Did you know: mobile games are a bigger business than PC and console gaming


Games are huge on mobile platforms, and that's hardly any wonder. Almost everyone who wants a smartphone can have one these days. Hardware grows faster and more affordable each year. Game developers are picking up on the opportunity to such extent that mobile games have become the biggest category in the gaming industry, widening its lead over PC and console titles over the past two years.

Market researchers App Annie and IDC estimate that mobile games are a $34.8 billion business worldwide, while PC and Mac games stand second at $29 billion. Game consoles are third at $18.5 billion, and the handheld game devices still hold on to some relevance with a $3 billion market cap. Apparently, people spend more than $85.4 billion on games, which is a staggering sum!

Other parts of the survey reflect upon the fact that games accounted for nearly 38% of total downloads on Google Play and the Apple App Store. And although games maintain a larger share of consumer spending on Google Play, gamers actually spend more time playing iOS games than Google Play games. Yep, app store dynamics can be weird like that! Speaking of the games themselves, Supercell's 'Clash of Clans' was iOS's top-grossing mobile game, while Mixi’s 'Monster Strike' was the biggest title on Google Play for 2015.

Interesting enough, not many of the major names in the industry are present on the mobile gaming avenue. Companies such as Tencent, Activision Blizzard, Capcom and Electronic Arts are making strides, but they haven't always taken the mobile games market seriously, because smartphone games didn't generate the kind of profits that AAA franchises like 'Call Of Duty' and 'Grand Theft Auto' do. However, the mountains of cash made by mobile-only games like 'Clash of Clans', 'Monster Strike', and 'Puzzle & Dragons' have become comparable in size.

Still, consoles are the leading platform when it comes to consumer spending, pocketing up to five times more than what gamers spend per mobile device. Game console spending is 'disproportionately high' in North America and Western Europe, while mobile, PC and Mac gaming are centered in the Asia Pacific.

source: VentureBeat

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48 Comments

1. Arschsalat

Posts: 158; Member since: Feb 29, 2016

Smartphone Master Race ?

9. DogeShibe

Posts: 1121; Member since: Jan 10, 2014

Seems like it.

12. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Been saying that for 2 years now.

13. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Whaling at its best.

26. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

I love the Top Grossing section on the play store and app store for one reason: So I know which games to avoid like the plague.

34. sgtdisturbed47

Posts: 966; Member since: Feb 02, 2012

Given most mobile games have a disgusting amount of ads, bordering on ad greed, I avoid most games altogether.

2. Atrixboyyy

Posts: 597; Member since: Nov 03, 2011

Well for one they are way easier to code. Two you don't need to advertise. Three iaps are way more successful on a device already connected to payment solutions. It may die down alot though.

18. QWIKSTRIKE

Posts: 1459; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

The mobile gaming is high because of how cheap they are.... I will not even try to play star craft or unreal on my phone and expect the same play as with the pc.

22. sgodsell

Posts: 7365; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

You are behind the times. Mobile processors are getting faster and faster all the time. As a matter of fact all the current flagships are faster than the PS/3 and Xbox 360. Some mobile processors are already close to the speed of an Xbox One. By the end of 2016 or beginning 2017 some mobile processors will exceed the speed of the XBox One. These are all facts for you. Like it or not mobile processors will take over most gaming, including VR gaming. Desktop and PC gaming using VR, is going to be less than 20%.

36. QWIKSTRIKE

Posts: 1459; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

Says who, you must not be an avid PC Gamer...how can you compare a 4-5" screen when palying Unreal to a 30" or a 55" suhd tv....you can't. Zooming in to go for killer head shots will not be the same experience as it would be on a larger screen period. Dude trust me when I tell you that no avid PC Gamer is going to turn their PC in for a F/N hand held mobile device....wake up. Facts as you present them has nothing to do with what I am saying, and I don't give a hoot about those facts. Most of these mobile gamers I would bet are not avid PC gamers that Play Crisis, War Craft, Star Craft, Unreal, Halo, or far Cry. As an Avid PC gamer you can't get the same play ona mobile device as you can with a larger screen, or the hard ware that hard core PC gamers demand. Go to a PC gaming site and ask weahterr they will trade in their set ups in the futre for a mobile gaming device.......really. I can see casual gamers down loading games to mobile devices because the truly avid hard core computer gamer spends over 1500.00 as a minimum to game vs a 300-700.00 mobile device. I have friends gaming with 4 980 Nvidia video cards with 4 25"suhd monitors.....these people are the people thaty I refer to.

40. DefinitelyNotATroll

Posts: 13; Member since: Aug 13, 2015

Your friend is retarded for buying 4 980s instead of 2 980 tis....

