The entertainment industry has witnessed a stunning journey in gaming in recent years, with mobile gaming having enjoyed a meteoric rise to fame. During the COVID-19 pandemic, people are looking for ways to spend their time and maintain social interaction, so the popularity of mobile gaming has only risen.
There are now more ways to enjoy gaming than ever. While console gaming remains strong, Internet and mobile gaming continue to attract the attention of gamers. Conventional games are no longer the limit either, with top gamers developing mobile slots and other games for online casinos, with potential monetary gain to spice up the action. But for now, we will focus on mobile and mainstream gaming.
Research from Newzoo estimates that mobile gaming will see revenue of $76.7 billion by the beginning of 2021, which would be a 12 per cent increase from 2019. To illustrate just how significant these numbers are, Box Office revenue in 2019 stood at $42.5 billion worldwide, and the numbers for the music industry stood at $20.2 billion in worldwide wholesale revenues. So, to summarize, the mobile gaming industry will generate more than the film and music industries combined by the time 2021 comes around. Let us explore more trends and statistics to provide an idea of what to expect from mobile gaming and the wider gaming industry in 2021.
Despite the pandemic, there have been many acquisitions and mergers in mobile gaming, with consolidation being the consistent theme. Zynga acquired two top developers based in Istanbul, including Peak Games for $1.8 billion. This is a trend we can expect to continue, with mid-tier gaming companies being acquired by industry giants.
The new privacy guidelines from Apple, which are designed to prevent unwanted user-level tracking by allowing users to control more data, will force a change of approach by UA managers. One way that Apple will establish these changes is through AppTracking Transparency (ATT). All apps will be required to seek permission from users to track their data, with some industry professionals expecting most users to refuse permission. This means that current methods for optimizing and tracking ad monetization and marketing campaigns will not be possible most of the time.
A 2020 Newzoo infographic revealed the numerous layers that make up the gametech ecosystem, which not only supports the gaming industry, but also drives it. New developments and technologies in the gametech ecosystem will further solidify the industry: in terms of development, game engines such as Roblox and Epic Games will go on driving film and music with virtual game worlds, introducing a new era of innovative experiences; and the monetization and ad tech tools that developers use to earn money will become more advanced.
As well as mobile game social mechanics, games native to such social platforms as Snapchat will continue to gain market share and popularity. Mobile gaming company Zynga, for example, formed a partnership with Snapchat this year in order to exclusively release multiple titles on Snap Games and take advantage of their social platform. We can expect to see similar partnerships in 2012, with social media apps vying to grab their share of the gaming space.
With app stores seeing more and more visitors, retaining users has become a higher priority for developers. So you can expect to see more games integrate such social mechanisms as in-game chats, activity feeds that allow users to follow other users’ in-game progress, guilds (AKA groups or clans), and push notifications to notify users of invites or mentions.
The rise of Bunch, which has seen investment from Ubisoft and EA in a $20 million round in September 2020 for an app that allows players to hold group video chats while playing multiplayer games: a sign of the future of the industry.