It’s no longer just about Candy Crush and FarmVille, mobile gaming is taking over
After a hard day at the office, a long commute home, making dinner, etc. we’re pretty wiped. That’s when the thought of virtually jumping out of a plane with one hundred other people and fighting till the death becomes so enticing. But you’re faced with two options:
- Turn on the computer and swipe away on the mouse pad, which can get quite tiring and uncomfortable.
- Jump into a warm, comfortable bed, tap a game and begin playing.
A few years ago, it would have been easier to pick the first option. Most gamers would opt to play on the PC / console, since mobile phones didn’t have the processing power to provide a quality gaming experience. However, in recent years, with advanced mobile and tablet devices, complemented with game publishers becoming committed to the platform, we’ve seen the birth of mobile games that rival their PC/console counterparts in both graphics, speed, and overall experience. Titles like Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) and Fortnite, are two perfect examples of game publishers successfully making the transition to the mobile platform.
In the developed world, the popularity of mobile gaming can be attributed to convenience and affluence. However, in developing nations, they often lack the infrastructure for high-speed internet in the home, complemented with the lower cost of smartphones and the value proposition starts to add up. It’s much easier to play Clash of Clans in the streets of Sao Paulo than it is to find to have an adequate home set-up to play League of Legends.
By the Numbers
Today, smartphone penetration globally is about 40%, with Samsung and Apple dominating the market with a share of 50.8%. As the number of smartphones increase, so do the number of gaming apps downloaded. In 2019, the global mobile gaming revenue is projected to be US$68.5 billion, growing 10.2% from 2018. Even though this number already makes up 45% of the global gaming revenues, it is forecasted to grow faster than PC and console gaming. In fact, currently mobile gamers outnumber PC gamers 2.53 billion to 1 billion.
Mobile Esports and the Competitive Scene
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Though PCs still dominate the esports landscape, mobile gaming is quickly approaching the frontier. In 2018, mobile games played in esports brought US$15.3 billion in revenue, reflecting 25% of total mobile gaming revenues. As these games see immense growth, the mobile esports scene will prosper alongside them. This means larger prize pools and increased global attention. In 2018, the total global prize pool was US$25.3 million for mobile esports and is projected to grow to US$30 million by 2019.
Clash Royale Esports League West
Players in Mobile Gaming and Esports
Tencent Holdings Ltd. (HKG: 0700 | OTC: TCEHY)
Owns rights to some of the biggest mobile esports and gaming applications. Its portfolio includes:
Arena of Valor: The largest mobile esports, boasting a total prize pool of US$5.1 million and revenues of US$2.5 billion. This game not only tops the charts in mobile esports, but also ranks 8th amongst all esports.
Other large titles include Brawl Stars, Clash Royale, PUBG mobile, Fortnite Mobile, QQ Speed
Millennial Esports Corp. (TSXV: GAME | OTCQB: MLLLF)
Millennial is a Toronto based esports company that holds robust gaming hardware and software assets. This company gives virtual drivers one of the most unique prizes ever, the chance to take their craft into real life. The winner of the 2nd season of Millennial’s World’s Fastest Gamer will race GT cars throughout 2020. Individuals who win the Gear. Club (a mobile game by Millennial’s brand, Eden Games) tournament will get a chance to participate in World’s Fastest Gamer.
Com2uS Corp. (KOSDAQ: 078340)
Com2uS, a South Korean company, is the developer and publisher behind Summoners War, a mobile strategy game with 90 million downloads globally. In 2019, the World Championships will feature a US$210,000 prize pool, almost doubling its 2018 figure of US$110,000.
Razor Inc. (HKG: 1337)
Razor is a gaming hardware and software company that already has a large presence in esports. Recently, Razor has announced a collaboration with Tencent, one of the largest gaming companies in the world, to optimize Tencent’s mobile games on Razer smartphones, mobile controllers and Cortex (multi-purpose gaming applications).
There still exists a stigma in North America that mobile gaming means playing candy crush on the can, but it goes so much further than that. Also, many games have less than sinister intentions as they create games that are pay to win, a common irritant for gamers. As more game publishers make the transition to mobile, like Nintendo recently did with Mario Kart, communities will continue to flourish for both competitive and amateur gamers.
There is no doubt that mobile gaming and mobile esports are the future. So now is the best time to start downloading those returns.
Ben Feferman is an esports analyst and CEO of Amuka Esports. Since the age of 5, Ben has been an avid gamer and has fused ... <Read more about Ben Feferman>