44. QWIKSTRIKE

Posts: 1459; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

Everyone has a passion, Google how many people have 4 video cards. Avid true gamers keep pushing the envelope to clarity and frame rates with newr technology. You voice your opnion, but there are may people that do this. You probably can't afford this or don't game....regardless it is your own personal opinion. That's what makes America great....having the freedom of choice to do this regardless of what lamers lioke you say.

46. QWIKSTRIKE

Posts: 1459; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

BTW this guy was powering a 55 SUHD TV screen....that was the main reason he used 4...fill rate and frame rate when gaming.

47. DefinitelyNotATroll

Posts: 13; Member since: Aug 13, 2015

Scaling gets worse the more graphics card you add so after the 3rd gpu it wouldn't have been wise to do that even if he has a 55 SUDH TV two 980 tis would've been better but it's too late now for your friend probably didn't do research.

39. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

And I hope this doesnt happen. At all. I like mobile phones in general...but for gaming, traditional gaming? Give me console and PC all day. One thing that makes some of this mobile processors taking over gaming a grey area is laptop processors. IIRC laptop processors are in the PS4, XBO. Laptop processors I will takefor dominating gaming and VR. But not whats in smartphones and tablets. Mobile phone processors dominate anyway because of the user base...its much, much higher vs consoles. PC....might be neck n neck.

45. QWIKSTRIKE

Posts: 1459; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

More people have cell phones than computers and if they just down load a game once it supports what the articale suggest. However; PC Gamers will always be around becase the advantage of processor performance, memory, and graphics piped to a 25"+ monitor. There is no way you can snipe on a 4-5" cell phone, or see all of the players in a game like crysis, unreal, far cry, war craft or stare craft.

3. enzotarece

Posts: 87; Member since: Aug 14, 2013

So how mobile game business is bigger than console game business am trying to calculate ur results

5. Atrixboyyy

Posts: 597; Member since: Nov 03, 2011

Mobile = 34.8 Console = 18.5

35. enzotarece

Posts: 87; Member since: Aug 14, 2013

I wonder which mobile developers make a 1 billion a year from that 34.8 billion

48. Atrixboyyy

Posts: 597; Member since: Nov 03, 2011

supercell or king most likely

4. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Surprised to see the PC gaming market more profitable than the console market, especially with piracy so much easier in the PC gaming market.

19. UglyFrank

Posts: 2194; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Very true but I know many people who have 100s of games on steam despite not even playing them because the prices are good. Also online features might not work as well on pirated games. Games like Diablo 3 (one of the best selling of games) are online only so pirated copies won't work.

32. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Online features such as multiplay rarely work in pirated versions. Used to pirate stuff a lot, but nowadays I buy all of my games (and apps). Mainly because of online stuff and games became cheaper as well (not counting DLC's).

27. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

Number of factors 1) Much bigger international presense than consoles 2) Typically cheaper games. A proper gaming PC can be more expensive, but the games tend to be cheaper both at regular prices and on sales, so this lowers the price of entry. 3) PC has a bigger presense of Free 2 Play as well as MMO games, both of which can be cash cows.

43. g2a5b0e unregistered

Your comment isn't necessarily true though, Rebel. This article speaks nothing about profitability. It's only talking about total revenue. It didn't mention how many companies this money is spread over in both industries or the costs associated with making games for either.

6. dimas

Posts: 3363; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

"Did you know: mobile games are a bigger business than PC and console gaming" which has been very obvious in the techworld for the past 4 or 5 years. Don't get me wrong, I like playing in pc and consoles but when a million ps4 is competing with a billion gadget with same operating system and much more developers, you don't need math to say that mobile games are the kings of profit today. The problem with console games today is that they forgot creating good storylines, made games so exclusive and expensive in one place then bombard everything with heavy graphics and effects without developing their characters and plot through playing. Everything is pew pew pew and no substance.

8. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Sounds like mobile games...I have yet to get my hands on a really good mobile game with depth anywhere near a good pc or console game. But I don't like mobile games all that much so I didn't look hard either...

17. bucky

Posts: 3784; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

your comment perfectly matches my view. Theres some cool games out there on mobile but the options and depth are nowhere near even a playstation 2.

20. combatmedic870

Posts: 984; Member since: Sep 02, 2015

Grand theft auto is pretty good. So is xcom

23. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Not a huge GTA fan, will need to try xcom. I wish Bethseda would release Morrowind for mobile...that would be a dream. requires a 500mhz Celeron, 256mb of ram, 1gb of free space...why are we not funding this transfer?! I would also want MechCommander 1&2 please. Hell MechCommander 2 source code is free from MS...someone convert it quick!

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