Mobile game market is outpacing PC and console sales combined
Global mobile game revenues in 2021
It’s a good time to get into the mobile game market right now. According to a report from Newzoo that was conducted in partnership with TikTok For Business, global mobile game revenues accounted for more than half of the market at a whopping $93.2 billion — meaning this figure surpasses the combined revenue of consoles and PC.
Forecasts are optimistic as well and suggest that mobile’s revenue growth will eventually reach $116.1 billion by 2024, which again would outpace its console and PC counterparts.
While there certainly isn’t a lack of interest in next-gen consoles like Xbox Series X and the PS5, which are both still difficult to obtain due to global supply-chain issues, the ubiquity and ease of mobile gaming make it a natural entry point for gamers of all kinds.
Compounding growth — Smartphone ownership and the universality of the Android operating system also make mobile gaming less fragmented and difficult to break into for potential developers. For what it’s worth, over six billion people own a smartphone of some kind — that number is almost double what it was in 2016 (3.6 billion) and is projected to reach 7.5 billion by 2026.
Accordingly, when a studio is creating a mobile game, it has a much larger potential market than, say, a AAA game studio looking to introduce a new title to PlayStation users. It also is worth pointing out that the development of something like Halo Infinite requires a much larger team of people, where a hit mobile game could emerge out of someone’s apartment.
The largest areas of growth for mobile games are concentrated in Asia — 64 percent of 2021’s mobile game revenues came from the Asia-Pacific region. China alone accounts for $31.8 B of that pie, which makes sense given some of the gaming companies that are based over there. Think Tencent, which makes Call of Duty: Mobile, PUBG Mobile, and Honor of Kings, to name a few.
Overall, it seems like the biggest games are increasingly moving toward the mobile space. We just saw Wordle take off and then promptly get acquired by the New York Times — and even though in the U.S. that kind of viral game has gravitated towards free-to-play titles for console or PC, I would imagine things will start to swing more towards our phones.