Mobile Gaming has come a long way since the fun 8-bit black dots Snake game in Nokia one-inch screen during the late nineties. We have recently heard that:
- “Candy Crush Saga” maker King.com last week had filed for a USD $500 million IPO in New York Stock Exchange
- The sector is one of the chief beneficiaries of continuing smartphone and tablet adoption and is set to be a USD 9 bn industry globally this year
- VC firms invested USD 126.3 m in mobile gaming start-ups across 40 deals in 2012.
- “Consumers will download 64.1 bn mobile games globally by 2017” Juniper Research
- Android accounts for nearly two-thirds of ad impressions in mobile games. Millennial Media
First, consumers are increasingly abandoning their traditional consoles to play games on mobile devices.
Moreover, the cost of mobile gaming is a key reason why it’s on the rise. Most consumers already own a smartphone or tablet on which they can download apps, meaning people don’t have to fork out for expensive consoles.
Definitely we have the basis for a strong growth going forward in this sector (which has already gained significant traction over the past couple of years), but in general the challenge will be to be able to diversify the sources of revenue via their mobile games. For instance best mix is going to be a balanced combination between $ coming from download charges, in-app purchases and advertising revenue via third party ads networks.
Here it follows a brief summary of the main players:
- Rovio is the poster child for mobile gaming success. Founded in 2007, after struggling for years with Nokia-exclusive titles like Bounce, the firm rocketed to prominence with Angry Birds in 2009.
- King has dominated Apple’s App Store and Google Play this year with the mobile version of its popular social title, Candy Crush Saga. The game is the top-grossing app across both stores in the US and UK and has been a mainstay in the stores’ top 20 for weeks.
- Supercell, Finnish iOS-based mobile game developer, is on a roll. Usurping EA as the highest-grossing developer on Apple’s App Store in January 2013 before raising a bumper USD 103 m funding round in April 2013 to continue its recent growth.
- Traditional video game developer and publisher Electronic Arts (EA) is in the midst of a larger transition to digital as packaged goods sales decline and mobile is playing a crucial role. The firm’s mobile division is up 22% year on year.
- Zynga bet on the wrong platform, by failing to make mobile a priority and making a Faustian pact with Facebook to help make its games and go viral. CEO Mark Pincus declared that 2013 was set to be “a transition year” for the firm.
Image source: Flickr