Revenue generated by mobile gaming is projected to increase from less than $5 billion in 2011 to a staggering $16 billion by 2016.
Indeed, mobile gaming is establishing itself as a serious form of mass entertainment, as it appeals to a diverse group of consumers across the world.
According to ABI senior analyst Aapo Markkanen, mobile gaming growth is being driven by next-gen touchscreen smartphones, as well as innovation in casual titles which attracts users from both genders and all age groups.
“An ever-larger share of mobile gaming revenue [originates] from virtual goods and other purchases taking place within the game,” explained Markkanen.
“These in-app payments will account for about one-third of the 2011 revenue base, but by the end of 2016 their share will increase to almost half of the total. Also, the in-game advertising revenue will increase considerably, as more and more advertisers take advantage of mobile games’ mass-media potential.”
However, Markkanen warned that the dynamics of both casual gaming and the discovery of new content make it a risky hit-and-miss business – although content remains more important than luck.
“Rovio’s ‘Angry Birds’ is an early example of the sort of following that the most successful titles will be able to achieve, yet for one such hit there will be scores of failed attempts to catch consumers’ attention.
“This is likely to result in further consolidation among developers, as can be seen from recent acquisitions made by industry giants such as Electronic Arts and Zynga,” he added.