Covid 19 cases surged from the early months of 2020 and into the first half of 2021. With imposed lockdowns and face-to-face transactions discouraged, mobile device use became the norm. Aside from using smartphones for communication, many people downloaded gaming apps to pass the time.
According to a study, digital gaming market earnings increased by 15% growing to $11.6 billion in January 2021. This unprecedented increase is a first in the industry. It’s predicted that the global gaming industry will continue to grow next year despite eased restrictions and improving conditions.
Some Facts About Mobile Gaming
Before we head to the top 2021 trends, let’s first focus on some facts about the vibrant mobile gaming industry:.
- Asia has the most mobile gamers with 1.42 billion gamers, second is Europe with 66 million gamers, and Latin America with 383 million.
- Roughly 3 out of 10 Americans reveal that they played mobile games more than they used to during the pandemic.
- About 83% of Americans with a full-time job play games on their phones. More than half of employed Americans play games on their mobile devices during break times at the office or worksite.
Mobile Gaming Trends That Matter in 2021
From the use of future gaming technologies to social mobile gaming, here are the trends of 2021 that will surely inspire the industry in 2022 and the years to come.
Mobile Gaming for All Generations
2021 marked the year when mobile games appealed to young gamers and older players alike. According to ESA (Entertainment Software Association) stats, the average player is between 35 and 44 years old. The most common mobile games appealed to both younger and older players. For the next few years, expect more mobile game titles that attract players from all walks of life.
The Use of Future Technology To Enhance Gaming
Intel said 5G networks have lower latencies, improved bandwidth, and higher capacities than their predecessors. These impressive improvements are expected to have far-reaching effects on how we work and live. With 5G, mobile gamers can expect a better multiplayer gaming experience and enhanced gaming streaming for cloud gaming and live games.
5G was expected to roll out in the later months of 2020. The pandemic has delayed these plans. Many areas in the U.S. are still waiting for 5G access today. Among the most popular internet providers in the U.S.,T-Mobile is the leader in 5G with around 270 million subscribers.
The Most Downloaded Mobile Gaming Titles
The following mobile gaming titles have made their way onto more smartphones this year.
- A report from Sensor Tower revealed PUBG Mobile tied with Honor of Kings on the top place with $2.8 billion revenue from January 1 to December 14, 2021.Niantic’s Pokemon GO ranked the 6th top game title with a revenue total of $1.2 billion. Meanwhile Free Fire ranked 8th best with around $1.1 billion.
- The most popular mobile game for the US, UK, Germany, and Canada in the second quarter of 2020 was Roblox. However, Coin Master had the highest quarter over quarter growth on Google Play in the second quarter of 2020.
More Social Mobile Games
WalletHub reported in June 2020 on the 100 top U.S. cities using size and other key factors to indicate gamer-friendly atmospheres. The top cities for gamers include San Diego (California), Orlando (Florida), New York (New York), Seattle (Washington), and Irvine (California).
Of the five, Seattle proves it’s the top place for mobile gamers because of its high percentage of people who are 18 to 49 years old.
No matter where gamers are located, many players feel the need to connect with other players. For instance, the game called Among Us relies on cooperation among players to complete different tasks. Many other games have the same format. There’s no doubt that social games will increase and improve in the next few years.
Social games surveys reveal that around 40% of gamers have met people through games. Gamers also say they wouldn’t have met these people through other means. Meanwhile, 38% of new gamers in the US admit that they prefer talking with other gamers as they play.
More In-Game Ads Usage
In 2020, many Americans were unable to shop directly from physical stores. This buying trend has resulted in brands enhancing their advertising campaigns. When it comes to mobile gaming, the trend is all about using efficient, playable commercial ads.
According to recent stats, marketers that create mobile app ads spent around $74.6 billion globally last year to entice users to install their mobile apps. Almost half of these gamers mention the use of in-game advertising.
Spectator Gaming vs Player Gaming
Gaming is a spectator sport thanks to a video streaming service called Twitch. This service has been around since 2011 but has experienced huge changes. One change is that the audience is now greater than the number of players.
What does this mean? For short- or long-term gaming development, game developers should examine the needs and wants of their audience, not just the needs of gamers. Consider the following stats.
Around 71% of millennial gaming enthusiasts watch gaming content on video sites like Twitch and YouTube. Usually, millennial gamers devote 6 hours each week to watching this type of video.
Valorant is the most-watched gaming title on Twitch, with 534 million hours in a single quarter. Fortnite ranked second with 399 million viewing hours in the second quarter of 2018.
Unique bespoke software is valuable for any company or organization. The same goes for mobile games. A game that considers the needs of players and spectators is very valuable. You get the best results when you rely on an award-winning digital services company that understands mobile app and gaming development better than other firms do.
No one knows what the future holds for the gaming industry, but these trends can help you define the right approach when developing gaming apps or software. Keep an eye on these trends and your game will likely stand out from the rest for some years to come.