Perhaps you yourself picked up gaming for the first time when you bought your first smartphone. Or perhaps you have relatives – aunts, uncles, cousins – who have embraced social gaming wholeheartedly after a lifetime of never picking up a game controller. Though every person will have a different experience, it’s amazing how similar these experiences tend to be. Social and mobile gaming have democratized video games to a greater extent than ever thought possible, and in the process, have opened up new demographics for gaming companies.
New Influences Create New Opportunities
The proliferation of mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, combined with the ease of use and ease of access that mobile and social games provide, is causing a dramatic shift in the gaming landscape. Though social gaming has by some reports plateaued, mobile titles are selling in greater numbers with each passing year, and are already on their way to outgrossing console titles. Clearly, the impact that social and mobile gaming has had on the industry, and the public at large is significant.
Though social gaming may be experiencing a slight slowdown in some circles, it is still a massive industry. Additionally, it looks to have a bright future in Asia, where markets like China are witnessing huge adoption numbers. In fact, second to Facebook, the most popular social gaming platform in the world is China’s Qzone. In Q3 2014, China’s online gaming market drove $4.53 billion in sales and the market is showing no signs of slowing down. China’s (and the world’s) largest gaming company, Tencent, reported $3.65 billion in revenue for Q1 2015, due primarily to mobile and social titles.
Mobile gaming, too, is becoming a juggernaut. Finnish developer Supercell generates billions of dollars annually with only three game titles: Clash of Clans (which made $1.8 billion in 2014), Boom Beach, and Hay Day. GungHo Online makes over a billion dollars per year from one title alone – the simple Puzzles and Dragons. And gaming company Machine Zone is no different; in fact, it only makes one title. With advertisements featuring model Kate Upton, Game of War: Fire Age is now the number one mobile title (in gross revenue) in 85 countries, despite being launched in July of 2013. It’s rather self-evident that mobile is here to stay.
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