Reasons behind smartphone games’ popularity

We all know that devices such as smartphones or tablets are multitasking handheld personal computer that are used for several purposes other than calling and texting alone.
Today’s mobile devices are used as camera, calendar, television, web browsing, sending e-mail, geolocation, tape recorder, calculator, compass, accelerometer, digital mapping and many other. These features build a strong product value to consumers which gives the possibility for each consumer to personalise their device(s) further by downloading any applications needed and wished resulting to use one single device instead of few for many users.

Games are one of the most popular application’s categories, representing a total of 39% of all downloaded applications, generating over $50 billions in revenue worldwide in 2016 which counts up to 81% of mobile store consumer spending (compering to 75% in 2014). While the gaming industry is growing in terms of profitability counting over $100 billion in revenue in 2016, the thriving preferences to play games on mobile devices seen these past few years resulted last year to generate (for the first time) the biggest source of revenue from the other devices such as PC or even consoles games (32% in total comparing at 31% for consoles and 23% for PC).


source: Newzoo, 2017

The reasons of it changed trend are caused due to few main reasons:

Lower cost of production: Due to a far less development costs to create games on smartphones thanks to a far less needs of complicated coding because of smartphone’s smaller screen sizes, lower resolution and processing power, it results to decrease greatly the cost to produce such games. Also, because these are downloaded by the users directly through the device, it negating the need for packaging and shipping, all that resulting to lower as well dramatically the price of the game to the user.

Growing number of smartphone users: We see every year a considerable growing number of smartphone users worldwide (this year, almost 11% increase of smartphone users in comparison to 2016, making in total around 2.4 billion to use such a device), making these games a lot more accessible for any smartphone owner today.

New type of market segment: Not everyone wants complicated games and willing to “waist” their time on time-consuming games. Rather than that, a lot are just looking for quick and easy time-passing games just to entertain themselves for a few laps of time while waiting for a friend, on the bus and other ones.

Makes it possible to play anywhere, anytime: Smartphones gives the possibility to play games anywhere thanks to their size, making them extremely portable oppositely to PC or consoles that requires bigger space and more are more complicated to connect in comparison to smartphones.

https://www.appannie.com/en/about/press/releases/app-annie-forecasts-33-percent-growth-consumer-spend-app-stores-2017-surpassing-139b-2021/

http://resources.newzoo.com/hubfs/Reports/Newzoo_Global_Games_Market_Report_2017_Light.pdf?utm_medium=email&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-_Z0XYnALOZRIbak6BMlZ5WvAxRSVmDAVdHrfgD_L75oFhAr2vD-z76u_h0gnhgXytqwj5VN4Mjhx-Iy–J_8oD73UFpayprei7D3UQ9VKbVkqeX7g&_hsmi=53391639&utm_content=53391903&utm_source=hs_email&hsCtaTracking=b1e7ad0f-0367-47fe-af74-d25b087e0247%7C1f97673a-73fc-4014-ac26-8ed0a696bc2a

https://www.wired.com/2013/01/how-mobile-kills-the-console-but-advances-the-gaming-industry/

https://www.statista.com/statistics/330695/number-of-smartphone-users-worldwide/

http://mobilemarketingmagazine.com/24bn-smartphone-users-in-2017-says-emarketer

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Victoria Petitjean

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2 thoughts on “Reasons behind smartphone games’ popularity

  1. Viktor Paulsson says:

    One important aspect to take into consideration when comparing traditional “advanced” games to many of the games provided to smart phones is the fact that you don’t need to pay anything in order to play. A quick download is usually enough. Thus, the revenues has to arise from commercials and adds instead of the purchasing price for the product. This enables everyone who has access to a smart phone to play, hence the high amount of users. Of course most of the games offers special deals for equipment and extra features while playing, but this is mostly voluntarily. Nevertheless, interesting development and it will be interesting to see what will happen in the future. Perhaps smart phone games can be considered a true substitute for PC games, thus overtaking the market share totally?

  2. Myriam Kijowski-Tran says:

    Victoria,

    Really interesting article that shows a niche market where people should invest nowadays in the application businesses. Too many people want to make fortune on a crazy and totally revolutionary application that will make them becoming billionaire . Instead of it, they should focus on the quick and easy time-passing games. Indeed targeting people that want to waist some short time or children is the future. People are now use to be on their phone when they are waiting for something or people give often their phone to their children for them to be calm. And as you said all the benefits would go to the company that produce the game, by reducing the costs, and creating something easy to use and to do. The best game would the one done for both children and grown up people in the easiest way to use it.

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