It is high time we understood that times have changed and are changing as things are no longer as they used to be. What trended five to ten years ago is no longer on the trending list, and some don't even exist anymore. Mobile games might not have been on the trending list before, but currently, it is. More than ever before, we now have lots of people frequently playing mobile games and constantly finding solace in social interactions.
Social interactions and mobile games are some of the ways people enjoy their leisure time. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has contributed immensely to the acceleration of the social, mobile gaming industry because of social distancing. According to Newzoo, their latest estimate suggests the global game industry has a worth of $175 billion, up to 20% from the initial prediction for the year. This is an indication that the world will witness similar growth or much more in regards to some other trends like online betting, for instance. This may or may not happen in 2021, though. Here are some of the trends we are hoping to see in years to come.
The transition from Playing to Watching
Gaming has successfully established itself over time as a fast-rising sport to be reckoned with. Neilson recently gave a report that suggests that about 71% of millennial gamers frequently visit gaming content sites on Twitch and YouTube. At the same time, Stream tech outfit Limelight has reckoned that several 18 to 25-year-olds now prefer to watch gamers than sit to watch traditional sports. The Marketing Director of Data at Treasure Data explains that the player growth is overtaken by audience growth; the business model is overturned.
Gen Z Vs Millennials
With the mobile gaming industry’s massive expansion and the millennials now taking charge, about 40% of them are mobile gamers. While for the Gen-Z, only 33% of them are gamers. This then proves that it is essential to know the difference in taste between both groups.
Mobile Games Working as Social Networks
We now have different game titles that have ushered games just to look and sound like social networks. In 2020, a mobile video chat platform reported that their monthly active user base grew 50 times over since March, and that was considered 'breaking through the million mark'. Another company, Comunix, has focused on getting real social interaction. Through mobile games, people from all around the world can experience what it truly is to play 'live' with friends and make new friends in the process. With a game like Pokerface, for instance, friends can have game nights during lockdowns.
Smart Playable Ads
Playable ads are gradually becoming a trend because of how they are developed to allow consumers to experience a game before downloading it. A recent survey revealed that about 46% of game developers see innovative playable ads as a means to an end; that is a key to opportunity for monetization. 2021 will definitely see more game developers maximize this immersive in-game advertising opportunity and also make sure to add new ad formats.
There is no denying the fact that we cannot prepare for the future 100%, but you can still put certain things in place to make sure the future is not so blurry and unprepared for. If there is something, we have all learnt from these past few months, mobile gaming is still on the verge of skyrocketing. With new and unique features like video chat, competitive multiplayer modes, chats, friend invites, you can be assured of much more to come. However, it brings us to the question: To what extent will user behavior change as the world gradually begins to receive vaccinations against COVID-19?