Mobile gaming has become a global phenomenon, with more than 2.7 billion people playing games on their smartphones in 2020. This number is expected to grow to 3.1 billion by 2023, as mobile devices become more accessible and affordable. Mobile gaming is not only a popular form of entertainment, but also a lucrative business opportunity for entrepreneurs and businesses who want to tap into this booming market.
However, succeeding in the mobile gaming industry is not easy, as it requires a deep understanding of the market trends, user preferences, monetization models, and competitive landscape. One of the most profitable and popular monetization models in mobile gaming is the https://slotamia.com/progressive-slot-machines, which offers huge jackpots and rewards to the players. In this article, we will explore the rise of mobile gaming and its transformation into a multi-billion-dollar industry.
We will also look at the opportunities and challenges that mobile game entrepreneurs face, and how they can overcome them.
Mobile Gaming Market Insights
The mobile gaming market is one of the fastest-growing segments of the global gaming industry, which was valued at $159.3 billion in 2020. According to Newzoo, a leading gaming market research firm, the mobile gaming market generated $77.2 billion in revenue in 2020, accounting for 48.5% of the total gaming market. This figure is projected to reach $102.8 billion by 2023, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.9%.
The mobile gaming market is dominated by two platforms: Google Play Store and Apple App Store, which together accounted for 98% of the global mobile gaming revenue in 2020. However, there are other platforms that cater to specific regions or markets, such as Tencent’s WeChat Mini Games in China, Samsung Galaxy Store in South Korea, and Huawei AppGallery in the Middle East and Africa.
The mobile gaming market is also characterized by a high level of diversity and innovation, as mobile game developers create games for various genres and audiences. Some of the most popular mobile game genres include casual, puzzle, strategy, action, role-playing, simulation, and hyper-casual. Some of the most successful mobile games of all time include Candy Crush Saga, Clash of Clans, PUBG Mobile, Fortnite, Pokémon Go, and Among Us.
Business Opportunities in Mobile Gaming
The growth and diversity of the mobile gaming market create many opportunities for entrepreneurs and businesses who want to enter or expand their presence in this industry. Some of the main opportunities include:
- Game development: Developing a mobile game can be a rewarding and profitable venture, as it allows entrepreneurs to express their creativity and reach a large and global audience. However, developing a mobile game also requires a lot of skills, resources, and expertise, such as programming, design, art, sound, testing, and marketing. Therefore, entrepreneurs need to have a clear vision of their game concept, target audience, genre, platform, and monetization strategy before starting their development process.
- Monetization strategies: Monetizing a mobile game can be challenging, as it involves finding the right balance between generating revenue and providing value to the users. There are three main monetization strategies that mobile game developers can use: in-app purchases (IAPs), advertising, and subscriptions. IAPs are transactions that allow users to buy virtual goods or services within the game, such as coins, gems, skins, or power-ups. Advertising is displaying ads within or around the game content, such as banners, interstitials, rewarded videos, or native ads. Subscriptions are recurring payments that grant users access to premium features or content within the game, such as ad-free experience, exclusive items, or unlimited lives. Each monetization strategy has its own advantages and disadvantages, and entrepreneurs need to choose the one that best suits their game genre, audience, and goals.
- Partnerships and collaborations: Partnering or collaborating with established brands or intellectual properties (IPs) can be a powerful way to boost the visibility and popularity of a mobile game. For example, some mobile games have partnered with popular movies, TV shows, or celebrities to create themed content or events, such as Angry Birds Star Wars, Game of Thrones: Conquest, or Kim Kardashian: Hollywood. Other mobile games have collaborated with other games or platforms to cross-promote their products or services, such as Fortnite x Among Us, PUBG Mobile x Resident Evil 2, or Minecraft x Roblox. These partnerships and collaborations can help mobile game developers attract new users, retain existing ones, and increase their revenue.
Challenges Facing Mobile Game Entrepreneurs
While the mobile gaming market offers many opportunities for entrepreneurs and businesses, it also poses many challenges that they must overcome to succeed in this competitive industry. Some of the main challenges include:
- Highly competitive market and user acquisition costs: The mobile gaming market is highly saturated and fragmented, with thousands of new games being launched every month. This makes it difficult for mobile game developers to stand out from the crowd and attract users to their games. Moreover, the cost of acquiring a user is also high, as mobile game developers have to compete with other developers and platforms for the limited attention and budget of the users. According to Sensor Tower, a leading app market intelligence platform, the average cost per install (CPI) for a mobile game in the US was $1.47 in 2020. This means that mobile game developers have to spend a lot of money on marketing and advertising their games, and ensure that they have a high retention rate and lifetime value (LTV) for their users to break even or make a profit.
- Navigating platform policies and restrictions: The mobile gaming market is largely dependent on the policies and restrictions of the platforms that host and distribute the games, such as Google Play Store and Apple App Store. These platforms have their own rules and regulations that mobile game developers have to comply with, such as content guidelines, age ratings, privacy policies, and revenue sharing agreements. These policies and restrictions can change at any time, and mobile game developers have to adapt to them quickly or risk losing their access or revenue from the platforms. For example, in 2020, Apple introduced a new policy that required mobile game developers to obtain an official licence from the Chinese government to publish their games on the App Store in China. This policy affected thousands of mobile games that were previously available on the App Store in China without a licence, and forced many of them to remove their games or lose their revenue from the Chinese market.
