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The future of gaming: Mobile vs. console

by John Saunders

The rise of mobile gaming in recent years has caused a megalithic shift in how video games are played. Traditional forms of gaming include console and PC games, as well as handhelds, which are portable console games. Most recently, there are also virtual and augmented reality video games, which include headsets.

These huge jumps in how people game have led to the rise of eSports competitions, which are becoming more rigorously structured and regulated. Soon, these tournaments will be on par with domestic sports leagues—except that eSports models will have been scaled from the start to accommodate a worldwide platform.

It’s become obvious recently that video games, in particular, have a global reach. While the expanded interest in gaming will likely allow for smaller subsets of the industry to hold on, such as handheld and console markets, the future of gaming seems to be headed in the mobile direction.

Console & PC aren’t likely going anywhere

Though the rise of mobile gaming doesn’t show any signs of slowing down since its breakthrough in 2008, console and PC gaming have also enjoyed a recent revival. The mega-popular games of Fortnite, PUBG, and Overwatch have all kept gamers and fans interested in their respective forms, whether that’s console or PC.

Then, there are veteran franchises, like Grand Theft Auto, Battlefield, and Call of Duty, each of which has enough interest across a diverse range of demographics to support console and PC gaming well into the future. In fact, console and PC gaming are set to continue growing at an annual rate of 4%.

In many ways, console and PC games are for experienced gamers. Those who begin playing a franchise are more likely to continue with their game, investing in future editions and chapters. They’re more likely to join teams or watch other players on live-streaming platforms like Twitch.tv and Mixer.

In short, they’re dedicated gamers that have formed the backbone of the gaming community for decades. Across any entertainment industry, these are prime consumers, and 4% annual growth is a strong figure. So, what makes mobile gaming so much more prolific?

Howard Bouchevereau on Unsplash

The case for mobile

In short, mobile has become the gaming giant based on numbers. The mobile market is way larger than its PC and console counterparts because there’s less equipment involved. All a person needs to access mobile gaming is an internet connection and smartphone.

Plus, there’s a larger breadth of interest. Within mobile and desktop gaming, there’s also an entire billion-dollar sector that covers online casino games and sports betting. This sector is expected to be worth almost $60 billion worldwide this year, and, according to Statista, up to $94 billion by 2024.

However, many companies have already carved out their stake in this future. For example, PokerStars Casino is one of the largest providers of online casino games worldwide, with 99.98% of its search traffic coming from organic keywords, according to SimilarWeb. This means there’s a high degree of brand recognition from this single provider alone.

And this trend doesn’t end with casinos and sports betting—it applies also to general-interest games. PC and console games are incredibly involved. Some games are RPGs, which means they include complex storylines, while others are high-octane shoot-’em-ups. Others require countless hours of training—and not to mention, a full squad of teammates.

Mobile gaming, on the other hand, is associated with games like Candy Crush Saga and Words With Friends. Anyone can play these games, regardless of age, nationality, and exposure to technology.

Additionally, a user can purchase a mobile game or pay extra for micro-transactions within the game to improve their experience—but there’s no pressure to continue with a game. In short, mobile games are immediately profitable with much lower overhead than PC or console franchises.

In 2018, mobile gaming took over the total gaming market. PC and console gaming accounted for 24% and 25% of the global market share, while mobile took the remaining 51% of revenue. But most importantly of all, by 2021, mobile gaming is set to be worth $106 billion worldwide.

 

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