaming platforms (32%, or $46.1 billion, according to the latest estimates by Newzoo), overtaking consoles (31%) and PC (23%). And the latest estimates expect mobile to continue to grow in the coming years – smartphones and tablets will be responsible for half of all the gaming revenue generated by 2020, with a total of over $70 billion.
The games we play
According to a report published last year by Verto Analytics, the most played mobile game genres today are brain puzzle and matching puzzle games, action/strategy games, Alternate Reality (AR) games, and real money online casino games and their social counterparts. Even though the real money games at the All Slots and beyond hardly ever show up in the statistics (the All Slots Mobile is a browser-based game which doesn’t make it to the stats), they still influence these statistics, especially in Australia, Canada, and the US – here, social casino apps are constantly among the top 10 grossing mobile games with six-figure daily revenues for their publishers.
Building simulation games, RPGs, card games, and racing titles are also on the top 10 list of popular smartphone game genres, yet these fall behind the leaders when it comes to the number of players and the time spent playing them.
The portrait of the average mobile gamer
Who plays what? Well, it depends largely on the genre and the age of the player.
According to Verto, matching puzzle games are predominantly played by 35 to 54-year-old female players, while brain puzzles are preferred by females aged 35 to 65. Alternate reality games appeal mostly to younger generations – they are very popular among players aged 18-24 (mostly males) and 25-34 (mostly females). Interestingly, the interest of males aged 35-44 for such games drops significantly, while the interest of females of the same age grows when they reach this age (as you might expect, a very small percentage of the 65+ demographic plays AR games). And when it comes to the active hours spent playing on the go, card games are the clear leaders – Verto’s statistics show that on average, players spend more than 18 hours a month playing poker on the go, more than twice as much as playing matching puzzle games.