- Maintaining user engagement and retention over time: Mobile gaming is a dynamic and fast-paced industry, where user preferences and behaviours can change rapidly. Mobile game developers have to constantly update and improve their games to keep up with the changing trends and demands of the users. They also have to provide new and engaging content and features to retain their existing users and prevent them from switching to other games or platforms. According to App Annie, a leading app market data and analytics platform, the average retention rate for a mobile game in 2020 was 34% on day 1, 11% on day 7, and 6% on day 30. This means that mobile game developers have to work hard to keep their users interested and loyal to their games over time.
Despite the challenges and difficulties that mobile game entrepreneurs face, there are also many success stories that inspire and motivate them to pursue their dreams and goals. Some of the examples of successful mobile gaming companies and startups are:
- Supercell: Supercell is a Finnish mobile game developer that was founded in 2010. It is best known for its hit games such as Clash of Clans, Clash Royale, Brawl Stars, and Hay Day, which have collectively reached over 100 million daily active users. Supercell has a unique culture and structure, where it operates as a network of small and independent teams that have full autonomy and ownership over their games. Supercell also has a high standard of quality and performance, where it only launches games that have the potential to become global hits, and kills games that do not meet its expectations. Supercell’s strategy has paid off, as it has become one of the most profitable and valuable mobile game companies in the world, with a revenue of $1.6 billion and a valuation of $10 billion in 2020.
- Zynga: Zynga is an American mobile game developer that was founded in 2007. It is best known for its social games such as FarmVille, Words With Friends, Zynga Poker, CSR Racing, and Empires & Puzzles, which have collectively reached over 200 million monthly active users. Zynga has a strong focus on innovation and growth, where it invests heavily in research and development, acquisitions, partnerships, and live operations. Zynga also has a diverse portfolio of games across various genres, platforms, and markets, where it leverages its data, analytics, and technology to optimize its games for different audiences. Zynga’s strategy has paid off, as it has become one of the largest and fastest-growing mobile game companies in the world, with a revenue of $1.97 billion and a market capitalization of $11.6 billion in 2020.
- Voodoo: Voodoo is a French mobile game publisher that was founded in 2013. It is best known for its hyper-casual games such as Helix Jump, Hole.io, Paper.io, Aquapark.io, and Crowd City, which have collectively reached over 300 million monthly active users. Hyper-casual games are games that have simple mechanics, minimal graphics, and short sessions, and are designed to appeal to a mass audience. Voodoo has a unique approach to publishing hyper-casual games, where it partners with independent game developers from around the world and provides them with data, feedback, and marketing support. Voodoo also has a fast and iterative process, where it tests hundreds of game prototypes every month and only launches the ones that have the highest potential. Voodoo’s strategy has paid off, as it has become one of the most successful and influential mobile game publishers in the world, with a revenue of $300 million and a valuation of $1.4 billion in 2020.
Steps to Enter the Mobile Gaming Industry
If you are an aspiring entrepreneur or business who wants to enter the mobile gaming industry, here are some basic steps that you can follow:
- Do your research: Before you start developing your mobile game, you need to do your research on the market, the audience, the genre, the platform, and the competition. You need to understand what kind of games are popular and profitable, what kind of games are missing or underserved, what kind of games suit your skills and resources, and what kind of games fit your vision and goals. You can use various sources of information, such as market reports, app store charts, user reviews, social media trends, and industry news to conduct your research.
- Develop your game: Once you have a clear idea of your game concept, you need to start developing your game. You need to choose the right tools and technologies for your game development, such as game engines, frameworks, libraries, and software. You also need to assemble a team of talented and passionate people who can help you with various aspects of your game development, such as programming, design, art, sound, testing, and marketing. Likewise, you need to follow a structured and agile development process, where you plan, prototype, test, iterate, and polish your game until it meets your quality standards.
- Monetize your game: After you have developed your game, you need to monetize it. You need to choose the right monetization strategy for your game, such as IAPs, advertising, or subscriptions. You also need to implement the necessary features and systems for your monetization strategy, such as payment methods, ad networks, or subscription platforms. You need to optimize your monetization strategy based on data, feedback, and best practices, and ensure that it provides value to both you and your users.
- Market your game: Once you have monetized your game, you need to market it. You need to create a marketing plan for your game, where you define your target audience, your value proposition, your marketing channels, and your marketing budget. You also need to create a marketing campaign for your game, where you execute various marketing activities, such as app store optimization (ASO), social media marketing, influencer marketing, or paid advertising. Not only that, but you need to measure the effectiveness of your marketing campaign based on metrics, such as downloads, installs, retention, and revenue.
Mobile gaming is a huge and growing industry that offers many opportunities and challenges for entrepreneurs and businesses who want to enter or expand their presence in this industry. By understanding the market trends, user preferences, monetization models, and competitive landscape of mobile gaming, entrepreneurs and businesses can create successful mobile games that can reach millions of users and generate millions of dollars in revenue. If you are interested in the mobile gaming business, we encourage you to leverage the booming mobile gaming market for business success.